The CS:GO landscape in Asia: Top players in the CS:GO market

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Asia is a haven for esports and it has produced awesome stars across the industry. The region is prolific in games like Dota 2 and League of Legends but it is behind in first-person shooter games. Let’s look into the top Asian players in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene.

When you look at the CS:GO scene, you might find out that it is dominated by the European and North American regions. There is a small sprinkle of South America but you can always expect that Europe and NA will be the biggest regions in Valve’s premier shooter. Asia is also often forgotten but that is not by design. You can expect TYLOO to compete from time to time but Asia has not received the proper representation that they deserve in the CS:GO scene.

Asian esports players are more geared towards strategic games like Dota 2 and League which has led to success. When you factor in South Korea, they have shown that they can be strong in FPS games like Overwatch in the 2010s but they are still mostly known for their StarCraft and League endeavours.

Despite its floundering popularity in Asia, CS:GO is still a top game for esports players. Valorant has quickly become one of the top esports in the region but that hasn’t stopped the father of tactical FPS games from producing some good players in the CS:GO market. Now, let’s look into those players and how they’ve impacted the scene.

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Yi ‘Jamyoung’ Yang

In terms of overall talent, Yi ‘Jamyoung’ Yang is one of the best CS:GO players in Asia. He represents one of the biggest teams in all of esports, Vici Gaming. They are mostly known for their efforts in Dota 2 but they have dabbled in other esports games as well. In CS:GO, they are always a strong team that can be proper representatives for the Asian region.

When you look at any CS:GO Asia Championship event, you can always expect Vici to be there. As one of their young star players, Jamyoung is one of the most promising talents in the Asian FPS scene. His aim is quick even if he has a lower headshot percentage than your average star player.

However, that HS stat is misleading because Jamyoung is used to being the anchor for a bombsite. He will be the player who the team leaves on a bombsite during Counter-Terrorist rounds. This will leave him in a tough spot but he still manages to pull off multi-man spray downs. He does not typically do flick shots because he loves to spray to ensure his frags.

In terms of overall impact, JamYoung is a reliable player since he can pull off some solid plays. He is explosive when he’s on the Terrorist side because he can play as the entry or second-entry fragger. That means that the team relies on his aim to open up the site and plant the bomb.

In 2020 and 2021, Jamyoung was probably the best CS:GO Asia player. You can always rely on him to pop off and turn the game around using his solid aim and instincts. It is hard to stand out in a structured squad like Vici but Jamyoung is undoubtedly the team’s star player.

Andrew ‘Kaze’ Khong

Since Vici is the best team in Asia, it’s not surprising that another name has popped up here. The team’s Malaysia AWPer, Andrew ‘Kaze’ Khong is one of the most reliable players in the region. Back in 2020, he posted a rating of 1.21 while maintaining an impact of 1.17 during pro matches.

As Vici’s main AWPer, there is pressure on him to perform at the highest level. When you take into account that he’s not from China, that is even heavier because the Chinese esports community piles on him when he makes mistakes. This has happened in multiple esports when it comes to foreigners playing on Asia CS:GO teams in China but Kaze has been strong both in the game and mentally.

Vici is always a consistent team atop the Asian region and you can credit Kaze for being a stable presence. He and Jamyoung can be considered the team’s biggest stars mostly because of their stats and featured roles.

Since he is an older player, Kaze is also serving as one of the Vici squad. If you’re looking for the best AWPer in Asia, it is hard to go away from Kaze. He has a proven résumé in Asia and it will continue until he decides to quit or move to another game.

Playing the AWPer role is one of the hardest tasks in CS:GO but Kaze is a natural star in his role. He loves playing with the sniper rifle and he has thrived playing the role since he joined VG back in late 2018. He is the lone Malaysian in this team but he has proven to be a solid star in his stint. Kaze plays more of an aggressive AWP style which is a better fit for the classic aggression that these Asian teams use.

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Sike ‘z4kr’ Zhang

In the 2020 season, the Asian CS:GO scene started to see rising stars performing at the highest level. Sike ‘z4kr’ Zhang broke out as a star in that year and he has only continued to be a promising star in the scene. Since he is still young, z4kr has proven that he has one of the most diverse skills in the Asian CS:GO community.

He is primarily a rifler but he can also handle using the AWP. Those kinds of players are typically the stars like Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev and Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz who are the two most popular dual-threats in the world.

Z4kr has proven that he can be one of the best players in Asia when given the chance to shine. He has continued to play as the star player for Lynn Vision and you can expect him to be the centrepiece moving forward. If they can make it to huge international events, z4kr would be the number one player on the team.

He has only played a few tournaments since he started back in 2020 but he has a bright future in the game. CS:GO is set to improve with Valve’s plans of deepening the esports scene. Valorant has become a solid contender against CS and Valve needs to step up before Riot Games takes over the FPS genre too.

Z4kr will be a name that people should know because he is already a proven commodity in Asia. If he reaches the international stage, you can expect he and his team will keep up with the best teams in the world.

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ZhengHao ‘DANK1NG’ Lyu

Over CS:GO’s history, TYLOO has been the best team in the Asia CS:GO ranking. They have consistently played in the biggest events and they have even pulled off some big upsets. ZhengHao ‘DANK1NG’ Lyu has not been a part of TYLOO for a long time but over the past few years, he has been a solid AWPer for the Chinese side.

While Kaze is seen as the best AWPer in Asia, DANK1NG should not be far behind. He has proven that he can play at the highest level for TYLOO and continue to prove that his team is the best. Kaze is a star for Vici but TYLOO has relied on DANK1NG for a long while and they are always behind him to show support.

TYLOO is still historically the best team in the region but other teams are looking to compete too. DANK1NG and the rest of the squad need to be given more respect since they are always performing at their best and they have shown they can keep up with the Europeans. The Asian scene is still behind on tactics and pure aim but DANK1NG has proven that he is comparable to those players.

Reliability is hard to reach in a tough esports game like CS:GO but DANK1NG and the rest of TYLOO have proven that Asian CS should not be overlooked. It is difficult to say that they can compete with the likes of Natus Vincere and Team Liquid consistently but the sample size is smaller than most. Hopefully, they can all get together and play it out to show that DANK1NG is also a world-class AWPer.

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Erdenetsogt ‘erkaSt’ Gantulga

Mongolia is not a well-known country when it comes to esports but Erdenetsogt ‘Erkast’ Gantulga has proven that he can play at the highest level. He is not only a rifler but he is also a smart player who can serve as the in-game leader. He just retired in 2021 but he deserves a mention here because of how well he carried himself as a top pro in the Asian region.

He moved to Valorant like most CS:GO pros where he believes he can make an impact. This further proves that Valve and CS:GO need to buckle down and support the Asian scene because there is so much untapped potential. You can look at Asia master CS:GO events and see that there are so many talented players in the region.

It will be a shame if they continue to be overlooked by the majority of the esports world. Valorant has proven that Asian teams can hang with the squads from Europe and NA and it will be a shame if the loyal CS:GO players in Asia are not rewarded for their efforts. 

CS:GO can still grow in Asia

The CS:GO community is huge in the Western world but Asia is a different place. There are many promising CS players in the region but it is disappointing to see that Valorant has become the premier FPS game in Asia. There is still hope of CS:GO returning to its top spot but in the meantime, Valorant will have to be the top FPS esports game of the 2020s.

With many promising players in the region, especially in China, Asia should be supported more and Valve needs to understand that. This can even strengthen the betting side of Asian esports as it continues to grow. Hopefully, CS:GO does not fade away in Asia because players like Erkast need a shot at performing at the highest level possible.

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