Best Esports Athletes in 2021 – Exceptional players in an exceptional year

2021 was a pretty big year for esports. There have been big developments, some major upsets at tournaments, and a lot of new games making the jump to the top tier. Alongside industry-wide achievements though, there are some players who have stood apart from the crowd this year. These are the best esports players in 2021, the athletes that have achieved something a notch above the rest.

For some of these players, it is because of a few major performances they pulled off. They might not have won the biggest title in their sport, but they put in performances which have made them the clear winner for the year. For others, it comes down to their impact. These are the best esports athletes in 2021.

Best Esports Players in 2021

While there are some players who have definitely made a major impact, these lists have to be pretty subjective. We’re basing our picks for who the best esports players in 2021 on their impact for the year and performance, but this is going to vary depending on your opinion. This list is going to be pretty objective, but there is a good case for each of these players.

Best LoL Player – Canyon


Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu

LoL has had a crowded field for the best player this year. There are loads you could go for, including players like Scout who won major MVP awards. However, there is a good case for Canyon deserving highlighting this year. He’s become one of the best Junlgers out there. This particularly came into focus at Worlds.

As the major tournament for the year’s end, World’s is one of the biggest judges of how a player has performed for the year. Canyon was half of the best jungler teams in the game for the season He has an impressive skill and achieved some great stats in terms of his kills and KDA. Canyon might just be half of his Jungler team, but his performance has turned tides throughout the year for LoL games.

Best Dota Player – Yatoro

This might seem like a stranger pick for the entire season of Dota 2, but Spirit’s last-minute run is probably the defining narrative of the season. Spirit’s run of the international was a bit of a surprise, but they’ve had a strong season. Yatoro was a major part of this victory. He’s a pretty young player too, having only been competing for a year.

As a newer player, this performance is definitely impressive. Yatoro was a major part of one of the best runs the International has seen. While quite a few players could be called the best esports player in 2021 for Dota, Yatoro has shined out among this squad. Spirit played 14 different heroes across the International 10. He also set the record for most Rampages in the main stage.

Best CSGO Player – S1mple

s1mple win

When looking for the best esports athletes in 2021 in CSGO, S1mple has to be one of the easier picks for the year. As part of his team, S1mple has secured a lot of titles and wins for the season. However, beyond just his team’s success, he’s proven himself to be the MVP. He’s won that specific prize in quite a few places too.

S1mple has pushed himself in every competition, rising to become one of the most useful players league-wide. His contributions are the single most impressive out of the team, and he played a central role in the team’s success. With a little time, this run will probably cement him as one of the best CSGO players in the game’s history.

Best PUBG Player – TGLTN

TGLTN Best PUBG Player

PUBG has had a big much bigger 2021 for esports than previous years. The year culminated in the PUBG Global Championship, but the game had a much fuller year this time around. For a standout player to put forward as one of the best esports players in 2021 overall, TGLTN is a good pick.

A big part of what’s made TGLTN stand out this year was winning the $1.2 million Championship at the PUBG Global Invitational. As well as this, he took home first at the ESL PUBG Masters and 2nd in the Continental Series. Things didn’t go quite so well at the PUBG WC though, where he only came in 28th. Aside from this though, TGLTN has continued to be one of the best esports athletes competing in PUBG.

Best SC2 Payer – Reynor

Reynor SC2

© StarLadder

SC2 might be one of the older esports games kicking around, but players still show there’s room for innovation. Out of all players who excelled this year, Reynor has finished pretty much top of the pile. Reynor isn’t a new addition to the game, he’s been active for a while and winning major events for years now. However, the player really pushed what can be expected of non-Korean players in recent months.

In 2021 alone, Reynor won the IEM Katowice and the DH SC2 Masters 2021 Summer Finals. He also came 2nd in a few other tournaments. In terms of winnings, he sits at 1st for the year. While Reynor hasn’t done too much that is game-changing, he is always finding ways to push what the height of competition can be.

Best Rainbow Six Player – Pyscho

best esports athletes in 2021

Gustavo “Psycho” Rigal

Pyscho took home the MVP award for the invitational, and he has a decent claim to being the stand-out player of the full year. Just a few years ago, Pyscho stood out as one of the best newcomers to the league. Where others settle though, Pyscho has really built on his reputation this year. His team won both the regional major and the overall Six Invitational.

Pyscho’s team, Ninjas in Pyjamas, performed an impressive run at the Six Invitational. They beat BDS in their first round, before taking FaZe 2-0. In the upper final, things got a bit closer but NiP eventually moved through. Pyscho was a big part of this success, he scored impressive stats across games. While the entire team deserves praise, he stands out as one of the best esports athletes in 2021.

Best Rocket League Player – MaRc_By_8

Rocket League has seen a lot of growth in 2021 as its free-to-play model matures. Its esports scene has been livelier than ever. While there are loads of great players currently active, those in Team BDS have shown their skills this year. Team BDS sits as semi-official champions for the year until a larger event is held. Out of their squad, MaRc_By_8 stands out for his contributions. He has only been in the squad for two years, but he’s proven to be one of their most valuable players.

Marc helped to take Team BDS to first place in the Fall Split Major, 2nd in the European Championship, and 1ST in the Spring EU Major, Winter EU Major, and smaller events. While this is a time-wide achievement, Marc was central here. His performance stood out and at times he carried his team to this victory.

Best Valorant Player – nAts

Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin / Gambit Esports

Through 2021 Valorant has moved to become one of the premier esports. With this, has come a more crowded competitive community between its players. If you’re looking for the best esports players of 2021 then quite a few in this squad stand out. Out of the teams this year though, nAts has really made a name for himself. He’s collected a few MVP awards and moved on to be one of the most important players in the Champions.

NAts has had some ups and downs this season. However, once he began to switch up his playstyle with Champions, he’s been a strong player. He carried his team on numerous occasions, and he’s probably the best sentinel around at the moment. NAts is a clear pick for the best esports athlete of 2021 in Valorant, and we’ll have to see where he takes things next season.

Best Call of Duty Player – Simp

Best CDL Player

Chris “Simp” Lehr

The Call of Duty League 2021 season has taken the league from an impressive new entry to a cornerstone of esports. Among its teams, there are plenty of players who deserve to be named as one of the best esports players in 2021. Simp took home the MVP award for the full season, and his stats reflect his strength as a play for the duration. Simp managed a k/d of 1.17 over the league. He’s one of the best esports athletes in 2021, beyond just CoL itself.

On top of this, his team FaZe was undisputed in their strength over the season. Simp was a major part of this, being one of the most talented players on this squad. Going into the new season for the game, Simp looks to be in a strong position to master how Call of Duty has changed.

Those are some of the top esports players in 2021. However, these things are based in opinion. Those are some of the players that stood out and made waves in their games. Every fan is going to be their personal MVP though, or maybe even a few for the various games they follow.

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