Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is one of the most popular titles in the esports sector. Unsurprisingly, this first-person shooter has also produced some of the highest-earning esports professionals currently at work today. Although some CS:GO players have managed to maintain their high-level dominance over the years, it’s not uncommon for a fresh-faced up-and-comer to burst onto the scene and displace more established players. Below, we break down the top five CS:GO players of 2021. 

  1. Ilya Zalutskiy (Perfecto)

This Russian esports legend has been playing professionally since 2017. At the tender age of 22, Zalutskiy is one of the youngest CS:GO players on this list. After two short stints playing for Atlants Gaming and Syman Gaming, Zalutskiy has been a firm fixture of Natus Vincere since early 2020. Recent career highlights include helping Natus Vincere secure victory in the ESL Pro League Season 14 finals. Despite a relatively short career span, Zalutskiy has managed to accrue earnings of almost 870,000 US dollars.

  1. Kirill Mikhailov (Boombl4)

Kirill Mikhailov is a teammate of Ilya Zalutskiy, having served as the in-game leader for Natus Vincere since 2019. Before joining the ranks of Natus Vincere, he was a staple fixture of Elements Pro Gaming, Quantum Bellator Fire, and Winstrike Team. His continued success makes him one to watch in the future. In just a few short years, Mikhailov has managed to amass more than 930,000 US dollars in prize earnings. 

  1. Denis Sharipov (electronic)

Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov is yet another Natus Vincere regular. As such, it’s no surprise to see him place highly in the 2021 CS:GO rankings. Sharipov has been more active on the circuit than most of his teammates, having played professionally since 2015. Debuted as part of the ACES line-up, Sharipov has since gone on to play for Rebels, Team Empire, and NokSuKao. He’s been serving as a rifler for Natus Vincere since 2017 and has amassed a respectable 1.3 million US dollars in prize money throughout his career. 

  1. Valeryi Vakhovskiy (B1t)

This Ukrainian CS:GO player might be young, but he’s not lacking in experience. Vakhovskiy made a name for himself as part of the Natus Vincere Junior line-up, before being promoted to the main team roster. Since late 2020, he’s emerged as a real NAVI standout, amassing prize winnings of more than 750,000 US dollars. Don’t be surprised to see this star of tomorrow taking center stage at future tournaments. 

  1. Oleksandr Kostyliev (s1mple)

Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev is without doubt one of the best CS:GO of all time. He’s played with some of the greatest teams in esports, including Amazing Gaming, HellRaisers, Team Liquid, and, more recently, Natus Vincere. Since 2016, he’s amassed several ‘Player of the Year’ awards and consistently ranks within top 10 lists. Since becoming a professional, he’s secured a fortune of more than 1.45 million US dollars in tournament earnings. Eager to keep an eye on s1mple’s progress? Make 1337pro CSGO news your first port of call for the latest Global Offensive developments and match results.