MVP leaderboard update: First half of 2021

Ahead of the start of ESL Pro League Season 14, where a player will secure the MVP award powered by SkinBaron, we take a look at those who stood out so far this year.

A four-week break that splits the competitive year into two halves is coming to an end with the imminent start of ESL Pro League Season 14, the online tournament featuring 18 of the world's best teams. Before the Pro League trophy is lifted and someone gets handed the Most Valuable Player award for his contributions, we look back at the players that were most impactful at the biggest tournaments of 2021 so far.

s1mple has now won 15 MVPs in his career

The year has been defined by an otherworldly Oleksandr "⁠s1mple⁠" Kostyliev — who seems keen on reclaiming the title of the best player in the world after runner-up finishes to French prodigy Mathieu "⁠ZywOo⁠" Herbaut in 2019 and 2020 —, as well as the breakthrough of Gambit who sat on top of the rankings for 14 weeks.

Members of the Russian squad have already secured five MVP awards in 2021, while the Ukrainian superstar claimed four all by himself. In total, 12 MVPs were given out to seven different players, with Extra Salt's Justin "⁠FaNg⁠" Coakley and MOUZ' David "⁠frozen⁠" Čerňanský being the only non-CIS players to make the list.

s1mple - 4 MVPs

A magnificent display from s1mple in the BLAST Premier Global Final started the year off on the right foot for the Ukrainian as his 1.41 rating over 14 maps played allowed Natus Vincere to complete the lower-bracket run and win the title at the first Big Event of 2021. A few unfruitful months followed before s1mple won his second MVP of the year, at DreamHack Masters Spring, again posting a 1.41 rating.

Natus Vincere's sniper was relentless at the end of the season, claiming back-to-back MVPs at the StarLadder CIS RMR and IEM Cologne, the latter being one of the most dominant performances at a Big LAN Event in history (1.51 rating). With four new MVPs to his name this year (15 in total), s1mple has closed the gap on the all-time MVP-leader Nicolai "⁠device⁠" Reedtz, who has just three more — 18.

s1mple's MVPs in 2021:

BLAST Premier Global Final
DreamHack Masters Spring
StarLadder CIS RMR
IEM Cologne

Ax1Le, Hobbit - 2 MVPs

Rifler Sergey "⁠Ax1Le⁠" Rykhtorov climbed out of Dmitry "⁠sh1ro⁠" Sokolov's shadow in 2021 by claiming the first two MVPs of his career. Despite a second-place finish to Heroic, the 19-year-old star was awarded his inaugural medal at ESL Pro League Season 13 thanks to a great level throughout the tournament.

Ax1Le performed well in every tournament Gambit played this year, never dropping below a 1.09 event rating, but truly shone in his team's IEM Summer victory. With a 1.33 rating from 15 maps played, including a phenomenal 1.49-rated grand final, the Russian secured his second MVP in June.

At the events where Ax1Le wasn't at his peak, his rifling partner in Gambit made the difference. Abay "⁠HObbit⁠" Khasenov was incredible at EPIC League CIS, with a 1.32 rating across a whopping 21 maps securing him the award — his first since DreamHack Open Winter in 2016 over four years ago.

An unimpressive IEM Summer followed for HObbit, but the 27-year-old ensured a three-tournament winning streak for Gambit by putting in work at the BLAST Premier Spring Final. Finishing all nine maps played with a 1.11+ rating, he earned his second MVP of the year based on stellar consistency.

Ax1Le MVPs in 2021:

ESL Pro League 13
IEM Summer

Hobbit MVPs in 2021:

EPIC League CIS
BLAST Premier Spring Final

Jame, sh1ro, FaNg, frozen - 1 MVP

Four more players earned MVPs in 2021, with Dzhami "⁠Jame⁠" Ali claiming the first one on offer, from cs_summit 7 at the end of January. Virtus.pro's AWPer was far ahead of the pack at the event and was a clear-cut pick for the Most Valuable Player.

Despite an all-around great year, sh1ro only picked up one medal so far. His comes from one of the most competitive events of 2021, IEM Katowice, where Gambit secured their first big victory. The young sniper built a strong case for himself in the lead up to the grand final, frustrated his opposition by clutching 19 1vX situations, and eventually eclipsed Mareks "⁠YEKINDAR⁠" Gaļinskis in the MVP race.

The only North American to feature on the list of MVP winners this year is not someone from Liquid or Evil Geniuses, but Extra Salt's FaNg. After finishing runners-up to BIG at FunSpark ULTI 2020 Finals, the 18-year-old Canadian was awarded his first individual accolade at the $250,000 event, where he posted a 1.19 rating and 1.27 impact rating.

Finally, frozen closes out the list of MVP winners in the first half of 2021. With a 1.35 rating, the Slovakian star outshone Robin "⁠ropz⁠" Kool in what was ultimately a brilliant team performance from MOUZ at Flashpoint 3. The European mixture dropped just one map on the way to the title at the first Regional Major Ranking tournament of the year.

Remaining MVPs in 2021:

cs_summit 7 - Russia Jame
IEM Katowice - Russia sh1ro
FunSpark ULTI Europe Final - Canada FaNg
Flashpoint 3 - Slovakia frozen

Who will claim the EPL S14 HLTV MVP powered by SkinBaron?

The month-long tournament featuring the best teams in the world will provide a spectacular platform for players to showcase their skill. Over a hundred players will participate in the event, but only one will walk away with the MVP award, which we will award in cooperation with our partner SkinBaron.

SkinBaron - Buy and sell skins fast and secure

Will s1mple add another medal to his collection, or can Ax1Le or HObbit shrink the gap to the top? Perhaps it is time for ZywOo to claim his first MVP of 2021, or maybe we will witness a new player claiming the highest individual accolade? Tune in to the event and find out in the aftermath of the ESL Pro League Season 14 grand final, scheduled for Sunday, September 12.

Estonia Robin 'ropz' Kool
Robin 'ropz' Kool
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
989
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.62
Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Age:
27
Rating 1.0:
1.16
Maps played:
1722
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.62
Slovakia David 'frozen' Čerňanský
David 'frozen' Čerňanský
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.13
Maps played:
1068
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.65
Russia Sergey 'Ax1Le' Rykhtorov
Sergey 'Ax1Le' Rykhtorov
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
796
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.63
Russia Dzhami 'Jame' Ali
Dzhami 'Jame' Ali
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.14
Maps played:
1052
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.55
Kazakhstan Abay 'HObbit' Khasenov
Abay 'HObbit' Khasenov
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1029
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
France Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.28
Maps played:
844
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.62
Russia Dmitry 'sh1ro' Sokolov
Dmitry 'sh1ro' Sokolov
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.22
Maps played:
733
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.53
Latvia Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
975
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.70
Canada Justin 'FaNg' Coakley
Justin 'FaNg' Coakley
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
434
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.69
Ukraine Oleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Oleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Age:
25
Rating 1.0:
1.25
Maps played:
1419
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.64
#2
 | 
Finland iBait
Aleksib got robbed hard
2021-08-16 09:55
20 replies
AleksiB robbed everybody
2021-08-16 10:03
18 replies
allu was right holy shit....
2021-08-16 10:10
8 replies
Allu ruined ence
2021-08-17 05:35
7 replies
and you got baited. gg.
2021-08-17 11:40
6 replies
your mom got baited
2021-08-17 13:50
5 replies
nt.
2021-08-17 14:59
4 replies
nah it was a bad try by you
2021-08-17 15:08
3 replies
nt
2021-08-17 15:12
2 replies
silver replies
2021-08-17 15:13
1 reply
you wont realize it but you still replying to me thus baiting you to continue to reply to me, also nt i bet my rank is higher than yours.
2021-08-17 15:40
AleksiB robbed my virginity
2021-08-16 10:20
8 replies
truely sorry about that
2021-08-16 10:22
5 replies
He robbed us all
2021-08-16 10:26
This nothing to be sorry about but proud
2021-08-16 13:01
2 replies
Your ass would be sticky from hair gel afterwards... no thanks
2021-08-16 15:36
1 reply
#92
 | 
Finland 5way
he doesn't use hair gel, atleast it doesn't look like it
2021-08-16 18:02
Why be sorry? That's great news!
2021-08-16 13:10
it was a gift
2021-08-16 10:55
1 reply
gift from a god, he recieved the holy juice
2021-08-16 14:04
#49
 | 
Finland uSnaj69
+1
2021-08-16 10:56
CIS onliners
2021-08-16 09:55
10 replies
WAIT.. ZYWHO?!!🤣🤣🤣🤣WHERE THEM BAGUETTES???
2021-08-16 11:17
8 replies
Jesus fucking Christ at least show your flag, you snowflake
2021-08-16 12:15
5 replies
Show your flag You snowflake Cool that rhymes
2021-08-16 12:48
1 reply
it's not a rhyme, but it is two lines of cretic meter [SHOW your FLAG YOU snowFLAKE] (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretic)
2021-08-16 12:59
From eu. Central eu. Whats the point??
2021-08-16 12:56
2 replies
Russia, Ukraine or one of the CIS countries
2021-08-16 13:25
1 reply
Im from the heart of EU moron. Now thats it. No more wasting time on j3 like you 😉
2021-08-16 13:35
no scener talking hiding his flag:
2021-08-16 12:47
1 reply
Actually my country has no scene cuz we have no inhabitants maybe?? European tho
2021-08-16 13:24
+1
2021-08-16 16:43
Ez4s0mple
2021-08-16 09:55
zywho?
2021-08-16 09:55
8 replies
#23
 | 
Denmark pebblez
Who is ZywOo? ZywOo was the #1 player of 2019 and 2020 by HLTV and is likely to be #2 player of 2021, what a great player!
2021-08-16 10:09
5 replies
#45
 | 
Russia ToughGuy
he won't be 2nd if vitality continue to be dogshit
2021-08-16 10:44
2 replies
#55
 | 
Ireland tka4
+1 Will be a miracle if he gets top 5 at the rate they're going at...
2021-08-16 12:01
1 reply
lol
2021-08-16 12:24
s1mple got robbed last year, lucky for ZyWho, biased HLTV thought "Let's make ZyWho 2 times top1 in a row because we don't like ruskis so that he can get 3 times in a row and beat the record", too bad no MVPs this year for french.
2021-08-17 12:40
1 reply
#103
 | 
Denmark pebblez
copium
2021-08-17 12:41
#35
 | 
Europe vibg0r
Name checks out
2021-08-16 10:26
1 reply
+1
2021-08-16 10:27
Nice
2021-08-16 09:55
xd
2021-08-16 09:56
s4mple
2021-08-16 09:57
#10
 | 
Poland Snoozie1
This FaNg MVP is so cringe
2021-08-16 09:57
10 replies
yeah the only "top tier" team was big cuz heroic didnt even play xd
2021-08-16 09:58
+1
2021-08-16 10:03
+1
2021-08-16 10:04
+1
2021-08-16 10:07
#22
 | 
England julz!
how is it cringe, what
2021-08-16 10:09
2 replies
there was only 3 good teams and fang wasnt even best player in that tournament e. and they didn’t even win that tournament
2021-08-16 10:29
1 reply
#78
 | 
England julz!
cringe is a rather odd word to use
2021-08-16 13:19
0/8 shut up
2021-08-16 10:14
+1 it was purely to do something for NA CS
2021-08-16 10:14
#97
 | 
Chile cristiaan
XDDD
2021-08-16 20:30
no astralis MVPs(( yet:))))
2021-08-16 09:57
1 reply
Sadly. Dev1ce probably never getting a MVP again
2021-08-16 10:14
where is zywho?
2021-08-16 10:03
ZyWoo #1 s0mple #21
2021-08-16 10:05
7 replies
Go suck your mom 🤡
2021-08-16 10:12
2 replies
#37
 | 
Europe vibg0r
Calm down forsaken
2021-08-16 10:27
Calm down forsaken
2021-08-16 10:55
nt zywoo is not even top 4 this year
2021-08-16 10:21
3 replies
+11🤣🔥🔥
2021-08-16 11:17
8/8
2021-08-16 12:53
+100000000
2021-08-17 22:05
#19
 | 
Sweden Svahn
Bait thread by Hltv
2021-08-16 10:05
#21
 | 
Romania Pirlinho7
Zywho 0 MVP hahahahahaha Ez 4 S1mple aka CR7 of CS:GO
2021-08-16 10:08
15 replies
Messi has the most mvp's bozo
2021-08-16 10:15
5 replies
#46
 | 
Romania Pirlinho7
In this thread are the mvps of the most important tournaments,not mvps against tier 5 teams. And to make this related to football,tier 5 = huesca,eibar,mallorca,granada and these sort of teams against who messi got 90% of his MOTM(mvps).
2021-08-16 10:46
4 replies
google.com/search?q=cr7+goals+for+portug.. nice teams he scores against lithuania, azerbaiyan, feroe islands, calgliari, crotone... stop talking nonsense
2021-08-16 12:29
3 replies
#65
 | 
Romania Pirlinho7
You should stop talking nonsense,most of Ronaldo's goals at the international matches are scored in official matches(btw he has 109,joint most goals ever scored on the international stage) while messi has more of his international goals scored in friendlies than in official matches...
2021-08-16 12:34
2 replies
i guess it's easier to score against brazil in a friendly, than against lithuania, estonia, north corea, azerbaijan, kazahstan in a official. + some of those goals are also scored in friendly games LMAO Messi is clear
2021-08-16 15:39
You're saying S1mple top 2? Cuz Messi is better than CR7. CR7 is not even best Ronaldo.
2021-08-16 10:34
7 replies
#44
 | 
Romania Pirlinho7
Pfahahahaha imagine comparing R9 to one if not the greatest players of all time, CR7. I understand the comparation between messi and Cristiano because they really are the greatest players the world of football has ever seen and I see why some say messi is better but for me without a doubt CR7 is better and so is S1mple vs Zywoo.
2021-08-16 10:44
6 replies
HHhahhaha Imagine saying CR7 is better than Messi. Look stats. :) Goal ratio. Ballon d'Ors Golden Boot Most man of the matches.
2021-08-16 10:56
Dont be a clown, everyone knows that messi and ronaldo are better than everyone before them.
2021-08-16 12:06
4 replies
#57
 | 
Romania Pirlinho7
Pff u replied to me :D
2021-08-16 12:07
3 replies
#60
 | 
Azerbaijan djwanksta
Ronaldo>>>CR7
2021-08-16 12:15
1 reply
#62
 | 
Romania Pirlinho7
What a big CR7 hater xDDD
2021-08-16 12:18
I dont remember towards who my reply was aimed
2021-08-16 16:30
So true boisss👌👌
2021-08-16 11:18
K0nfig ez
2021-08-16 10:30
We do not know about the current form of the teams playing EPL 14. So we do not know which team will reach grand final. But the favorites to win the even are NAVI, Gambit and maybe G2. so MVP could be either one of Gambit trio, or S1mple or Niko.
2021-08-16 10:32
1 reply
astralis bro, back to old roles, dupreeh entry again. glaive IGL and new awper)
2021-08-16 10:37
ez4goats1mple
2021-08-16 10:36
XANTARES robbed by FaNg.
2021-08-16 11:32
Cis gods
2021-08-16 12:07
ChirsJ will get the Major MVP
2021-08-16 12:11
ez4GODPREEH ez 2.69+ rating
2021-08-16 12:39
#69
 | 
Sweden sn1pie
GOD s1mple
2021-08-16 12:51
Ez for s1mple
2021-08-16 12:51
EZ4CIS
2021-08-16 13:07
zwyoo it's in your favorite place 0
2021-08-16 13:14
where is godfallen king of taps?
2021-08-16 13:55
Soon electronic will get EPL S14 MVP and we will see how far he can go in the TOP 20, I think he still can make TOP 10 or maybe even better. Let's go NAVI, it should be ez for you.
2021-08-16 14:19
3 replies
if he keeps the performance from cologne, sure he will be easy top 10 if not top 5.
2021-08-16 19:14
2 replies
Yeah, I think that electronic atm. is one of the best players in the world, maybe he doesn't have the best stats, but he plays for the team, and that's what makes him insane player imo., that he can deliever 1.10-1.15 rating while clearly doing everything he does for his team to win, I think he has really grown as a player, so did s1mple.
2021-08-16 20:15
1 reply
+1
2021-08-17 03:02
#88
 | 
Finland AliSabid
EZ for s1mple
2021-08-16 15:56
s1mple is smurfing this year, so ez
2021-08-16 17:49
s1mple GOAT
2021-08-16 18:24
Juanflatroo was robbed
2021-08-16 19:54
oh my god its a simple yes?
2021-08-16 20:33
#107
 | 
Slovenia Rheniel
xantares win rest
2021-08-17 15:08
what a shit year for zywoo so far
2021-08-17 16:26
zyWHO????
2021-08-17 16:51
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