Update 16/11/2018: Following the recent Call of Duty World Championships, I’ve moved some players around. Most significantly, Apathy makes his way into the top 10, replacing former teammate J0hn.
In recent weeks, the Call of Duty community has been rife with discussion over the best Call of Duty players of all time, with fans and pro players alike taking part in creating their top ten lists. Here, I’ve compiled my top ten list, taking into consideration prize money, championships won and level of competition, as well as individual raw skill.
Before getting on with the list, I would like to name some honourable mentions:
Nadeshot, owner of 100 Thieves, who accelerated the growth of Call of Duty esports to dizzy new heights with his YouTube content
BigTymer, commonly regarded as one of the greatest of his generation, but struggled to keep up when the competition began to improve
Rambo, who taught most of North America’s best players how to play the game to perfection. Often referred to as the CoDfather, or simply the smartest to ever play Call of Duty
Gunless, who has in the last two years been arguably the best player in the game. With a couple more championships and years under his belt, Gunless will no doubt end up on this list
Now, though, the real top ten…
10. Tyler “TeePee” Polchow
Teepee is a veteran of the Call of Duty scene, having started playing in Modern Warfare 2 where he first met future duo Patrick “Aches” Price.
TeePee went on to win 16 major championships before retiring in 2016 to move into analysis and casting. He is now the coach for the OpTic Gaming team.
9. Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov
Apathy is a player that doesn’t really get the credit he deserves. For the last three years, he has been a mainstay at the top, having won two of the last three World Championships and coming second in the other. There is no denying his ability to stay at the top of the game, and he definitely doesn’t seem to be getting any worse. This has prompted him to make the top 10 list, replacing former teammate J0hn.
In the Black Ops 4 season, he will be playing under Team Envy with his 2018 World Championship winning teammates as well as young SMG star Cuyler “Huke” Garland.
8. Austin “Slasher” Liddicoat
Slasher has been one of the most controversial characters in CoD esports in recent years, as a very vocal teammate that has no issues telling people exactly what they are doing wrong.
However, he is without a doubt one of the best Assault Rifle players in the game, and has been right at the very top for the last three years, only facing competition from Sam “Octane” Larew and Matthew “Formal” Piper.
He teamed with Apathy for their Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare World Championship performances, as well as placing third at the Advanced Warfare World Championships.
7. James “Clayster” Eubanks
Clayster, or Clay as he is affectionately known to members of the community, is one of Call of Duty’s most popular players.
Clay picked up a huge following amidst the explosive growth the scene saw in Black Ops 2, as part of the compLexity dynasty that dominated Call of Duty at the time, winning six of seven consecutive events, the seventh being a runner up placing at the PAX Prime Invitational.
In recent years, Clay has remained a top AR player and become a vocal leader, taking a young Denial team to a World Championship win in Advanced Warfare and now leading three young guns in his current eUnited squad.
6. Patrick “Aches” Price
Aches may be the only player that can rival Slasher for controversy at the top level. However, you can’t doubt his accolades.
With 20 major championships under his belt, Aches has an argument to be even higher than he is.
If his performances throughout the “jetpack era” had been slightly better and more consistent, he would definitely have a case to be top three. However, in the first boots-on-the-ground game since Call of Duty: Ghosts (in which he won Champs), Aches went on a magnificent run at the World Championships to knock out long-time rivals OpTic Gaming and beat favourites Team Kaliber in the grand final, making him a two-time World Champion.
With the win, he solidified himself as Call of Duty’s best boots on the ground player.
5. Matthew “Formal” Piper
Formal has been one of Slasher’s only challengers for best AR in the game in recent years, and can take the crown at least for the Infinite Warfare season.
He burst onto the scene in Ghosts as a former Halo pro and didn’t take long to make his way onto a top team, finding himself on OpTic Gaming for a dominant Advanced Warfare year. His involvement in the OpTic dynasty and raw skill sees him make the top five, but Aches is hot on his heels.
Formal is currently fourth in championship wins, behind only his former OpTic teammates. In the Black Ops 4 season, he will be playing under Luminosity Gaming, with expectations high on him and the squad to perform well.
4. Jordan “Jkap” Kaplan
Jkap, the best CTF player in existence, the free ticket to the World Championship Grand Final.
In the last five years, Jkap has won Champs twice and came runner-up twice. His only Champs to not appear in a Grand Final was during Ghosts, where he came sixth, and World War II in which he also came 5-6th. As one of only five players to win multiple World Championships, Jkap has cemented himself as one of the greatest players of all time.
This season, JKap will be playing under eUnited, who came fourth at Champs this year. The squad is looking good and Kap is surely ready to make another grand final.
3. Seth “Scump” Abner
Scump is arguably Call of Duty’s most popular player. He has a vibrant personality that resonates with just about anyone, as evidenced by his YouTube subscriber and Twitter follower count, both of which are in excess of two million.
This isn’t all Scump has to offer, however. If this list were based on raw gunskill, he would be very comfortably at the top of the list. He has maintained a positive KD ratio at every event he’s attended in the last six years and is the last person you want to come up against in a gunfight.
He is a World Champion and has won the second highest amount of championships, behind only current teammate Ian “Crimsix” Porter. A disappointing WWII season is now firmly in the past and, putting rumours of retirement behind him, Scump looks set to be as dominant as ever during Black Ops 4.
2. Damon “Karma” Barlow
Karma is commonly referred to as the GOAT, so it’s always going to be a tough decision putting him anywhere else besides first.
He is the only three-time World Champion in Call of Duty and has fulfilled just about every role one could ask for in a team.
Though he lost his place on the OpTic Gaming team midway through the World War II season, he was quickly pulled back in for Black Ops 4 following their top-24 exit from the World Championships, and he is surely going to be coming championships this season.
1. Ian “Crimsix” Porter
Crimsix is the only man that could possibly replace Karma at the top of the list.
He has won 31 major championships across his Call of Duty career, five more than teammate Scump in second place. Two-time World Champion, vital member of the infamous compLexity dynasty and unsung hero of the OpTic team dubbed the greatest of all time, Crimsix is, without doubt, the greatest player to ever grace the game.
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