The impetus for the development of esports as we know it today was the Quake Red Annihilation tournament held in 1997. Since then, the popularity of such competitions has been steadily growing. To become the best, it’s not enough just to play cool – you need really reliable hardware and faithful, high-quality peripherals. The market for gaming peripherals is huge, but what products do professional gamers use? Today we will get acquainted with the selection of the top 20 CS:GO athletes.
The rating is based on the hltv.org resource for 2019, which was not without unexpected changes. The most notable was the rise of the Frenchman Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbault, who in 2018 did not even make it into the top hundred. The final list of the best players along with their current peripherals is presented in the table.
Let’s look for patterns and try to understand the individual preferences of world-class professional gamers.
Manipulator choice: ZOWIE and all the others
The mouse is the main tool of any player. Its ergonomics, response time and sensor accuracy determine performance on the battlefield. If marketing intrigues can be suspected in other elements of the periphery, then a professional will not change the mouse and monitor for the worst option for any money.
Most top 20 players (13 out of 20) use ZOWIE paddles. This sub-brand of BenQ features a classic look with an emphasis on ergonomics and performance.
The most popular model, which was liked by almost half of the list (8 out of 20), was ZOWIE by BenQ EC2. The mouse has a right-handed design, when buying, the user can choose from two sizes – Small and Large, there are only five buttons on the body, and the Pixart PMW3310 sensor allows you to change the resolution in a small range of 400-3200 dpi. The polling frequency reaches 1000 Hz.
By modern standards, the technical characteristics and appearance of ZOWIE models are more suitable for office rodents. However, professional gamers appreciate them for good ergonomics, reliability and excellent accuracy.
Wired mouse Zowie S1 black
Wired mouse Zowie EC2-A black
Alexander “s1mple” Kostylev and Ethan “Ethan” Arnold use Logitech G Pro Wireless and Razer Viper Ultimate wireless mice. Their level of play eloquently says that today wireless manipulators are suitable for competition of any level. The main thing is to choose the right model.
Mouse wireless/wired Logitech G PRO Wireless black [910-005272]
9 899 *
Mouse wireless/wired Razer Viper Ultimate black
9 499 *
The most unusual mice were chosen by Mathieu “ZywOo” Erbo, the leader of the rating, and Ere “sergej” Salo, a Finnish athlete, who took 13th place. The Xtrfy M4 and FinalMouse Ultralight 2 models are studded with holes to reduce weight and promote a secure grip. These are options for those who prefer not to feel the mouse while working.
Professionals prefer ergonomics and productivity to multi-zone backlighting and numerous keys.
What about rugs?
With their choice, solidarity is noticeably less. All mats that match the level of players provide approximately the same performance. This opens up opportunities for self-realization and earnings on advertising. For example, s1mple uses a Hator mat in a special color with his nickname.
The most popular options were ZOWIE by BenQ G-SR, Razer Gigantus and the Logitech G line.
Mat Razer Gigantus
Mat Logitech G240 Cloth
The first brand was preferred by 6 players, Razer and Logitech had 5 “fans” each.
Professional keyboards: mechanics are everything
The keyboard is as much a player’s tool as the mouse. But there are fewer requirements for it. In fact, enough reliability and meet the individual needs of the owner in ergonomics. Mechanical keyboards are undeniable leaders in reliability among other types. Therefore, it is not unusual for only mechanics to make the list.
In addition, we can conclude that the best CS:SO players prefer standard and high keycaps. Among the models under consideration, there is not a single low-profile one.
According to the presence of an additional block with numbers, the models were distributed approximately equally. Variants without NumPad won by a minimal margin. In shooters, there is really little use for it. The models of Logitech and Razer brands became the leaders in popularity. Their products were chosen by 14 players from the list.
Keyboard Wired Logitech G Pro [920-009393]
9 199 *
Keyboard Wired Razer Huntsman [RZ03-02521100-R3R1]
Keyboard wired Razer Blackwidow Elite [RZ03-02621100-R3R1]
Monobrand mice and keyboards can be found in ZywOo and s1mple, who favor the Xtrfy and Logitech brands, respectively. Ethan “Ethan” Arnold has all peripherals, except for the monitor, from Razer.
Monitors: fast matrices, low resolutions
You can save on a keyboard, do without an expensive mat and headset, but a gaming monitor must have an increased frame rate. The best players in the world are result-oriented and choose equipment that does not limit their potential. All top 20 athletes use monitors with 240Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time.
Interestingly, twenty players use only three different models. All of them are flagships in FullHD lines of their manufacturers. The most popular was the ZOWIE by BenQ XL2546 – it was chosen by 14 players out of 20. Alienware AW2518H was in second place – it was preferred by 4 players. Two more have ASUS ROG SWIFT PG258Q.
24.5″ Monitor Dell Alienware AW2518H black
24.5″ Monitor ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q [90LM0360-B01370]
It’s hard to believe that in the coming age of 8K monitors, someone uses resolutions below FullHD. However, most of the players in the PRO scene consider the increase in resolution as an additional load on the video card and are not ready to sacrifice a high frame rate and a stable frame time for the sake of increased detail. Only 3 out of 20 athletes use resolutions above 1280×1024.
Estonian gamer Robin “ropz” Kohl is the only one on the list who plays at standard 1920×1080. Tenth place, taken by him at the end of 2019, is another reason to discuss the need to lower the permit.
Aspect ratio is a personal thing. In our case, the number of players using 4:3 and wide format split in half.
Headset: One More Feeling Doesn’t Hurt
A gaming headset is an important piece of computer peripherals. If in strategies or mmorpg you can get by with speakers, then in competitive shooters, clear positioning is vital and is possible only with high-quality headphones.
The most popular models among the athletes in question were the Razer Kraken Pro V2 and HyperX Cloud II (5 players each), followed by the Turtle Beach Elite Pro (4 players).
Razer Kraken Pro V2 Oval Wired Headphones black
Headphones HyperX Cloud II KHX-HSCP-GM black
6 750 *
We can conclude that professionals choose full-size closed headphones. This is due to the good sound insulation and the large size of the membranes, which ensure the accuracy of sound transmission, its good dynamic range. A high value of the latter indicator will help to hear quiet sounds, for example, the steps of an approaching enemy.
In a team game, the quality of the microphone is also important. It should provide well-distinguishable speech, without extraneous noise and echo.
Over the past decade, manufacturers have been diligently convincing us that gaming devices should amaze with an abundance of animated lighting and surprise with a non-standard appearance. The choice of professionals proves that the main criteria are convenience and stable, high performance.