The year 2021 was chock-full of big news and young players’ triumphs. Today, the CS.MONEY Blog is going to take a look at the eSports pros who have a solid chance of building on their success in 2022.
Лов phzy Смидебрант
The memory of the 19-year-old Swede’s accomplishments is still fresh. Few had heard of him before December 10, 2021. But then the news broke: Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz, NIP’s main AWPer, wasn’t able to attend the semifinals of IEM Winter. The club decided to replace him with a promising youngster from the academy, Love “phzy” Smidebrant. The Swedish-Danish team’s appearance in the finals of the tournament was a surprise. They beat G2, and Love contributed immensely to the success, especially on Nuke, finishing with a rating of 1.23. Phzy replaced the Danish sniper at the BLAST Premier World Final as well. And even though the team dropped out without a single win, Smidebrant, despite his poor chemistry with the team, played with a good K/D on most maps versus Europe’s best teams and looked very confident in the process. The Swede showed his great potential!
CS.MONEY’s prediction: phzy will be able to integrate into the main NIP roster in case device leaves — or will be sold to another team for good money thanks to his outstanding performance.
Алексей El1an Гусев
There was a time when this player faced accusations of cheating from Danylo Zeus Teslenko himself. Today, Aleksey “El1an” Gusev is one of Russia’s most promising AWPers. His stats are rather telling: over the entire year, Gusev has played only 1 tournament with a negative K/D, while his team, Entropiq, has become a strong force in Europe and — along with Copenhagen Flames — the biggest sensation of the PGL Major Stockholm! Everything seems to be in place for Alexey’s success: talk about a well-played squad and experienced coach Dmitriy “hooch” Bogdanov. The second places at the V4 Future Festival and ESEA Premier Season 39 are a fly in the ointment, but a priceless experience for El1an & Co. regardless.
CS.MONEY’s prediction: El1an will be among the top five AWPers in Europe and, together with his team, compete for top spots in tier-1 tournaments.
Джош oSee Ом
South African Joshua “oSee” Ohm is probably America’s only truly promising AWPer at the time. This year was extremely successful for him and Extra Salt: while Liquid was battling in Europe, the Salts were collecting trophies in the North American region. oSee has shown phenomenal play in almost every tournament, and he’s a key element of the club’s team play. It’s for a reason that Joshua was on Liquid’s list of desirable transfers.
Уильям mezii Мерриман
Unexpectedly for many, Englishman William “mezii” Merriman, who uses very unconventional settings in CS:GO, rose to fame in 2021. William was almost the only capable figure in the unsuccessful Cloud9 project, after which he continued representing Endpoint, an outfit based in his home country. For his outstanding play with both sniper and assault rifles, Merriman earned a contract with the crisis-stricken yet eminent fnatic. The organization’s British venture has been a success, with 3 islanders and 2 Swedes going on to play incredibly well in tier-2 tournaments and even winning DreamHack Open November 2021, where mezii was one of the top 3 players along with Owen “smooya” Butterfield and Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin. If fnatic continues to progress like that, 2022 could mark a breakthrough for William.
CS.MONEY’s prediction: mezii will pose a significant problem for fnatic’s opponents and continue to compete for the top spots in large-scale tier-1 tournaments.
Адам NEOFRAG Зухар
Historically, the Czech Republic hasn’t been providing much world-class talent. But it’s 20-year-old Adam “NEOFRAG” Zouhar who’s already showing good potential. At such a young age, Adam is the headliner of the country’s best team, SINNERS, on a par with Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný. There’s a strong feeling that NEOFRAG has already outgrown the local team. While the Czechs are quite capable on the tier-2 level, even Zouhar’s phenomenal play doesn’t always compensate for his teammates’ mistakes. It’s very likely that someone from the top-20 will be interested in the Czech’s abilities in the upcoming year.
CS.MONEY’s prediction: NEOFRAG will continue to demonstrate amazing performance and deserve a transfer to MOUZ, ENCE, OG, or another team currently experiencing a crisis.
These were the 5 players who could well hit their big time in 2022. Did you like the post? Then check out our article about Danger Zone and a selection of skins to celebrate the new installment of The Matrix.