CS:GO's 11-year run gave us 19 incredible Major events and 17 different Major MVPs. These 17 players shone when the lights were the brightest and deserve to be remembered for their heroics. We'll do our part by ranking every CS:GO Major MVP from worst to best.
Nearly 10 years passed between the first CS:GO Major, DreamHack Winter 2013, and the last one, BLAST Paris Major 2023. The game, the tactics, and the players evolved a lot in that timeframe, but one thing remained consistent--Majors were always the biggest events of the year and they always delivered.
We already ranked every CS:GO Major-winning team from worst to best. Now it's time to do the same for individuals and see who punched above his weight to clutch a Major victory for his team and who were the best players inside and outside of Majors. Note that we're ranking Major MVPs based on their entire CS:GO careers and not on their MVP-winning performances.
Cloud9's ELEAGUE Major 2018 title is the best underdog story CS:GO ever produced, but that comes at a price--whenever we make skill comparisons, the players don't stack up well against the competition.
Tarik is the only Major MVP to never make HLTV's Top 20, and ELEAGUE 2018 is his one and only career MVP award. No one can ever take that magical week in Boston away from tarik and his Cloud9 teammates, but for the purpose of our ranking, he has to be in the bottom place.
Kjaerbye was supposed to be the jelly to device's peanut butter, but the two Danes' careers could not have developed any more differently. Kjaerbye never reached that superstar level, and his sole MVP award at ELEAGUE Major 2017 (which could have easily gone to device) remains the peak of his CS:GO resume. It's not a bad resume compared to 95 percent of pro players, but it's lackluster when put against his Major MVP peers.
AdreN is yet another player whose only MVP award came at a Major. He comes in ahead of tarik and Kjaerbye because of his impressive longevity and consistency. Considered a star of the CIS region in the first couple of years of CS:GO, AdreN eventually settled in more of a support role and thrived in it.
AdreN won the PGL Krakow Major with Gambit in 2017 and reached another final with AVANGAR at the StarLadder Berlin Major. He was an integral part of very solid teams all the way from 2012 to 2020, but being solid can only get you this far on a list containing some of the best players to ever touch CS:GO.
Jame is the player with the smallest trophy cabinet in this ranking by a wide margin. The reason he stands out from the bottom three is that when his team wins trophies, it's mostly because of his performances and calling. The Russian AWPer has received MVP honors for three of the four titles he's won in his career, including the IEM Rio Major. He may be a bit excessive with saving guns at times, but there's no denying Jame's a top-quality player.
It's difficult to stand out when two of your teammates are among the greatest to ever do it. Friberg was put in that situation while playing with GeT_RiGhT and f0rest in the first five years of his CS:GO career, which can explain why he fits among the players with a single MVP award to their name.
Friberg was a big-time player for big-time moments. Nothing can highlight that more than his crowning as MVP at ESL One Cologne 2014 over his esteemed teammates, netting Ninjas in Pyjamas' only Major trophy out of five finals played. It doesn't hurt that friberg was consistently the second- or third-best performer on one of the most dominant lineups in CS:GO history. The only thing stopping him from being higher up on the list is the stiff competition.
Between 2014 and 2016, Happy was one of the best players and most prolific winners on the CS:GO pro scene. He is one of two IGLs to win a CS:GO Major MVP (the other is Jame), and though his fierce critics would claim that’s because his leading style often bordered on baiting his teammates, the fact of the matter is that it worked, for a while at least.
Happy's relevancy on the pro circuit was too short to get him any higher on this ranking, but when he was on fire, very few players could match the threat level Happy brought to the server.
It's hard to mention anyone from the legendary Polish Virtus.pro lineup without using the word "longevity". Longevity is exactly how the EMS One Katowice MVP pashaBiceps sneaked into the top 10 of Major MVPs. Outside of that one year in 2014, pasha could never perform with enough consistency to be considered elite. He did have that one great year, though, and his supplementary achievements on personal and team level are enough to place him where he is on the list.
It's amazing that a four-time Major winner could have a case for one of the most underrated CS:GO players ever, but that's what Magisk is. The IEM Katowice MVP has a bag full of trophies and a handful of HLTV Top 20 appearances, plus one more MVP to his name, but suffers somewhat from Astralis being so unbelievably strong as a full lineup. Having device by your side also doesn't help to catch the audience's attention, but Magisk caught ours and we have him comfortably in our top 10 Major MVPs.
Ask any pro who played between 2012 and 2015 who they hated playing against the most, and they'll likely answer that it's JW. The Swedish AWPer was the original CS:GO wonderchild, and while he didn't reach the unfathomable skill ceiling of s1mple and ZywOo, JW more than earned his place in the Global Offensive pantheon.
His unique, uber-aggressive AWPing style created enough highlights to sustain his legacy, but while highlights are subjective, nothing will ever change the fact that then-18-year-old JW became the first ever CS:GO Major MVP at DreamHack Winter 2013.
A few years back, rain was the default choice for the most underrated player in CS:GO. Since then, the Norwegian rifler boosted his CV with a boatload of trophies, multiple MVP awards, a few HLTV top 20 appearances, and put a stamp on it all with a Major title and MVP at PGL Antwerp 2022. Rain is underrated no more.
Was flusha a blatant cheater, or did he just have outstanding game sense? The conspiracy theorists will never get their answer. As for us, we can only go by what we know, and what we know is that flusha was Fnatic's rock for half a decade. While his teammates could have their ups and downs, flusha seemingly always hit a certain floor of performance, with the potential to blow up through the roof and win a match on his own.
It's this sort of roof-raising play that earned him one of his four MVPs at ESL One Cologne 2015. This would be the third and final Major trophy for flusha and Fnatic, and none of those titles would have been won without his excellence.
When kennyS was on point, his team won. It's as simple as that. Out of 11 career titles, the flashy AWPer won MVP 10 times, the most notable being the reason he's on this list--the DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca Major MVP. This “MVP to tournaments won” ratio is only matched by the very best, and if not for the chaos that were the frequent French shuffles during kennyS' prime, he could have easily been in the top five here.
The team stability that kennyS lacked is what propels olofmeister into fifth place. The Swede has plenty to show for all on his own, but his fit within the legendary Fnatic of 2014-2015 and the then unprecedented team success solidifies olofmeister among CS:GO royalty.
Given how two of his Fnatic teammates are also relatively high in our ranking, it's obvious Olof was in good company on the server. He was still unquestionably the star man during both Major winning runs at ESL One Katowice, where he was MVP, and ESL One Cologne 2015. For his efforts, olofmeister was named the best player of 2015 by HLTV, the first such one to make our list.
We follow the best player of 2015 with the best of 2016 and 2017. Coldzera is not only a two-time HLTV player of the year, but he is also one of just two to win multiple Major MVPs. While FalleN was the mastermind behind the Brazilian era of CS:GO dominance, it was coldzera who led by example in the server.
Cold was named MVP at MLG Columbus and ESL One Cologne 2016 and produced one of the most iconic CS:GO plays ever in the process. Add in more than a dozen trophies and over half a dozen MVPs, and you know why coldzera is revered.
KennyS would have gone down in history as the best French CS:GO player ever if not for this guy. ZywOo is the only one who could challenge s1mple's level of individual dominance and would have most definitely been top two on our list if he didn't come in so late into Global Offensive's cycle.
ZywOo is so amazing that he has almost as many MVP awards for events his team didn't win (six) as he has for events where it did (10). Thankfully, one of the latter events is BLAST Paris Major, where ZywOo escaped the fate of being the best player to never win a CS:GO Major.
You have to split hairs with lists like these, and device is ahead of ZywOo by the thinnest hair in the universe. What the Dane has that the Frenchman doesn't is longevity. No one would argue that device ever reached the levels of absurd individual dominance of ZywOo, but eight years of top-level performances cannot be ignored.
Device lived up to his nickname, acting as the ultimate device of consistent CS:GO brilliance and evolving into a superstar among stars on the most legendary team in the game's history. Astralis won four Majors, device was MVP for two of them and should have probably won a third. He is also second in all-time MVP awards and among the winningest CS:GO players alongside his Astralis teammates.
It would take something special to outmatch this line of achievements, but sometimes, the most special things in life are the most simple.
No self-respecting ranking of CS:GO players would have anyone else on top besides s1mple. The man dragged average Na'Vi teams to finals and titles for years before he finally got the backing he deserved and swept every big event he could in 2021, completing the Intel Grand Slam along the way. The jewel in s1mple's crown was the victory at PGL Major Stockholm, which silenced even the most devoted critics and solidified his status as the greatest to ever do it.
Some of these legends are enjoying similar success in CS2, others have retired, but they all have something in common--they all helped build CS:GO's illustrious history. We can't wait to see who will follow in their footsteps and be on our CS2 rankings a decade or two down the line, and who knows, we may see a couple of familiar faces.