Top 20 players of 2022: Jame (20)
Dzhami "Jame" Ali takes the opening spot in the Top 20 ranking for 2022, supported by 1xBet, thanks to his consistency throughout the year and his MVP-worthy IEM Rio Major performance.
Top 20 players of 2022: Introduction
Jame’s first appearances on HLTV came in April 2017 and it wasn’t long before he got his first real break, joining AVANGAR in August and linking up with what would become long-time teammates in the form of Alexey "Qikert" Golubev and Timur "buster" Tulepov. The majority-Kazakh squad began a steady grind up the world rankings, reaching the top 20 in 2018 by virtue of a litany of online cup and qualifier wins, with Jame cementing himself as the star player, averaging a 1.16 rating in 2018. Such form earned himself a bold prediction nod from Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander.
2019 was the year AVANGAR, with some changes, really put themselves on the map, making the final of the StarLadder Berlin Major and winning the BLAST Pro Series Moscow. Jame picked up an EVP for the Major and the MVP in Moscow, thoroughly emphasising his credentials as one of the best AWPers in the world.
For an in-depth look at Jame's early career history, check out his top 20 article from 2021.
The Russian sniper had to wait until 2021 for his first HLTV top 20 appearance. He earned the 10th place, one he duly earned with a fantastic year displaying his remarkably high floor and great Big match performances (1.14 rating in 36 maps). Despite his team often yoyo-ing between top placings, such as winning cs_summit and top-two showings at EPIC League CIS and IEM Katowice, and early exits, such as their flops at the StarLadder CIS RMR and ESL Pro League Season 14, Jame himself was a paragon of consistency, being a valuable player at least in 12 of the 13 events he played. It was a vindication of his oft-maligned playstyle as he was the most lethal AWPer of the year on paper, ranking first in AWP kills per round (0.48) whilst being one of the hardest to kill (0.54 deaths per round), and one of the best clutchers, his 93 1vsX wins putting him third on a per round basis.
|TournamentEvent||Team (place)||Rating 2.0 (in team)||ADR||KPR||DPR||Impact||KAST||Award|
|1.18 (1st, +12%)||67.9||0.70||0.53||1.02||78.6%|
|1.14 (1st, +11%)||70.8||0.71||0.54||1.03||72.2%|
|0.98 (4th, -1%)||57.5||0.52||0.54||0.80||71.0%|
|1.07 (3rd, +7%)||71.8||0.69||0.61||1.07||70.1%|
|1.01 (1st, +24%)||67.0||0.66||0.57||0.87||64.1%|
|1.09 (2nd, -0%)||65.1||0.61||0.49||0.88||74.6%|
IEM Rio Major
|1.30 (1st, +13%)||74.9||0.78||0.46||1.20||79.6%||MVP|
BLAST World Final
|0.86 (3rd, -2%)||61.1||0.55||0.67||0.71||67.2%|
2022 was a turbulent year for Jame and his squad, with circumstances outside of the game forcing the team into roster changes and a swap to playing under a neutral banner, but nonetheless Outsiders and their team captain still managed to find their peak at times throughout 2022.
Jame and his troops warmed up for the year in style by strolling to victory in ESL Challenger February, dispatching of the likes of Movistar Riders, Complexity and FURIA without dropping a single map, the trophy secured without Jame needing to lead the way; despite posting a healthy 1.22 rating over 6 maps, he was the fourth-rated player in the team.
With a tournament victory already under their belts Virtus.pro could travel to Katowice, the first Big Event of the year, in high spirits, and considering their status as the No. 4 team in the world they could also count themselves among the favourites. They made the playoffs with relative ease, comfortably beating Copenhagen Flames and Ninjas in Pyjamas to ensure a quarter-final berth, however they found themselves easily bested by Heroic to prevent them taking a direct spot in the semi-finals. A mammoth near-50 round epic in the first map of their quarter-final went the way of G2, and the CIS squad could not recover to make a push for top-four. Nonetheless Virtus.pro had produced a successful start to the year, and as per the usual Jame was the highest-rated player on the team and one of the best in the event, topping the charts for KAST (78.6%) and AWP kills per round (0.46) on the way to a 1.18 rating. In the end, he came away with his first VP nod thanks to his impressive floor, falling just short of an EVP award in his first big outing of the year.
Towards the end of IEM Katowice and prior to ESL Pro League Season 15, circumstances outside of the team’s control took hold. Russia’s war on Ukraine brought negative attention to the Virtus.pro organisation and due to their ties to the Russian state, the team were forced to play under the Outsiders tag for the rest of the year. Not only did it create a negative atmosphere around the team, but it also threw the future of their roster into disarray.
”The situation outside of the game had a great impact on our result at that Major. As for Timur and Mareks’ departure, the first signs appeared after Katowice, but we knew for sure at EPL. It’s life, everything comes to an end sooner or later. It’s good that we won ESL Challenger together at the start of the year and at least had the opportunity to attend EPL.”
In their first outing as Outsiders, the CIS team struggled. They did manage to beat the champions of Katowice, FaZe, 2-0 in what was a somewhat surprising result, but this was not enough to earn them anything better than 17-20th place as they were handily beaten by Vitality, ENCE and FURIA. Jame himself still managed to conjure up solid performances, serving as the stiffest resistance by far against Vitality and topping the scoreboards in the victories over FaZe and Sprout. He finished with a 1.14 rating, 0.7 KPR and six 1vsX wins in what was an overall weaker showing from the team. This earned him his second VP award of the year.
Outsiders were understandably in less than ideal shape heading into the PGL Major Antwerp cycle, all things considered. Their underwhelming Pro League finish had seen them slide down the world rankings, negative attention swirled around their organisation and had them competing under a neutral tag, and their form at the European RMR reflected these circumstances. A routine opening win over underdogs Unique gave way to losses against BIG and MOUZ, squads outside the top-15 that a full strength Outsiders would be confident of dispatching, even in best-of-ones. Jame was out of sorts personally in these losses, posting sub-1.00 ratings in both. This left the team needing two best-of-three victories to make the Major and they managed to pull it out of the bag, grabbing two narrow wins over Dignitas and SAW to book their Challengers Stage place in Antwerp. They rode their luck at times, squeaking overtime victories in both series, epitomised by a memorable 1v1 Jame clutch against SAW that kept the Major dream alive for him and his squad.
It was at this point that rumours of Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis leaving the squad gathered real momentum, with reports surfacing that he was going to consider his future with the team after the conclusion of the Major, and Virtus.pro’s general manager giving an interview stating that the rifler was “under the worst pressure of all players.”
You would have been forgiven for having modest expectations for Outsiders heading into the Challengers Stage in Antwerp, considering their form and circumstances leading up to it, but they rose to the occasion and secured a 3-1 record to advance to the next phase. They racked up best-of-one wins over MIBR and Complexity either side of a loss to ENCE, Jame hard-carrying the win over Complexity with a 23-5, 1.77-rated performance. He cooled off dramatically in the all-important qualification bout against FORZE however, his 0.95 rating overshadowed by the 1.33-rated showing of YEKINDAR. Regardless, Legends Stage qualification was secured, and a 1.09 rating for the Challengers Stage displayed Jame’s continued overall consistency, even if there were more peaks and troughs than we were used to seeing from the Russian sniper.
The Legends Stage proved to be a step too far for Jame and company. They simply weren’t in good enough shape to hang with the elite teams, and losses to Cloud9, ENCE and G2 ended their Major in 12-14th place. Part of this was due to the complete disappearance of Jame as the AWPer was the fourth-rated player on his team, produced an uncharacteristically low 0.98 rating, and only managed a 1.00 or better rating in two of the six maps he played. Considering his generally high floor, this performance stands out for the wrong reasons.
The foreshadowed changes took place in the Outsiders roster after the Major concluded, with YEKINDAR and buster leaving the team to be replaced by Petr "fame" Bolyshev and David "n0rb3r7" Danielyan. A brief respite from top-level play followed and seemed the perfect opportunity for the Outsiders boys to incorporate their new players and build some confidence, Jame included. They accomplished their task admirably, sweeping aside Illuminar and Falcons in the ESL Pro League Conference to ensure their qualification for the next season of Pro League. Evgenii "FL1T" Lebedev was the man of the hour for the side, dominating both series played, but the entire squad sported excellent ratings; Jame’s 1.17 over four maps was the lowest amongst Outsiders.
Roobet Cup was next on the agenda, and the online tournament represented an excellent stepping stone for a new-look Outsiders roster, a chance to get some game time in against tier-one opposition without the pressure of a LAN environment. Unfortunately, it seemed Outsiders were not yet ready to face tier-one opposition. They were unceremoniously dumped out of the competition in joint-last place, but once again Jame was a solid performer. The team captain was the second-rated player amongst his team in the losses to FURIA and FORZE, managed four 1vsX wins across five maps, and took a VP mention for his efforts overall. Having seen the team in action, Jame was philosophical on the prospect of this new roster reaching the heights of the old.
“It was possible, but not in a short run. We had to rebuild everything and get used to playing together. Many factors had to come into place for us to return to our previous level. In our system, in which I’m a sniper and an IGL, Mareks’ role was pivotal, and we worked a few years to get on the same page in terms of in-game understanding.”
”It’s better to lower your expectations to avoid disappointment. We didn’t have fast and sensational results but were making steady progress. Eventually, everything worked out in the best way possible.”
The team were once again granted the chance to work their way into some form with another sub-top event, this time ESL Challenger Valencia 2022. Again Outsiders showed they were a cut above tier-two, regardless of any shaky form, and they marched to the grand-final without dropping a single map. They were ultimately bested in a hotly-contested series against Movistar Riders, but considering this was the Spaniards at the peak of their powers and set for a stellar run at Cologne, this tournament performance was a positive one for the Russian side. Again Jame was stable yet unable to hit his peak, with FL1T once again called upon to be the main carry; the team captain managed a 1.06 rating to his rifler’s 1.17.
Their falling stature at the time — Outsiders had slipped outside of the top-15 in the world — meant the Jame-led squad had to ply their way through the Play-In to qualify for IEM Cologne, the final tournament before the playerbreak. They eased their way to qualification, dispatching top-20 sides Imperial and BIG in confident fashion. Jame seemed to be back to something near his best for these matches, blowing away Imperial with a staggering 1.79-rated performance before a solid showing against BIG, earning him a team-leading 1.33 rating overall for the Play-In.
It seemed their promising showings in Valencia and the Play-In were a false dawn for Outsiders as they went crashing out of the main event in joint-last place. They were comfortably brushed aside 2-0 by Cloud9 and Imperial, never seeming capable of really pushing either side to their limit and suffering from poor individual performances all around. Jame was the team’s best player, but this was with a 1.01 rating.
The summer playbreak came at the right time for Outsiders. They had shown the new roster had potential, as evidenced by their dismantling of lower tier opposition in Valencia and the Cologne Play-In, but that time was still needed to hone their new talent so that they could compete against the very best squads.
ESL Pro League Season 16 marked the return of top-level Counter-Strike, and this time around Outsiders went one better than their 2-3 record in Season 15’s group stage; straightforward wins over BIG, FTW and MIBR booked them a place in the first round of the playoffs. Again the squad seemed to lack the edge required to beat the better teams, losing to G2 and FaZe in relatively convincing fashion, but they were no doubt improved.
This held true in the playoffs as Outsiders eliminated FURIA 2-1 to make the quarter-finals, but could not muster enough to even take Vitality to a third map when they got there, albeit both maps in that series were close, with the second going to overtime. Despite still being shy of the top-tier teams it seemed Outsiders were getting closer. Jame was once again short of the consistency he is known for, posting a solid if unspectacular group stage performance, topping the charts to help carry his team to victory over FURIA, only to sit bottom amongst his teammates in the loss to Vitality and be a real shortcoming with a 0.86 rating. Still his performance was enough to earn him a 1.09 rating overall, second in the team for the event, and his fourth VP award for the year.
Jame’s year up to this point had been short of his performance in 2021. Whilst still a consistent performer overall, he wasn’t a player who could be relied upon to go 1.10 or better in the vast majority of events he played in, and his floor had dropped significantly; he was at least a valuable player in 12 of the 13 events he played in 2021, whilst up to this point he had only secured four VP awards, and no EVPs or MVPs, in 2022.
Once again a Major cycle enveloped the Counter-Strike world, and Outsiders made their way to Malta for the Road to Rio European RMR. They started off strong, with victories over Monte and more impressively Heroic, but Jame displayed match-to-match inconsistency that punctuated his event; he went 24-9 against the former, and 12-17 against the latter. Series play followed against Natus Vincere and OG, and two losses put Outsiders on the brink of failing to qualify for Rio. Again Jame was all over the place, posting a 0.73 rating against Natus Vincere but then a valiant 1.12 against OG. When push came to shove Outsiders got the job done, crushing Falcons 2-0 to book a spot in Rio, and Jame’s 1.27 rating brought his average for the RMR up to another solid-yet-unspectacular 1.08.
With qualification to the Major secured, Outsiders found the time to squeeze in one last tier-two warm up event: ESL Challenger Rotterdam. Whilst it wasn’t quite as plain sailing as the previous Challenger events had been for the Russian side — they lost a narrow 14-16 to ENCE in the group stage and were taken to overtime twice in three maps against Fluxo — they still managed to march their way to the grand final. Once there they exacted revenge over ENCE, beating the European mix 2-0 to grab their first trophy with the new lineup. Winning an event was an excellent way to prepare for the Major, particularly considering the series victories they picked up over Major attendees MOUZ and ENCE, and fame stepping up to provide a 1.27-rated performance over nine maps in his best performance since joining the team was a boon.
Thus Outsiders arrived in Rio in arguably the best shape they had been in all year, and they recovered from an opening best-of-one loss to MOUZ (6-16) to defeat IHC, Vitality and fnatic to secure a spot in the Legends Stage. Jame was in good form for the victories over IHC and fnatic, although he did take a back seat in the key matches, with n0rb3r7 providing the carry force against Vitality and fame doing so in the deciding map against fnatic. Nonetheless Jame had definitely ramped up his performance since the RMR, his 1.18 rating putting him second in his team for the Challengers Stage. He was also a fundamental part of his team’s success on CT-side, with a powerful 1.37 rating on defence.
The Legends Stage in Rio was where Outsiders and particularly Jame began to really hit their stride. The sniper did his best to drag his team to victory in their opening best-of-one with a 1.16 rating and 76% KAST, but could not prevent a loss to Heroic (9-16). Next came a victory over Ninjas in Pyjamas (16-12), where the trio of fame, n0rb3r7 and Jame got the bulk of the work done. Jame was absolutely vital in getting Outsiders to the brink of qualification with a win against Spirit (16-14), providing a chart-topping 1.38 rating and 81.6 ADR. The Russian side sealed a spot in the playoffs with a routine 2-0 win over MOUZ, with Jame dominating on Overpass (16-10) posting just shy of a 30-bomb and 100 ADR. This was the top-quality AWPer we knew from his peak moments, with his map-to-map floor being a 1.12 rating, and it helped drive Outsiders convincingly onward in the second Major of the year.
The Russian sniper saved his best form for the playoffs however, as Outsiders set about a run that would go down in the annals of CS:GO history. First Jame and co. put fnatic to bed 2-0 with the team captain providing the most consistent presence across both maps, if ending up slightly overshadowed by FL1T. Then came a rematch with MOUZ, a team the current Outsiders roster had already beaten in series play in Rotterdam. Jame was the shining light in this 2-1 series victory, topping the scoreboard to carry his team to victory on Ancient and providing the bulk of the resistance in a loss on Overpass, ending with a 1.40 rating after FL1T worked his magic to help take the final map of Inferno. This series provided one of the highlight clutches of the year, with Jame commenting that the only reason he ended up going for the clutch was due to misinformation coming from his teammates:
“You wouldn’t believe me, but it was still my usual playstyle. It’s just that my teammates gave me fake information.”
Already Jame and Outsiders had shattered expectations by making the grand final, pouncing upon the opportunity afforded them by the underperformance and early elimination of many of the favourites. Heroic awaited the Russian squad in the final, and the pre-game indications had the match pegged as a 50/50; Heroic had won the only series they played thus far in the year, but that was at Katowice against the previous iteration of the Outsiders roster, and since that they had traded best-of-ones, the Russians winning at the RMR and the Danes winning in the Legends Stage.
The match itself was anything but close, as Outsiders romped to a convincing 2-0 victory to lift the Major trophy in style. Jame continued his fantastic consistency throughout the top-16 into the final, tearing through the Danes on Mirage with 82.1% KAST, +9 K-D and a 1.32 rating, before putting in a tidy and efficient performance as his squad mauled Heroic 16-5 on Overpass. For his efforts Jame was awarded the coveted Major MVP medal, his phenomenal AWP kills per round (0.54, #1 in event) K-D differential (+98, #1 in event) and deaths per round (0.46, lowest in event) emphasising his spectacular return to peak form. He was also right up there for damage differential per round (+20.7), kills per round (0.78), and 1vsX clutches won (7), showing that he had not only consistent output but also vital and high-impact contributions, leading to a 1.20 overall impact rating.
”We had many differences from the other teams. I could tell you a lot, but we will never find out what was the key factor. Perhaps, we were simply the strongest team in the tournament at the time. Competition has been insane the last six months, each team in the top 10 just need to find strong individual form to become a title contender.”
When asked if he felt the team could continue their title-winning form, Jame was modest and reserved:
“Maybe I’ve reached my peak, or I did at the Major - time will tell. All I can do is keep working and put my soul into it, so my conscience will be clear no matter the result.”
After the euphoric high of winning the biggest spectacle that the Counter-Strike calendar has to offer, Outsiders finished their year with a whimper at the BLAST World Final, an event played on a new update featuring nerfs to the AWP and M4A1-S as well as a new map. They bombed out of the tournament in joint-last place with losses to G2 (0-2) and Liquid (1-2), meaning YEKINDAR got one over on his old teammates in their first head-to-head since his departure. The entire team was out of sorts in Abu Dhabi, and Jame was no exception as he posted his worst event of 2022 by far; a 0.86 rating, 61.1 ADR and 67.2% KAST made for a forgettable end to the year.
”We just couldn’t prepare for BLAST as well as we did for the Major. But even then, our chances of winning wouldn’t be 100%. There is a few dozen reasons, hopefully we will draw the right conclusions.”
When asked to reflect on his best moment of the year, Jame had a suitably flippant and troll-ish response:
"I watched The Sopranos, it's a good TV series."
He was more sombre when reflecting on the toughest moment, opining that "the whole year was very difficult."
Why was Jame the 20th best player of 2022?
Similarly to 2021, Jame was one of the most deadly AWPers of the year, scoring the second-most AWP kills per round out of all players who were candidates for the top 20 (0.42). He also had a high opening kill success rate (66.2%, 2nd highest of all top 20 players), but once again this was in the context of a low percentage of attempts (14.9%, 2nd lowest).
The Russian sniper also displayed generally solid consistency and his stumbles were rare, his only bad event being the World Final at the end of the year. The consistency of his contributions round-to-round were emphasised by his 74.3% KAST (7th highest), he continued his excellent efficiency with 0.52 DPR (joint 1st), and produced an impressive level in his "elite" event performances (1.13 rating overall) with a solid sample size.
His peak for the year, an MVP-winning IEM Rio Major performance, played a key part in him making the list as otherwise he lacked the number of peaks of the players above him and even some below, with no other EVP+ awards. He did however also excel at one of the other biggest events of the year, IEM Katowice, and was just shy of an EVP nod for that event.
Jame's lack of direct impact (0.98 impact rating) and his otherwise impressive 1.12 rating stemming from his ability to survive also prevented him from being any higher. This was further showcased by him sporting the lowest ADR of all players on the list (66.7) and by extension the fact he had the lowest KPR (0.66) and APR (0.07).
Bold prediction by 1xBet
Jame went for the same bold prediction as he did in 2021, choosing 18-year-old Aleksandr "KaiR0N-" Anashkin. He was inspired by the fact the youngster was discovered by the player Jame started his career with, saying last year: "PASHANOJ found this guy. I believe that he will make himself known."
KaiR0N- is currently on the Aurora bench, having represented the squad at the Road to Rio Europe RMR. The rifler has played primarily with Russian sides such as ex-ETHEREAL but speaks three languages — Russian, English, and German — and has had stints in international outfits Wolsung, Budapest Five, EC Brugge, and PORTUGAL.
Stay tuned to our Top 20 players of 2022 ranking and take a look at the Introduction article to learn more about how the players were selected.