2021 is here and soon a new competitive season of CS:GO will be on its way, but before we move on let’s take a look at some of the biggest player transfers that took place in 2020. There was not an unusual amount of roster shuffles that took place last year as most of the teams kept the core of their lineups intact.
Despite this, there were a few impactful player signings that turned out to be highly rewarding, were immensely hyped, or they were simply some of the biggest transfers that took place last year.
Top 10 CS:GO Player Transfers - 2020
10. Astralis Signing Bubzkji From MAD Lions
The Danish organization started off a trend last year that seems to be slowly catching steam, extending their CS:GO lineup by signing extra players to act as substitutes. The 22-year-old Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen was one the key players signed by Astralis last year and though he did not play a lot for the side, he tried his best to stick to this new role.
Bubzkji’s performance did take a huge hit back from when he was playing with MAD Lions, but his commitment showcased that he was ready to do everything in order to adapt for this new role.
9. Liquid Signing Grim From Triumph
With Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella announcing his retirement from CS:GO to pursue a career in Valorant, Team Liquid turned their attention to the 20-year-old North American rifler Michael "Grim" Wince. Making his way over from Triumph, this was a huge step up for Grim who for the first time in his career was representing a tier-one CS:GO team.
Grim put up some strong performances for the side and shows great potential to turn into a strong rifler in the coming time. He seems to have adjusted well and might go on to become the star player that the team is in need of.
8. Cloud9 Signing Es3tag From Astralis
Cloud9 were out on a mission last year to build a CS:GO lineup which would help bring back their long lost glory. Their heftiest purchase was the Danish entry fragger Patrick "es3tag" Hansen who was signed for a period of 3 years for $2,100,000 USD.
The 25-year-old had barely spent four months with the Astralis roster before he was signed by the North American organization out of his contract. He is shaped to be one of the star players of the lineup, though his impact has not been felt on the new team so far. Maybe things change for the better this year.
7. Vitality Signing Nivera From Heretics
Vitality was one of the organizations who cracked how to properly operate a six-man CS:GO roster last year. This was mainly because they signed the right player for the job, bringing in the 19-year-old Nabil "Nivera" Benrlitom over from Team Heretics to join the French lineup.
Initially, Nivera was mainly used by Vitality on Dust 2 and Inferno. His performance on the two maps bolstered the team positively, as he went on to put a +1.0 overall rating across all the four tournaments that he played along with the French roster. It will be interesting to see how he develops as a player this year and how does Vitality plan on further using his skills.
6. Cloud9 Signing ALEX From Vitality
While building their ‘CS:GO Colossus’ the first player signed by Cloud9 was the experienced British in-game leader Alex "ALEX" McMeekin. They signed him over from the French organization Vitality, locking him in for a period of three years for $1,650,000.
The hyped Cloud9 roster crashed and burned as they failed to make it past the group stage of Flashpoint Season 2. This was followed by their CS:GO coach Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunovic parting ways with the team due to strategic differences arriving between him and ALEX. The pressure is on the 25-year-old captain to prove his worth this year.
5. Complexity Signing Jks From 100 Thieves
The collapse of CS:GO in North American started with 100 Thieves backing out of Counter-Strike for the second time in its history. However, this turned out to be a great opportunity for Justin "jks" Savage who was almost instantly signed by Complexity.
He might not have been able to perform well for the side in 2020, but having being named as the 19th best CS:GO player of 2020 by HLTV must definitely amount something. If the team comes together well during this off time we could really see them doing some serious damage this year.
4. BIG Signing SyrsoN
The German organization BIG signed the 24-year-old AWPer Florian "syrsoN" Rische to their roster right at the very beginning of 2020, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions for the side as they went on to dominate the online European circuit for a few months.
SyrsoN was a big reason behind the team’s success, holding key positions for the side with the scoped rifle. He consistently made impactful plays for BIG and dropped a negative overall rating of 0.98 in just one CS:GO tournament (IEM NY 2020) out of the 29 that he played last year.
3. Heroic Signing TeSeS From Copenhagen Flames
The 20-year-old Danish rifler Rene "TeSeS" Madsen was signed by Heroic soon after the first quarter of 2020, turning things around for the side on the back of some strong performances. He proved himself to be one of the most impactful players for the Danish side through the remainder of the year, playing a big role in their victory at both ESL One Cologne 2020 and DreamHack Open Fall 2020.
2. Na’Vi Signing Perfecto From Syman Gaming
After a string of bad performances to end 2019, Na’Vi finally decided to make a change for the better as they benched Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs and signed a 21-year-old rifler Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy from Syman gaming. Almost instantly things turned around for the Ukrainian organization as they went on to win IEM Katowice 2020.
While the initial high was because of the AWP being returned to the lethal hands of Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, Perfecto kept working hard and improved massively by the end of 2020. This ensured that despite Na’Vi winning just one tournament, they kept finishing top-four in almost all of them.
1. G2 Acquiring NiKo From FaZe Clan
The biggest and the most hyped player transfer of 2020 was none other than G2 Esports signing FaZe Clan’s star player Nikola "NiKo" Kovac. G2 described this as one of the “Biggest CS:GO Signing in History” but did not make the deal signed between them public knowledge which was kind of a letdown.
He has gone to deliver some top-notch performances for G2 Esports alongside his brother Nemanja "huNter-" Kovac, which includes a victory at BLAST Premier: Fall 2020. With one of the best CS:GO teams in the world under their banner, it will be interesting to see how 2021 goes for both, G2 and NiKo.