Counter-Strike: Global Offensive veterans have proven to be the players to watch in Counter-Strike 2. The best teams in esports have been training on CS2 maps to level up towards beating their competition. Fans are flocking to watch the top CS2 players in international tournaments, carrying Counter-Strike’s strength forward in the game’s new version.
The new Source 2 game engine has accelerated graphics and gameplay to boost CS2 ahead. Top teams in CS2, including Team Liquid, FaZe Clan, and others, are bringing the heat just as they did in CSGO.
Here’s a look at the top CS2 players to watch in 2024.
Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev is a Ukrainian CS2 player. He has been a successful Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro for many years. s1mple can blast his enemies with an AWP like few other competitors. The AWPer has earned more than $1.7 million from CSGO and CS2 tournaments combined in his gaming career.
S1mple took to professional gaming more than a decade ago by joining LAN DODGERS. Courage Gaming, Hashtag, HellRaisers, Team Liquid, and Natus Vincere are a few of the prominent CSGO teams that he has played with.
His performance in CSGO tournaments has been pivotal in his squads defeating rival teams. Natus Vincere won first place at BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020 with s1mple mowing down his opponents in award-winning form. The tournament had a prize pool of $1 million and rewarded s1mple and his team Natus Vincere with a grand prize of $600,000.
PGL Major Stockholm 2021 was a major tournament that took place at the Avicii Arena in Stockholm. It had 24 teams competing for a prize pool of $2 million, and Natus Vincere placed first by letting s1mple pave the way past his opponents.
s1mple’s dominance can hardly be questioned, and there’s little doubt that so long as the star player remains active, he’ll remain among the top players in CS2.
Robin “ropz” Kool
Robin “ropz” Kool is a professional CS2 player from Estonia. Born on December 22, 1999, ropz was the first Estonian CS2 gamer to attend and win a major CSGO tournament. He has been actively participating in CSGO and CS2 tournaments since 2015.
He is currently a member of FaZe Clan. ropz has won a total of $1.3 million in his professional esports journey. He has been named the MVP of multiple tournaments, including ESL Pro League Season 17, the Thunderpick World Championship 2023, and CS Asia Championships 2023. ropz became a part of the prominent team mousesports in 2017, securing top positions in nine tournaments while playing there.
The Estonian CS2 pro has been performing at the peak of his gaming career since joining FaZe Clan in 2022. FaZe Clan earned $1 million by winning the Intel Grand Slam in season 4. ropz and FaZe Clan beat such top teams as Cloud9, Team Vitality, and G2 Esports during the competition. His skills as a rifleman are rarely questioned as he has etched his name onto numerous Counter-Strike trophies, and ropz looks to be one of the hottest talents in the game as CS2 competition begins to heat up in earnest in 2024.
Nikola “NiKo” Kovač
Nikola “NiKo” Kovač has been a consistent CSGO star across years of tournament play. Few Counter-Strike pros have been able to match NiKo’s consistency as a top player.
He began playing Counter-Strike 1.6 professionally in 2011 for FullProof. NiKo made his pro CSGO debut for iNation in 2012. He quickly proved himself to be capable of playing at the game’s highest levels.
After successfully winning CSGO tournaments for iNation, NiKo played for GamePub, aimface, mousesports, FaZe Clan, and G2 Esports. He was integral to G2 Esports in winning Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2023, held at the Spodek Arena. NiKo and his teammates helped to maintain G2’s long-held position among the top teams in the Counter-Strike world.
G2 Esports has qualified for the IEM Katowice 2024 by placing first in the Intel Extreme Masters Cologne 2023. Organized by ESL, Intel Extreme Masters Cologne 2023 was held at the LANXESS Arena in Cologne. The offline event had a total of 24 teams competing for a prize pool of $1 million. NiKo shredded his enemies at the event to win $400,000 with his teammates, setting the stage for what could be a bright 2024 for the player and his squad.