TOP 20 Players of 2023: Introduction

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The Top 20 players of the year ranking!

HLTV’s Top 20 Players of the Year countdown, a highly anticipated annual event in the eSports community, is set to commence a bit earlier this year. Traditionally beginning on January 1st, the countdown will now start on December 27th to align with the third edition of the HLTV Award Show scheduled for January 13th in Belgrade, Serbia.

This change in schedule is designed to unveil the final three players right before the Award Show, adding to the excitement and anticipation. Each day at 21:00, starting from December 27th until January 12th, one player’s rank will be revealed. This gradual reveal leads up to the Award Show, where, along with other individual and team awards, the top three players of 2023 will be announced, culminating in the declaration of the Player of the Year.

The countdown has already begun, with several players’ rankings disclosed:

The remaining players and their rankings will be revealed daily, leading up to the top three announcements at the HLTV Award Show. This event is a highlight for eSports fans who enjoy speculating and discussing the rankings and the criteria behind them.


Key Criteria for HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year Ranking

The HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year ranking is a detailed and nuanced process that evaluates players based on several key criteria to ensure a fair and comprehensive assessment. Here’s a breakdown of the main factors considered in determining the rankings:

  1. Statistics and Context: The ranking heavily relies on statistical performance, but it’s not just about year-long ratings. The context in which these statistics were achieved is crucial. This includes the significance of the events where players excelled and their performance in high-stakes situations, particularly in major playoff matches. The statistics consider all players who participated in at least 50 maps across the evaluated events.
  2. Awards and Their Significance: Historical data from previous years’ rankings shows that MVP (Most Valuable Player) and EVP (Exceptionally Valuable Player) awards significantly impact rankings. However, not all awards are weighted equally. For instance, an EVP from a major event like the Major could be more impactful than an MVP from smaller tournaments.
  3. Event Categories for 2023: The events considered for the 2023 rankings are categorized as:
    • Super-elite (e.g., IEM Katowice, BLAST.tv Paris Major, IEM Cologne)
    • Elite (e.g., IEM Sydney, Gamers8, BLAST Premier World Final)
    • Big (e.g., ESL Pro Leagues, BLAST Premier Spring and Fall Finals, IEM Dallas and Rio)
    • Medium (e.g., CS Asia Championships, Elisa Masters Espoo, ESL Challengers Atlanta and Jönköping, BetBoom Dacha, Thunderpick World Championship)
    • Non-award (e.g., BLAST Premier Groups, IEM Katowice/Cologne Play-ins, BLAST.tv Paris Major Challengers Stage and RMRs)
  4. Sample Size and Regularity: To be considered for the top 20, players must demonstrate their skills against top-tier teams consistently. The ranking excludes players with insufficient playtime at the highest level, ensuring that only those with a substantial sample size of performances are evaluated.
  5. Consistency Across Matches and Tournaments: A player’s consistency, both in individual matches and across different tournaments, is a critical factor. While high performance peaks can compensate for some instability, players who frequently underperform, especially during crucial moments or major tournaments, may find their rankings affected.
  6. Avoiding Recency Bias: The ranking process takes into account the entire year’s performances, countering the natural tendency to focus on more recent achievements. This comprehensive view ensures that the rankings accurately reflect a player’s performance throughout the year.

These criteria combine to create a holistic and fair assessment of each player’s skills and achievements, making the HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year ranking a respected and eagerly awaited announcement in the eSports community.

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