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Battle for the top: the CIS MVP of the year candidates

With the 2021 professional year done and dusted, and even the HLTV’s MVP of the year figured out, we can’t help but look back at what incredible spectacle it was. Starting off after an entire year of scuffed online formats – with all due respect to the organizers who persevered in the face of restrictions – 2021 had all the teams on their toes scrambling to readjust to the good old LAN formats.

Natus VincereUkraine
3941283
Tips
1Lose streak
83%30 d. winrate
69%Winrate

If we can all agree on something, it’s one thing – the CIS region turned out to be really good at it. Taking the scene by storm and keeping it in their hands for the entire year, the two names stand out the most on the list of 2021 champions – Gambit Esports figured out how to play in the new environment, and Natus Vincere perfected it. There’s a reason for why this year has been dubbed “the year of CIS”!

GambitRussia
2611137
Tips
1Lose streak
-30 d. winrate
81%Winrate

With all these things in mind, it’s clear that the nomination of “the best CIS player of the year in CS:GO” is not some obscure regional thing. The region’s performance on the international stage places this event on a pedestal – and if you’re a real CS:GO fan, you wouldn’t want to miss out.

The final decision is scheduled to take place on the 30th of January. And while we speculate on who really deserves it, here’s a shortlist of our candidates!

Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi

The star rookie of the year – and, perhaps, of all time – b1t went into this year as a modest rookie, and ended it with almost a million dollars in winnings and international recognition as the next headshot machine with his robot-like speed and precision.

Fun fact: b1t has earned more in winnings in one year than the legend of Swedish pro CS:GO, Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, earned in his entire career.

Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov

Regarded as the best defensive AWPer in the world, sh1ro’s appearance on this list isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s been keeping up with esports this year. Finishing the year with an incredible KDA of 1.45, sh1ro is the impenetrable wall and an unbreakable backbone for his team.

Recognized by the esports world, sh1ro has won the MVP of IEM Katowice 2021. Just like Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi, 2021 marks sh1ro’s first year on the CS:GO’s Tier 1 scene. Seems like it’s not just the year of the CIS, but the year of the rookies, as well!

Abai “HObbit” Hasenov

The Gambit Esports veteran, Hobbit is known for claiming victory for his org in PGL Krakow all the way back in 2017. Coming back into his old team in late 2020, Hobbit’s experience definitely contributed to Gambit’s massive showing in 2021.

Keeping up a positive rating throughout the entire year, Hobbit has won MVP awards in EPIC League and BLAST Finals.

Denis “electroNic” Sharipov

A rifler for Natus Vincere and the right hand of God, electronic has consistently shown up throughout the entirety of 2021. Ranking among the highest impact player per HLTV numbers, and rocking an impressive 48% HS ratio, Electronic is the consistent and reliable player.

Electronic’s resilience makes him a perfect ally for Natus Vincere star players – that’s not to say he can’t carry by himself. The experienced rifler often overtook the star player s1mple in round impact – which is doubly impressive since snipers do have somewhat of an advantage where it comes to stats.

Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev

Well, I don’t believe this nomination comes as a surprise to anyone. The greatest of all time, the personification of redemption arcs, the crazy AWPer, s1mple is definitely up here on the list.

The Ukrainian player smashed a ton of records this year. Overtaking dev1ce for the most HLTV MVPs earned – in total and within a single year – as well as making history by scoring a flawless Major run without dropping a single map together with his team. Yes, it’s harder to think what this madman hasn’t done and which record he hasn’t broken yet. Is he good enough for another?

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