2022 was a critical year for Valorant as fans were given back access to the main occasions on the schedule and the esports kept on becoming around the world. As additional players argue for their inclusion on the list of the top players thus far this year, 2023 has started with even more fans present.
The beginning of the new year has been marked by some incredible storylines, including the drama surrounding Cloud9 and Yay’s departure from the team, the introduction of super teams like Fnatic and NAVI, and the reconstruction of LOUD and other rosters.
Some players are emerging from these plotlines to deliver performances that will establish them in Valorant history and elevate them to the status of top-tier players.
These are our five favorite Valorant players thus far this year.
5. Jannesson, Leo “Leo”:
Leo joined Fnatic for the 2023 season, where he has blossomed into a monster in the company of other young talent and a top-tier IGL. The Initiator player’s impact on the server appears to have increased as he has assumed a more supportive role in Fnatic, playing scan Initiators and sitting back during initial engagements.
4. Myeong-kwan Kim “MaKo”:
DRX is a constant threat on a global scale and maintained its regional dominance in 2022 by effortlessly advancing to every international event. MaKo, the team’s smokes player, was a regular rival for DRX and rose through the statistical ranks throughout the year.
3. Andrey ‘Shao’ Kiprsky :
The ascent of FPX, presently under NAVI, was a tomfoolery ride for fans as the group made each global occasion in 2022, won Experts Copenhagen, and completed the top four at Valorant Champions and VCT LOCK//IN. Although any one of the five members of the squad could make the list of the year’s best Valorant players, Shao has emerged as the team’s best player thus far in 2023.
2. “Derke” Nikita Sirmitev:
Fnatic participated in nearly every international event in 2022 and finished in the top six at Valorant Champions. The new team has so far exploded in 2023, presumably unleashing Derke as its entry player.
1. Erick Santos, or “aspas,”:
Aspas has maintained his excellent form from Valorant Champions 2022 and was a major factor in LOUD’s ability to advance to two consecutive VCT Grand Finals. The young talent helped LOUD to a world title and an undefeated domestic record in 2022 by being a consistent space-taker for the team.