The world’s best VALORANT players entering 2023
The year 2023 will be a watershed moment for VALORANT since it will transition to a partnership model of forming long-term alliances with limited teams and fresh talents.
With the abundance of high-quality players in almost every region, a few individuals stand out above the rest, such as Yay, Cryocells, Derke, ScreaM, BuZz and MaKo. Here are why those six players are regarded as the world’s best.
Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker
The 24-year-old American is one of the best players in the world, the most dominant Chamber player in the current meta.
When Riot Games updated Chamber nerfs in patch 5.12, many people believed Yay’s prime had passed, and he could no longer rely on Chamber to win the game.
However, some people doubt that. His former teammate Pujan “FNS” Mehta and Cloud9 coach Matthew “mCe” Elmore said that Yay’s skill as a player would enable him to continue outperforming his competitors.
After a remarkable tenure with OpTic, he is now with Cloud9 and is a solid playmaker. In 2022, he was the only player to rank among the best five for average combat score (ACS) at both Masters and Champions events.
Yay also received the most MVPs in the Group Stage and the Playoffs. Except for the grand finals, where his team lost to LOUD.
Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban
Cryocells joined XSET for the new VCT season on January 1, 2022. He had terrific performances with the team at Masters Copenhagen and Champions, particularly in the playoffs against other best players.
Cryocells has large Twitch viewers and is known as “Mr.4K” with nearly 100k followers. He earned the title because he frequently kills four in a single round.
In the VCT, he has played 85.7 percent of his games with Jett and 14.3 percent with Chamber. Fans realized his worth in XSET after he defeated Luminosity Gaming 2-0 in two maps with 47 kills.
Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev
The Finnish-Russian player made up for missing Masters Reykjavik with a 53/22/3 KDA and 15 first kills in Masters Copenhagen.
With these numbers, he solidified his position as the best player in the world, paving the path for Fnatic’s new lineup to make their international debut.
The 19-year-old also powered Fnatic to a 10-2 lead in the attacking half, including a critical 1v3 clutch in Round 5 in Copenhagen.
The star player is a formidable opponent on the battlefield due to his aggressive playstyle and prime aim. Derke’s abilities extend beyond offensive play since he is also an accomplished support player.
Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom
ScreaM began his FPS career in 2010 at 15 and has continued since. The Belgian is currently playing for the European club Karmine Corp. He is recognized for his excellent aim and aggressive playstyle, which makes him an outstanding duelist.
Before resigning on August 7, 2020, to pursue a career in VALORANT, ScreaM excelled in CS: GO while playing for French teams VeryGames, Titan, G2 and Team Envy.
He earned the nickname “headshot machine” because he had the highest headshot ratio in any CS: GO pro game.
Byung-Chul “BuZz” Yu
The South Korean player’s breakout at the end of the 2022 season positions him for further success in 2023 as the best duelist of DRX and the Pacific area.
The 19-year-old player is the team’s operator and primarily played Chamber and Jett in VCT 2022. In the playoffs, where DRX had frequently failed, BuZz was in charge and tied Leviatán’s Francisco “kiNgg” Aravena for the most round-opening kills.
Kim “MaKo” Myeong-kwan
Mako has played for various teams in the two years since he began his gaming career in 2021, including DRX, Vision Strikers and Tubeple Gaming.
DRX is heavily reliant on 20-year-old MaKo as their anchor, the ultimate backline defender and controller. MaKo’s best performance this year came when DRX was up against it in the lower bracket of the Champions playoffs.
As his team DRX finished third in the VCT 2022, he was awarded the Bronze medal.