Impressive statistics in major tournaments and stellar performances against top-tier opponents have earned Robin "ropz" Kool the third spot in HLTV's Top 20 Players of 2023, supported by 1xBet.
Introduction to the Top 20 Players of 2023:
Robin "ropz" Kool made a significant impact on the CS:GO scene in 2016, climbing the ranks on FACEIT and securing a spot in FPL, where he faced Europe's best. Despite doubts surrounding his rapid rise, a visit to FACEIT's London offices in March 2017 dispelled baseless cheating accusations, paving the way for ropz to join MOUZ in April 2017. While his first year with MOUZ had its ups and downs, including a victory at ESG Tour Mykonos 2017 and a second-place finish at ECS Season 4 Finals, ropz solidified his presence in the tier-one environment in 2019.
2019 saw a revamped MOUZ squad, and ropz thrived under the leadership of Finn "karrigan" Andersen, establishing himself as a star player. MOUZ ended the year ranked second globally, with ropz named the 10th best player of 2019. In 2020, despite the transition to online play due to the pandemic, ropz maintained his elite-level performance, securing the seventh spot in HLTV's Top 20.
The year 2021 proved challenging for ropz, marked by the departure of key players from MOUZ and limited success in major tournaments, resulting in an 18th-place ranking in HLTV's Top 20. However, 2022 marked a triumphant return to form as ropz joined FaZe, fulfilling his dream of representing the renowned organization. Reunited with karrigan, ropz played a pivotal role in FaZe's success, winning four significant events and securing the eighth spot in HLTV's Top 20 for 2022.
Season Start and Challenges at IEM Katowice:
FaZe's 2023 season began with a strong performance at the BLAST Premier Spring Groups. However, at IEM Katowice, they faced setbacks with a 2-0 loss to G2, leading to a lower bracket placement. ropz experienced a dip in form, but he attributed it to his typical start-of-season struggles. The team addressed their issues with a month of intensive practice, creating new plays and strategies. Ropz bounced back at ESL Pro League Season 17, earning his third MVP title and leading FaZe to success in several series.
Overcoming Challenges and Winning Intel Grand Slam:
FaZe's primary goal for 2023 was to secure the Intel Grand Slam, which they achieved at ESL Pro League Season 17. Ropz played a crucial role in the playoffs, maintaining high ratings and contributing to FaZe's victory in the grand final against Cloud9. With an impressive tournament rating, ropz helped FaZe lift the trophy and complete the Intel Grand Slam.
Unexpected Challenges at Paris Major:
Despite the Intel Grand Slam success, FaZe faced unexpected challenges at the Paris Major, struggling in the European RMRs and securing a spot through the last-chance qualifier. Ropz showcased resilience with strong performances, acknowledging the intense pressure during those days in Copenhagen.
Mixed Results in IEM Rio and Paris Major:
IEM Rio presented challenges for FaZe, with losses to FURIA and Vitality resulting in an early exit. FaZe rebounded in the Challengers Stage of the Paris Major, securing a spot in the Champions Stage. Ropz had standout performances but faced a loss to Heroic in the quarterfinals.
Consistent Performances in North America:
FaZe's journey continued with back-to-back events in North America: IEM Dallas and BLAST Premier Spring Final. Ropz earned an EVP accolade in Texas, contributing to FaZe's success against notable teams. In Washington, D.C., FaZe faced challenges, but ropz remained a key player despite some disappointing displays.
Challenges and Closure in CS:GO:
FaZe encountered a rough patch with disappointing results at IEM Cologne, Riyadh, and ESL Pro League Season 18, marking the end of their rich story in CS:GO. Ropz maintained high ratings in individual performances but acknowledged the uncertainties surrounding the transition to Counter-Strike 2 (CS2).
Transition to Counter-Strike 2 and Success in Australia:
FaZe shifted focus to CS2, and ropz excelled in the new game during IEM Sydney. Ropz's outstanding performances in the playoffs, including victories against FaZe and MOUZ, contributed to FaZe's success in Australia.
MVP Wins in CS2 and Continued Success:
Ropz added to his MVP collection with wins at the Thunderpick World Championship and CS Asia Championships, showcasing exceptional performances and contributing to FaZe's victories. Despite the MVP wins at smaller events, ropz's overall incredible year, highlighted by his 1.25 Big Match rating, solidified his third-place ranking in HLTV's Top 20 Players of 2023.
Goals for 2024:
Looking ahead, ropz aims to peak at major tournaments and secure a Major victory in 2024. Reflecting on his exceptional year, ropz attributes his success to a perfect balance of talent, experience, hard work, and having the right team and support around him.