Esports is gaining more importance each year, competing with regular sports and being even considered for the Olympic Games. If you are new to the video game competitive scene better known as esports, here are the top 5 professional players to know in 2019.
5. The Overwatch Team Captain: Jong-yeol “SaeByeolBe” Park
Jong-yeol “SaeByeolBe” Park is a South Korean Overwatch League player. He is mainly known for his Tracer, considered one of the best in the world. This DPS hero is one of the hardest to master in Overwatch, as timing is everything for this speed-based character. A good Tracer can overthrow a match by picking on the back lane and killing the healers. SaeByeolBe fully embraces this role and helps his team win rounds with incredible Tracer skills.
As the team captain for the New York Excelsior, SaeByeolBe won the Inaugural Season of the Overwatch League (OWL) and ended up third in the 2019 OWL Season. His ability to remain cool under pressure is key to the Excelsior’s success and makes New York one of the most stable teams in the Overwatch League.
4. The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Legend: Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut
Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut is a French professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player. This 18-year-old player joined Vitality right after graduating and already won major tournaments, such as the DreamHack Open Atlanta and the Esports Championship Series Season 7. Last July, his team ended up second in the ESL One: Cologne, one of the biggest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event.
In his first-ever tournament in Atlanta, Vitality took the first map against Luminosity and leads 11-5. At the start of the 17th round, the French are under-equipped compared to the Brazilians who can hope for a comeback. With one of the weakest guns in the game, ZywOo quickly eliminates a first opponent, picks up his assault rifle and kills a second one. Twenty-five seconds later, ZywOo takes out the whole Brazilian team and wins the round alone, making history.
3. The League of Legends Rookie of the Year: Luka “Perkz” Perković
Luka Perković, better known as Perkz, is a Croatian professional League of Legends player. As the bot laner for G2 Esports, he is to this day one of the most decorated League of Legends European Championship (LEC) in history and only European professional player to won the LEC six times.
On September 2019, Perkz reached 1000 kills In the European League of Legends Series (LCS). He is only the third player to reach this milestone, following the steps of Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski.
2. The Fortnite First World Champion: Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf
The American Kyle Giersdorf, aka “Bugha”, became on Sunday, August 28, in New York, the first solo world champion of Fortnite. This battle royale game is among the most popular in 2019, with millions of players and viewers. At just 16 years old, Giersdorf won the first ever Fortnite World Championship against 99 other players and won a cash prize of $3,000,000.
In Fortnite, players are on a virtual island with other players, the winner being the last survivor. As time goes by, the perimeter is reduced to accelerate the outcome of the game. Each player can find on the island weapons and building materials, which allow them to build structures to protect themselves from the attacks of their competitors. On this Final, Bugha had the best game sens, building and fighting skills.
1. The Starcraft II Hero: Joona “Serral” Sotala
Joona “Serral” Sotala is the first non-South Korean player to win the World Championship Series on Starcraft II. This is the first time that a foreigner wins this tournament and holds the supreme title on a franchise that is one of the most popular in esports. Before Sotala, no player who is not South Korean even reached the finals since the creation of the Starcraft II World Championship Series.
In 2018, he kept on winning prestigious titles: the World Championship Series stages in Leipzig, Austin, Valencia and Montreal, as well as the “GSL vs the World” in Seoul – dominating without real shares the international scene while becoming equal with South Korean players in terms of gameplay. With this World Championship Series title, Serral proves that he is no longer just the best foreigner, but he is the best player in the world.