Loyalty is a buzzword used in most sports. If you watch Football, then an icon like Paolo Maldini comes to mind, whereas if you watch Basketball, you may think of Kobe Bryant. These players are praised for their loyalty to their team even when the results might not be going their way. In contrast, players who leave organizations for better teams, such as Kevin Durant, are seen in a negative light, and it often taints their legacy.
In CS:GO, the idea of loyalty to one team does not hold as much weight. One reason for this might be the fandoms that usually surround players rather than organizations, so if a player leaves for another team, the fans just follow the player rather than sticking to the team and being angry at the player who left.
Whilst it’s not as prominent in CS:GO, there are some players who have displayed incredible loyalty to their team. NiKo’s recent decision to stick with G2 by turning down a huge offer from Falcons proves that. So, let’s take a look at the most loyal CS:GO players of all time.
In this list, we’re highlighting players who not only stayed on one team for a long time, but also those who turned down big offers or stuck with the team through rough periods of results.
When Cloud9 signed Timothy “autimatic” Ta, he was already a well-known rifler in the NA scene, even playing an S-Tier event during his time on TSM. But it was during his time on Cloud9 that he really established himself as a truly reliable player who could be the difference maker between a good and a great team. He played with Cloud9 for three years, but it wasn’t his longevity that earned him a place on this list. autimatic stuck with Cloud9 through thick and thin, he was there at the team’s height, but also there during their lowest points.
autimatic joined the Northern American organization in late 2016, and it didn’t take long for the team to find success with their new addition. Just two months later, Cloud9 won the ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals in São Paulo, and guess who was given HLTV’s MVP Award for the event? None other than autimatic.
For the next two years, Cloud9 found some success, winning Dream Open Denver 2017 and iBUYPOWER Masters 2017. But what they did in early 2018 nobody expected. In one of the greatest underdog stories CS:GO ever saw Cloud9 win the ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018 by beating a stacked FaZe team in the Grand Final.
Although autimatic was essential to the Major victory, it was the months that followed the win that really tested and proved his loyalty. Following the Major Cloud9 began to fall apart, Stewie2k left to join SK Gaming, and by July, they had signed and benched FNS whilst Tarik parted ways with the team. Cloud9 then decided to try a new approach and signed two European imports and brought in another on loan; Golden, flusha, and STYKO.
Through middling to very disappointing results, Cloud9 continued to change their roster bringing in players who left just a few months later, but one player remained through it all, autimatic.
Halfway through 2019, they attempted to try one more lineup, which included autimatic, but by December the project was over, and they decided to start with a clean slate. autimatic joined NRG as the ATK roster was signed by Cloud9, thus ending his time on Cloud9. autimatic stuck with the team through the highs and the lows, performing well through it all
GeT_RiGhT and f0rest
While autimatic found his way on this list despite only spending three years on Cloud9, this duo is a completely different story. The Swedish legends, Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund and Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg, dedicated themselves to NIP for most of their career. f0rest spent just under eight years playing for the team from 2012 to 2020, whilst GeT_RiGhT
spent six years alongside him. During this time, they also experienced the highs and the lows of competition, going from the most dominant team in the world to early-round exits.
Ninjas in Pyjamas was the first team that the duo signed for in Counter-Strike Global Offensive back in 2021. They had both had successful careers beforehand, but on Ninjas in Pyjamas, they cemented themselves in history. The duo not only won a Major in 2014 but also made history by winning 87 maps in a row: a record that remains unbeaten to this day.
Both players won multiple trophies for the Swedish organization and spent the entire peak of their abilities on the team. Not only were the two loyal to NIP, but also each other as they would reunite and retire on Dignitas in 2020 and 2022, respectively.
Håvard "rain" Nygaard had played in the Norwegian scene and had a short stint on international rosters, with an appearance on Kinguin and G2, before joining FaZe in 2016. After joining, he never looked back, staying on the team to this day.
The Norwegian rifler was not only on the team for a long time but also was a part of the team that experienced the most famous choke in CS:GO history. FaZe infamously lost in the ELEAGUE Boston Major Grand Final to Cloud9 after being up in the last map, a loss that many players might not have found to be easy to come back from. But for rain, leaving FaZe was not an option, and his loyalty would later be rewarded.
Although FaZe made changes, rain stuck with the team, and unlike autimatic, who eventually was bought out after Cloud9 continued to struggle, rain’s gamble came through as FaZe found their form once more and became the best team in the world.
There were bumps in the road, including the 2021 Stockholm Major, but eventually, in 2022 FaZe got their Major victory in Antwerp. Almost as a reward for his years of loyalty and impressive consistency, rain won the Major MVP. Unlike other Major winning sides, FaZe continued to win on the international stage and went on to lift the Intel Grand Slam trophy.
Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz has been the face of BIG since 2017 and has established himself as one of the best-fragging IGLs in Counter-Strike. Over the years, this has reportedly attracted offers from top contending teams such as G2, but the reason tabseN gets a spot on this list is that he’s always denied any rumors and stayed loyal to BIG.
The German captain has even doubled down on this in an X post (formerly Twitter) from July 2022. He stated: “There's something I will never do, abandon my child BIG.”
Unlike rain, who has been rewarded with a Major and a Grand Slam win, BIG has not had lots of success during tabseN’s time with the roster. This makes his loyalty even more impressive, whilst others might move in order to get more success or to join a bigger brand like FaZe or G2, tabseN has stayed loyal to his hometown club. Regardless of the roster moves made around him, he has always stuck it out and continued to lead to the best of his ability.
Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson has had two separate stints on Fnatic; the first was in 2014 when they originally established their dominance, but the second was the longest. From 2016 to the current day, KRIMZ has stayed loyal to FNATIC despite that 2014 dominance never quite being repeated. Fnatic went from the number one team in the world to floundering in ESL Pro League exactly a year later.
KRIMZ’s original stint on Fnatic saw the team enjoy much success as they became the first-ever team to win back-to-back Major wins. The Swedish core of Fnatic was seen as the very best in the world as they continued to win more trophies throughout 2015.
He then left the team to join GODSENT for a short stint before coming straight back to Fnatic in the same year. Results didn’t immediately deteriorate, but eventually, Fnatic began losing more and more. He experienced lows and even lowers. Fnatic went into a state of constant roster moves, which meant they could never stabilize and thus never have a long period of success.
Eventually, they stabilized with the addition of William “mezii” Merriman and began to compete at Majors once again, but going into CS2, their future was uncertain once again as they continued to make more roster moves.
Regardless of where fnatic stands now, one thing remains the same. They have their loyal soldier, krimz.
The last player on this list is Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski, the American-born rifler who stuck by Liquid for eight years. He joined Liquid in 2015, and they immediately took a leap upwards as in 2016, they came second at ESL One Cologne. The team continued to improve and improve, becoming a staple of North American Counter-Strike alongside Cloud9 and NRG.
In 2019, EliGE helped create one of the first North American dynasties. Liquid were dominating their local region and formed a fantastic rivalry with the best team in the world, Astralis. Liquid did the never seen before as they became the first North American team to win a Grand Slam.
EliGE was there for many editions of the roster, both good and bad. Like many of the players on this list, he stuck with the team despite roster changes and negative runs of form. The true test of loyalty for EliGE didn’t come in the form of a choke or a big loss, but rather a global pandemic. He stayed loyal to not only Liquid but also North America when COVID-19 cut off the region from the international stage. The aftermath saw NA weakened and without a Pro League.
Even when the possibility of joining a European giant would have meant more success individually, he stuck with Liquid. He recently left Liquid as they transitioned to a European roster and, in a way, kept loyal to NA as he now plays for Complexity.
It was not only his longevity but also how he helped Liquid become the best team in America and arguably the world, which earned him a spot on this list.