After Team Spirit’s victory at The International, the number of Dota 2 players has skyrocketed. The players from the popular Virtus.Pro, Gambit Esports, and NaVi CS: GO teams have become role models for novice gamers. Changes in the political situation and the relocation of some top teams have not affected the popularity of the disciplines.
Cybersports are much more widespread than people in India think. Even today horse race tips in indian speak to this. There is an active development of unfamiliar disciplines such as League of Legends, Fortnite, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Valorant. The adult generation likes to watch tournaments on the legendary Starcraft II, Warcraft III, or Age of Empires 2. Below is the text are highlights of the careers of top players from seven of the world’s most popular cyber disciplines.
Fortnite developers regularly release patches that radically change the theme and dynamics of the game. In this game, newcomers have a chance to shine, as top gamers often can’t readjust to new mechanics.
Arkhram is one gamer who has suddenly appeared in the pool of game stars. The player’s name is Diego Palma and he’s been playing for the 100Thieves team since 2019. Arkhram and his teammates made it to the grand final of FNCS Season 8, but a loss followed there. 100Thieves got their revenge at Grand Royale, where they managed to become champions and make the list of Fortnite legends.
South Korea can be considered the most eSports country in the world. In particular, players from this state dominate the Overwatch scene. One of them is Kim Ben Song, known under the nickname Fleta. The cyber athlete has played for Flash Lux, Lunatic-Hai and Seoul Dynasty, and today he represents Shanghai Dragons.
Fleta’s secret is his flexibility. The player can work productively on almost any hero. Since the inception of the OWL, the Korean cyber athlete has been consistently selected for the All-Star Game. He is the recipient of the Role Star Award (2020) and the Overwatch League MVP status (2020). Together with Shanghai Dragons, he won the OWL Grand Final in 2021. Fleta was also the 2018 Overwatch World Champion with the South Korean national team.
Kim Ben Son has a unique achievement: in one of the fights for Flash Lux, the gamer made more than half of the team’s final punches. Overwatch developers added a special “Fleta Deadlift” column to the stats section for such cases. Interestingly, after that case, the gamer has never been able to repeat the achievement.
Serral (Starcraft II)
Jonah Sotala, known by his nickname Serral, is a Finnish cyber athlete who performs under the ENCE tag. Since 2018, the cyber athlete has won more than 50 tournaments and his cumulative earnings have exceeded the $1 million mark.
Serral’s journey to the heights of cyber sports began at a very young age. At the age of 15, the Finnish player won the Insomnia XV home tournament. In 2016, the gamer moved to ENCE, with which he won most of the trophies.
The breakthrough year for Finn was 2018 when he graduated and fully focused on Starcraft II. He won every stage of the World Championship Series Circuit and also took the GSL vs The World title outside of South Korea for the first time. The pinnacle of his success was winning BlizzCon 2018. Serral is the only non-Korean player to win two Triple Crowns.
Faker (League of Legends)
Koreans dominate another cyber discipline: League of Legends. The star of the game is considered to be Faker, who plays for SK Telecom T1 organization. The gamer’s name is Lee Sang-Hek and on the map, he covers the center line.
Fakera’s prowess allowed T1 to win world championships in 2013, 2015, and 2016. The player also won the Mid-Season Invitational in 2016 and 2017. The Korean’s career earnings had already exceeded $1 million by 2020 – huge money for the League of Legends scene. The cyber athlete’s game was so appreciated at T1 that today Faker is co-owner of the company. Lee Sang Heck was matchmaking for Chinese teams, but the gamer stayed loyal to the team and did not leave for a $1 million contract.
Fakera’s style of play:
- highly skilled at owning more than 30 champions;
- thoroughly learns the phases of the game and is considered a strong strategist;
- acts cautiously and does not attack if there is any doubt of success.
Faker was named The Game Awards’ 2017 cyber athlete of the year. The gamer was also nominated for the award in 2015, 2016, and 2019, but lost in the voting. In 2019, he was named to Forbes’ list of 30 Successful People Under 30 in Asia in the Entertainment and Sports category.
Tyson Ngo, like most Valorant players, came to the discipline after a not-so-successful career in CS: GO. Within a few years, TenZ became a “boy wonder” and gained the status of a Valorant legend.
Gamer played for teams such as Cloud9 Blue, and Sentinels. It was with the latter that TenZ started winning big trophies in VCT 2021. Tyson Ngo is remembered for his amazing clutches that turned the game around and made Sentinels practically unbeatable.
Experts note TenZ’s inhuman reaction speed and non-linear thinking. Tyson Ngo rarely acts in a pattern, preferring to improvise, but remains part of the team. He can read his opponents’ actions and knows exactly what is going to happen during the round.
S1mple (CS: GO)
Alexander Kostylev is a Ukrainian CS: GO player from Kyiv. Currently represents the organization Natus Vincere. According to most experts in the game, it S1mple is the greatest gamer in the history of CS: GO.
Alexander Kostylev started as a talented but toxic sniper. Today, S1mple has evolved into a team gamer who knows how not to pull the blanket over himself. The Ukrainian has been battling for season MVP status with Frenchman ZywOo with mixed success in recent years. In Kostylev’s piggy bank today:
- 19 tournament MVP medals;
- Intel Grand Slam trophy;
- In 2021, S1mple and NaVi won his first major in Stockholm.
Early in his career, S1mple did not stay on teams for long periods. He was banned for toxicity in organizations such as Hellraisers and Flipsid3 Tactics. The Ukrainian star rose in 2016 when he was signed by the North American tag team Team Liquid. The gamer performed brilliantly overseas but was forced to return to Ukraine less than a year later due to homesickness.
Alexander Kostylev’s cooperation with NaVi began in 2016. The management of the team found an approach to the stubborn gamer. Already in his first year of playing for Born to Win, S1mple was ranked 4th in the HLTV top-20. Since then, S1mple has twice become the best gamer on the planet. The Ukrainian game features the highest level of proficiency in both sniper rifles and assault weapons. S1mple can single-handedly make clutches in hopeless situations.
N0tail (Dota 2)
The main star of world cybersport and the richest gamer in the world is Dane Johan Sunstein. The player is known by the nickname N0tail and is a legend in Dota 2.
The cyber athlete grew up on the Faroe Islands and started his career with Heroes of Newerth. Since the early years of competition, Johan Sundstein has demonstrated mental toughness and the ability to make bold decisions in critical situations.
After switching to Dota 2, N0tail wandered around in teams until he created his organization called OG. The roster was built around Johan Sundstein himself and his best friend since HoN, the Israeli Fly. In the first years, the results were far from ideal, so N0tail and Fly went their separate ways.
The new roster has become the most successful in the history of Dota 2. The OG roster, assembled by hand, won two consecutive The Internationals in 2018 and 2019. N0tail himself is solely at the top of the list of the richest players in the world, with a combined career income of more than $7 million. Interestingly, there are 4 Danish teammates in the top 5 gamers by the amount of prize money received.
In 2022, N0tail took a break. The Dane still owns OG, for which he has set up a training facility in his own home in Lisbon. Johan Sundstein is training a new squad and will try to take the third The International with him.
The cybersport market is actively growing, with money and sponsors coming in. The amount of prize money received by N0tail is a beacon for other players, but in the coming years, this record will also be broken. Virtual sports reached a new level during the pandemic, when they managed to adapt to the new conditions, went online, and gained popularity among millions of viewers.