Best Valorant players of 2022 – top players this season

One of the top Valorant players in the world throws his hands over the back of his chair.Lance Skundrich/Riot Games

2022 has been a pivotal year for Valorant as fans were let back into the most important events on the calendar and the esport continued to grow worldwide. With fans in attendance, and the ever-changing meta, top Valorant players were minted on the biggest stage the esport has seen so far.

The year included many great storylines, like the dominance of OpTic Gaming, the underdog run of ZETA DIVISION, and the rise of FunPlus Phoenix.

Some players rose out of those storylines to put on performances that cemented them in Valorant history and propelled them into top player status.

Here are our top five Valorant players of the year.

Article continues after ad

Best Valorant players 2022

5 — Jing Jie ‘Jinggg’ Wang

Jingg, one of the top Valorant players of 2022Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
Jinggg joined Paper Rex in September 2021.

Paper Rex finished top four at Valorant Champions Tour Stage 1 Masters and Stage 2 Masters largely off the back of Jinggg’s performance. The teenager did have some help thanks to his partner-in-crime, Jason ‘f0rsakeN’ Susanto, always complementing his aggressive plays and the team’s head coach, Alexandre ‘alecks’ Sallé, drawing up set plays to let both players shine.

But the young Singaporean player had to execute those plays, which he almost always did while finishing events in the top bracket statistically. He was in the top three statistically for average damage per round, average combat score, and kills per round at Stage 2 Masters Copenhagen, according to VRL.gg. He was in the top five for those same statistics at Stage 1 Masters and even broke into the top 10 at Valorant Champions 2022 despite his team not making it past the group stage.

Article continues after ad

Paper Rex became a team to watch internationally in 2022, and based on the ages of Jinggg and f0rsaken, potentially for many years to come.

4 — Kim ‘MaKo’ Myeong-kwan

MaKo, one of the top Valorant players of 2022Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
MaKo was one of DRX’s consistent performers on LAN.

DRX are a consistent threat internationally and continued their dynasty regionally in 2022 by breezing their way to every international event. MaKo, the team’s smokes player, was a consistent competitor for DRX and made his way to the top of many statistical categories throughout the year.

Arguably his best tournament of the year was Masters Copenhagen, where he had the highest number of assists per round at 0.5 and the second-highest kill, assist, survive, or trade percentage, according to VLR. While not always showing up on the stats sheets, or making flashy plays, MaKo was the rock DRX needed to make it out of tough games.

Article continues after ad

He was rarely the team’s bottom fragger and was one of the biggest reasons DRX broke into the top three at Valorant Champions, the team’s first top-three showing internationally, by top-fragging in a 2-0 win over FPX.

3 — Gustavo ‘Sacy’ Rossi

Sacy sitting in a throneSebastian Stigsby/Riot Games
Sacy helped lead LOUD to a Valorant Champions title.

No top-five list of the year in Valorant would be complete with a representative from the Valorant Champions winners, LOUD. The Brazilian squad was one of the best teams of the year in the esport and also dominated their home region as no domestic rival was able to take a series off of them in 2022. One of the leaders of the squad, Sacy, was an integral part of the team as he helped captain LOUD and caused problems for enemy teams with his utility usage.

Article continues after ad

LOUD was billed as a top team in Brazil and internationally because of their understanding of the meta, utility usage, and raw mechanics. Besides having great aimers, LOUD were fortunate to have someone like Sacy, who could read the game and mentor younger teammates.

While not one of the top statistical players of the year, Sacy always held his own as a site anchor and was never a liability for his team, unlike other team captains and IGLs at the top level.

2 — Dmitry ‘SUYGETSU’ Ilyushin

SUYGETSU ValorantColin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
The youngest player on the top Valorant players of 2022 list.

The rise of FPX was a fun ride for fans as the team qualified for every international event in 2022, won Masters Copenhagen, and finished top four at Valorant Champions. All five team members from the squad could be on the list of the best Valorant players of the year, but the youngest of the team made Dexerto’s list for his consistent fragging power.

Article continues after ad

SUYGETSU was named MVP of the grand final series between FPX and PRX at Masters Copenhagen after the team lifted the trophy. The 20-year-old player secured the final kills for his team to win the series and also dominated the third map of the series, Fracture, with 22 kills on Viper.

While not a flashy playmaker, or the crafty IGL of the squad, SUYGETSU showcased his talent in a more supportive role and still had breakout games throughout the year to show fans he is more than a Cypher main.

1 — Jaccob ‘yay’ Whiteaker

yay ValorantLance Skundrich/Riot Games
yay was by far the top player of the year and demanded attention from multiple teams this offseason.

OpTic Gaming were the best Valorant team of 2022 by a mile as the squad placed top three across all three international VCT events and won Masters 1. It’s hard to overlook yay’s importance to OpTic’s success despite the team boasting some of the best players from North America.

yay was in the top three across all three VCT major 2022 events in average combat score, average damage per round, and kills per round, according to VLR. With the rise of Chamber and his abilities, which give the Agent a sniper rifle and a one-shot headshot kill sidearm, yay became almost unstoppable. He also averaged 0.18 first kills per round across the year at international events.

Don’t just take Dexerto’s word for it: yay was also named the best esports athlete of the year by The Game Awards on Dec 8.