Top 20 players of 2022: frozen (17)
David "frozen" Čerňanský takes home the 17th spot on our top 20 players of the year ranking by 1xBet thanks to his superb skill floor, excellent round-to-round consistency, and late peaks of form at the end of the year.
Top 20 players of 2022: Introduction
frozen's first recorded official matches were in 2015, when he began to play local tournaments in the Czech Republic and Slovakia at the age of 13; however, the rifler's experience with Counter-Strike dates back much further than that, having recorded thousands of hours in CS 1.6 and since the release of CS:GO in 2012. For frozen, it was obvious that CS:GO would be the next big thing, and so he made the transition from 1.6 to CS:GO as soon as possible — a jump that would pay off quite early into his career.
It took no time at all for the Slovakian talent to impress at a national scale, going from a completely unknown 13-year-old kid to a Czech championship winner. At one of his first-ever LAN appearances, playing for nEophyte, he beat eSuba to lift the Mistrovství ČR 2015 trophy, which put his name on the map in the local scene.
"I think this feeling [of thinking I could play professionally] started to grow when I was around 13 and I started attending LANs. Luckily for me, I actually tasted victory pretty early and it made me very hungry, that one of the first two LANs that I went to, I actually won one of them. Who knows how this would go if we would have lost back then."
"This proved to me that I can deal with the pressure but most importantly, that the sky's the limit. It was one of my dreams to lift a LAN trophy and I started to fulfill my goals at a very young age."
frozen continued to make a name for himself in the ensuing months, and his considerable individual ability remained on display as he helped nEophyte to another LAN victory at ASUS Hitpoint Masters Finals 9. His talent drew eyes from more known names in the region, and by 2016, he made the jump to eXtatus, with whom he would spend the next two years of his career.
It was under that banner that frozen began to get noticed on an international scale. More domestic titles went his way as he powered eXtatus to four LAN victories over the course of the year, averaging a 1.20 rating over 68 maps played, and he clinched the title at the Czech championship for a second time to remain on top of the domestic scene as the year drew to a close.
He further elevated in 2017, not only racking up more local titles, but helping eXtatus put up competitive showings in online cups and European open and closed qualifier appearances for bigger events. Nine online cup titles and seven LAN titles went the way of eXtatus in what was an especially notable year for frozen, with the youngster recording a 1.28 average rating across 281 maps in the year. Those statistics only became more impressive when filtered for the 37 maps that he played on LAN — rising to a 1.35 average rating and 1.42 impact rating. His performances earned him Bold Predictions from Håvard "rain" Nygaard and Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács by the end of the year, acknowledgements that followed in the wake of Emil "Magisk" Reif's singular prediction from 2016.
It was also a year in which frozen took part in more international competitions, making his way to Copenhagen Games, Cross Border Esport, and the ELEAGUE Major Boston Europe Minor. The Slovakian rifler recorded his first-ever negative LAN event rating at the Europe Minor as eXtatus lost their GSL group matches to Space Soldiers and PRIDE — his only negative-rated LAN from that point onward until the Legends Stage of the StarLadder Berlin Major in 2019 (0.96).
eXtatus qualified for ESEA Season 26 Global Challenge as 2017 drew to a close, and only just missed out on making ESL Pro League Season 7 at the start of 2018, finishing as the runner-ups to AGO in the grand final of ESEA MDL Season 26 Europe. They followed that up with a 3-4th finish at Global Challenge, where frozen averaged a 1.23 rating against GX, SoaR, and Space Soldiers; took part in V4 Future Sports Festival Budapest, and played in a plethora of other online events in the first half of 2018 before the players parted ways with the organization in July. frozen spent the next several months playing with the same core of players under the GUNRUNNERS banner, another Czech organization, and simultaneously began to be noticed through his performances in FACEIT Pro League.
"This was one of the most important phases in my career and I will be forever thankful to the boys. In those 2 years I tried a bit of tier two tournaments and got to play against good opponents, it just made me want to go to tier one as fast as possible."
"I played with Slovakians for two or three years, we had a lot of slumps and, in the end, there were a lot of roster changes. We didn't know which players to pick because there are not a lot of players you can pick in Czech and Slovakia you can play with, so, in the end, I decided to join a European team and get some new experiences there." - frozen at IEM Sydney 2019
His abilities in pick-up games drew the attention of NoChance, who enlisted him to replace Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom at the start of 2019, but the Slovakian's tenure in the team was short-lived as he was quickly signed by MOUZ in March at the age of 16 — something which frozen accomplished all while still going to high school full-time. The new MOUZ roster was built by Finn "karrigan" Andersen, who reached out to frozen to discuss the lineup and give the youngster his first true chance in a big international organization.
It was an opportunity that frozen seized with gusto, not losing a beat as he continued to put up fearsome numbers against top tier international opposition. He averaged a 1.22 rating in the online stage of ESL Pro League Season 9 and carried that form into his first Big Event, IEM Sydney, posting a 1.30 average rating to help MOUZ qualify for the playoffs by beating BIG, BOOT-d[S], and Renegades. His first title with MOUZ came not long after, at DreamHack Open Tours, and soon frozen was playing in some of the biggest tournaments in the world, taking part in ESL One Cologne and making the Legends Stage of the StarLadder Berlin Major.
His numbers remained strong, not quite at the scale they had been in the lower tier scene, but almost always in the green despite the steep ramp up in competition. Further deep runs at events after the Berlin Major finally gave way to an impressive end to the year for frozen and for MOUZ as a whole, with the team securing three title victories in a row at CS:GO Asia Championships, ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals, and cs_summit 5, as well as a runner-up finish at the year's last event, EPICENTER 2019. frozen only just missed out on the top 20 players list that year, making the honorable mentions list, and ended his first year playing top tier international LANs with a 1.13 average rating and four trophies to his name.
"Coming to a tier one team at 16-years old and having a chance to learn from Finn [karrigan] and chrisJ, that I before only watched in fragmovies, was honestly more than I could ever ask for. I was just grateful and I was absorbing information every single day."
MOUZ began 2020 as they had ended the previous year — in form, and winning more titles. A first place finish over Natus Vincere at ICE Challenge marked a strong start to the year for the European team, with frozen ending the tournament as the second-highest rated player at 1.24, but he missed out on the Most Valuable Player medal due in part to a world-class 1.36-rated showing from Denis "electroNic" Sharipov. IEM Katowice followed, where frozen remained a strong individual performer for MOUZ, but the team's momentum was brought to a grinding halt as play moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
MOUZ managed two more decent results that year, placing second in ESL Pro League Season 11 Europe and in DreamHack Masters Winter Europe, but underwent roster changes during the year as their play suffered severely online. karrigan departed the roster shortly into 2021, and MOUZ floundered in their attempts to return to the level they had been at before, with Christopher "dexter" Nong's addition not able to catapult them back into title contention.
"It was very hard, I was going to LANs almost ever since I started playing CS:GO, so getting out of this rhythm hurt me and I felt caged.. I was just counting days haha."
A title victory in Flashpoint 3, one of the online Regional Major Ranking events, ended up being all MOUZ walked away with that year, and the return to LAN in July offered no comfort as their results didn't improve. frozen's sustained strong performances once again left him just shy of making the top 20 list, finishing the year as the #21 player, and so MOUZ looked to make changes as the new year dawned.
"My goals [for 2022] were reaching a couple of playoffs and getting more consistent as a team but also as an individual, because I really didn't want to miss the top 20 list this year."
|TournamentEvent||Team (place)||Rating 2.0 (in team)||ADR||KPR||DPR||Impact||KAST||Award|
|1.04 (1st, +10%)||71.9||0.66||0.61||0.94||72.2%|
|1.10 (2nd, +4%)||73.1||0.65||0.59||0.93||77.1%|
|0.97 (3rd, +2%)||69.9||0.60||0.64||0.79||71.3%|
|1.07 (2nd, +3%)||74.8||0.69||0.62||1.10||67.7%|
|1.11 (1st, +9%)||73.9||0.69||0.59||1.02||74.9%|
|1.30 (1st, +23%)||87.0||0.82||0.59||1.31||76.3%||EVP|
IEM Rio Major
|1.14 (1st, +17%)||75.3||0.67||0.54||0.95||75.5%||EVP|
MOUZ entered 2022 with a shake up to their roster, making three changes in quick succession in hopes of returning to a competitive level after losing Robin "ropz" Kool, one of their primary stars. Ádám "torzsi" Torzsás and Dennis "sycrone" Nielsen were promoted from the organization's academy lineup, the former taking over AWPing duties from Frederik "acoR" Gyldstrand and the latter assuming the role of coach, and Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt was added to fill the final rifle spot left vacant by the departure of the FaZe-bound Estonian rifler.
The new MOUZ roster didn't see action at the year's first Big Event, IEM Katowice, with Aurimas "Bymas" Pipiras unable to attend after contracting COVID-19. Jon "JDC" de Castro was called up from MOUZ NXT to take his place, and with him the team advanced through the Play-In stage in 5-8th place. frozen and torzsi led the way in wins over Entropiq and GODSENT, respectively, and both players managed strong performances against FaZe despite losing the upper bracket series 1-2.
MOUZ folded early into their main event bid, winning just one series against OG after narrowly faltering to Vitality in their opening match. Their elimination came at the hands of Ninjas in Pyjamas, who dispatched of dexter and company in two swift maps to send them packing from the event in Poland in 9-12th place. frozen still received a Valuable Player (VP) mention thanks to his showings against Vitality and OG, but ended with just a 1.04 rating to his name, the highest on MOUZ overall but nothing to write home about.
The full five-man roster with NBK- played just one event together before further changes followed, taking part in the group stage of ESL Pro League Season 15. It was an event that marked another VP accolade from frozen, who averaged a 1.10 rating in a run that included wins over G2 and Looking For Org, but losses to Entropiq, fnatic, and Ninjas in Pyjamas left the European combine out of playoff contention in the end. JDC was made a permanent fixture of the team not long after MOUZ's elimination, replacing NBK- and ending his two-month stint as a part of the active roster.
"It's very hard to argue what would have happened if we stayed like that [with the NBK- roster], or if this or that but no matter the lineup, I'm always gonna give my 120%. We will probably never know where the ceiling of that roster was, but personally I'm happy how the year ended."
"In a way I think [having JDC as a stand-in at Katowice] did [influence the decision to bring him on], Jon showed his qualities under pressure and we understood that having him might make us better."
Improvement wasn't immediate for the team; in fact, their first offline result with the new roster ended in severe disappointment when the team missed out on making PGL Major Antwerp, exiting the European Regional Major Ranking event just shy of qualifying for the Challengers Stage. frozen remained a consistent force for his team in their tournament bid, helping net wins over QUAZAR and Outsiders, but MOUZ ultimately lost out to OG and FaZe before finding themselves eliminated in the 2-2 match by Vitality despite frozen's strong individual performance (1.17 rating).
"Not making it to the Antwerp Major [was probably my worst moment of the year], looking back at it I guess it just wasn't meant to be. It was one of the toughest periods I had this year as a player but also as a human, and I'm just glad that we ended on a high note."
MOUZ sat on the sidelines as they watched the Major in Belgium play out, their only solace coming in the form of a successful qualification bid to IEM Dallas. Nearly a month of practice and time outside of officials didn't pay off for the roster upon their return to the server, however, and this time around even frozen had little to boast about, recording his worst tournament rating of the year (0.97). MOUZ kicked off the event with a loss to ENCE, where frozen put up decent numbers, but his performance in subsequent matches dropped off substantially. The team managed to pull through and secure a win over Movistar Riders before suffering a loss to Vitality in the lower bracket, ending their tournament run in the group stage.
frozen returned to form at Global Esports Tour Dubai, acting as the driving force for MOUZ in the tournament with a 1.25 rating across seven maps. He kicked off the event with a 1.35-rated performance against Falcons, kept up the pressure with a 1.21 rating in a narrow win against Movistar Riders in the semi-finals, and mustered strong numbers on his team's map pick of Nuke to kick off the grand final (1.46 rating). Unfortunately for MOUZ, that momentum didn't carry into the following two maps, and they ended up losing 1-2 to Ninjas in Pyjamas to walk away with a second place finish — their deepest offline placement since ICE Challenge 2020.
dexter and company didn't immediately have the chance to build upon that result as IEM Cologne wasn't slated to take place for almost a month, so like a handful of other top teams, MOUZ chose to take part in the Roobet Cup in order to get more officials under their belt ahead of the final Big Event before the tournament break. The online $250,000 cup did not go according to plan for the international composition, though, despite them securing a one-sided victory over Imperial to kick off their GSL group.
frozen again led the way in that series, posting a 1.33 rating, but subsequent losses to ENCE and Eternal Fire ended up leaving MOUZ out of playoff contention, with frozen posting negative numbers on all three maps in the latter series as his team were eliminated from the competition. frozen earned another VP mention thanks to his impact in MOUZ's opening matchup and on the first two maps against ENCE, but was unable to do any better due to his drop off in form in the team's final match and MOUZ's group stage elimination.
frozen's fourth Valuable Player award came at IEM Cologne, where MOUZ achieved their best Big Event finish in over two years. Their campaign began in the Play-In stage with a win over paiN, 1-2 loss to Heroic, and qualification victory over TYLOO, which put them through to the main event. frozen had a particularly dismal performance against the Danish team, posting a 0.81 rating, but it wasn't a level that would last heading into the top-16 stage.
MOUZ suffered a setback when the main event got underway, falling to Natus Vincere in a difficult opening series to immediately get cast down to the lower bracket. A phenomenal recovery run then ensued, with MOUZ initially claiming revenge over Heroic before surpassing Vitality and Ninjas in Pyjamas en route to securing a spot in the quarter-finals. frozen shined in the latter two matches, posting 1.20 ratings in both three-map series, but didn't show the same level when MOUZ took to the stage in the Cathedral of Counter-Strike, where their run was brought to an end by Astralis.
"Cologne was crazy, the deadly lower bracket run we had and getting to play in front of those people. I have played in a few arenas before this, but the Cathedral of CS is something unique; when I think back about this event I'm just smiling."
The month-long tournament break did little to break MOUZ's momentum from the high of their run in Germany, and they hit the ground running upon their return to play. They immediately secured a spot at the IEM Road to Rio Europe RMR through the first open qualifier, finishing in third place overall, with frozen dominating the lower tier competition with a gargantuan 1.50 rating across six maps.
MOUZ seemed to be in good form between their run in Dubai, Cologne, and the RMR, and so the announcement that the team would be benching Bymas in favor of another MOUZ NXT promotion immediately after their successful RMR qualification bid came as a surprise. Dorian "xertioN" Berman was offered a position on the main team's roster and his arrival caused role shifts in the team, freeing frozen up to transition into being more of a lurker.
"With Dori [xertioN] coming in and him playing my roles, it just made sense for me to go back to lurking. I had most of these positions in eXtatus already so it's nothing new to me, just getting used to it and perfecting it."
Any doubts about the change were assuaged at ESL Pro League Season 16, where MOUZ finished atop their group with a 4-1 record. The European combine dropped just one series to Astralis while picking up wins over Heroic, ENCE, Complexity, and HEET, playing twelve maps in the process. frozen went negative on just two of occasions during that stint, and finished with a 1.28 or higher rating on eight of the remaining ten maps, being the pivotal factor in securing victories to put his team into the playoffs. There, the Slovakian rifler continued to perform, scoring back-to-back 1.39-rated maps against Liquid despite MOUZ conceding the series 0-2.
frozen's role shift and the player change for MOUZ seemed to have already paid off, as demonstrated by his superb performance in the event. He earned his first Exceptionally Valuable Player acknowledgement of the year thanks to his excellent stats and impact throughout MOUZ's matches, including a 1.30 average rating, 1.31 impact rating, 0.82 KPR and 87 ADR, the first of which placed him fourth overall among the players who competed in the event and left him with a performance that was 23% better than the rest of his team.
MOUZ remained in Malta following the end of ESL Pro League for the IEM Road to Rio Europe RMR, beating OG to begin their Swiss stage run. frozen performed well in the best-of-one and didn't need to step up to the same level as he had during EPL for his team to secure victory, but his impact was lacking in MOUZ's ensuing match against Natus Vincere, leaving the European side with a 1-1 record. A subsequent win against K23 and loss to Vitality put MOUZ up against the ropes with an all-deciding match against Sangal determining who would make the Major. It was again frozen who was the difference-maker for his side in that match, averaging a 1.18 rating to net MOUZ the crucial victory to earn their ticket to South America.
Before heading to Brazil, MOUZ made their way to the Netherlands to take part in ESL Challenger Rotterdam. The LAN event didn't factor into the top 20 player ranking, but it made for good practice for the team and illustrated frozen's continued excellence as he averaged a 1.23 rating and 1.26 impact rating, which he managed despite MOUZ's eventual 3-4th place elimination at the hands of Outsiders.
A brief moment of retribution came just two weeks later when the IEM Rio Major Challengers Stage got underway, with frozen (1.82 rating) and xertioN (1.77 rating) combining to help MOUZ dominate Dzhami "Jame" Ali's men in their opening match, 16-6. MOUZ blitzed through the opening portion of the Major from there, defeating Evil Geniuses in their second match before taking down fnatic to go 3-0 in the Swiss stage, with frozen posting a 1.29 rating in the series to bring his team over the line.
frozen's fierce form carried into the Legends Stage with an absolute masterclass performance against Liquid, a 2.15-rated map against the North American side granting MOUZ another early Swiss victory. BIG put a halt to that four-game winstreak with a 16-7 victory on Mirage, a map where frozen still finished in the green, but MOUZ quickly got back on their feet by narrowly defeating Vitality in their third matchup thanks to torzsi and dexter stepping up on opposite sides of the map.
Outsiders then got even for their previous meeting against MOUZ by picking up a 2-0 victory to deny them an early playoff berth, continuing to be a thorn in the side of the European composition. frozen, who had put up admirable performances in his previous two battles against the Russian team, capitulated this time around with a 0.91 rating — still the highest on MOUZ, but a considerable drop off from his 1.82 (map) and 1.24 (series) ratings the last two times he had faced Jame's men.
MOUZ refused to let their playoff dreams slip away, though, and won a three-mapper against ENCE in the 2-2 deciding round to make the playoffs. frozen again put in work for his side by starting that series with a 1.87 rating on Ancient to get an early map win, with dexter stepping up on the Mirage decider to lead his team to victory in style.
Few fans and pundits had MOUZ progressing any further from that point onward, with many considering their quarter-final opponents, Cloud9, to have one of the most favored playoff brackets in Major history. MOUZ completely upset those expectations and capitalized on errors from Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov's men on stage, recovering from a loss on Inferno by grabbing wins on Overpass and Ancient to take the series, maps which frozen posted 1.43 and 1.40 ratings on, respectively. That ended up being the end of MOUZ's dream run as they once again faced Outsiders, who did a stellar job at shutting down frozen's impact throughout the series for a second time en route to securing a 2-1 series win and knock MOUZ out of the Major, bringing their year to an end. frozen earned his second EVP mention of the year thanks to his excellent performance throughout the event, cementing him as MOUZ's most consistent piece throughout their tournament runs during the year.
"The best memory [of the year] was for sure Rio Major, it was Brazil's first Major so getting to experience that atmosphere and the passion of the crowd from the first hand will stay with me for a very, very long time."
"I honestly haven't thought so far yet [about goals for 2023], but one thing is for sure: this team has no ceiling and I just want to get back to grinding."
Why was frozen the 17th best player of 2022?
frozen earned the 17th spot in our top 20 player ranking thanks in part to his ever-stable performances for MOUZ, both in terms of his round-to-round consistency (74.5% KAST, #6) and his outstanding skill floor map-to-map (92% of maps above 0.85 rating, #5).
He was a reliable performer at the biggest events despite MOUZ's early struggles in the year, mustering a 1.13 Big Event rating, and repeatedly proved his worth against the best teams in the world (1.10 rating vs. top five teams, 30 maps). Throughout the year frozen also remained elusive on the server, boasting the fifth-lowest deaths per round at 0.58, and was a steady presence on the CT-side, averaging a 1.22 rating, the 17th-highest.
Late-year peaks at ESL Pro League Season 16 and at the IEM Rio Major also helped his case, with EVP mentions at both tournaments and a very good near-EVP at IEM Cologne adding further points in his favor. Ultimately, he fell short of a deeper placement in part due to relatively smaller and less frequent peaks compared to other players around him, as well as lesser impact overall — both in his actual impact rating (1.03), and also directly in terms of MOUZ winning only 64% of rounds in which frozen got a kill, the second-lowest in the top 20.
Bold prediction by 1xBet
HLTV's recurring Bold Prediction segment returns for another year, requiring players to choose from the same criteria as last year's edition — selected candidates must be under the age of 20, and must have not competed at a high level (defined by never having been on a top 20 team).
Ukrainian sniper Daniil "headtr1ck" Valitov got the nod from frozen as his Bold Prediction by 1xBet for 2023, with the Slovakian rifler saying that he is "really looking forward to seeing what headtr1ck is going to show in the next few years." The 18-year-old impressed playing for the organization's Junior team in the WePlay Academy League and even stood in for Natus Vincere on two occasions in 2022, averaging a 1.27 rating across 72 maps played during the year.
headtr1ck may well have the chance to prove frozen's prediction correct as he has already been linked with a possible move to Ninjas in Pyjamas in the new year, a team in dire need of a strong AWP presence and one that could help him flourish at a top level in his debut year in a top team.
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.