The PGL Major Stockholm 2021 was an event that will enter the annals of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive history. It was the major where Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev finally hoisted his trophy, it featured the most viewed match of all time, and it was a return to live audiences after a two-year period of online play during the COVID-19 pandemic. To commemorate the major, Valve continued its tradition of releasing stickers for the teams and players in attendance. This year, they opted to only release the signature stickers for players in the top eight teams — pour one out for NAF’s sloth sticker.
What follows is a comprehensive ranking of every single gold player signature sticker from the PGL Major. The stickers were ranked with three criteria in mind: visual appeal, contextual connection to the player and wider significance. So, jump in, start writing your hate mail for the unfair placement of your favorite player, and gorge your eyes on the visual feast that is this year’s batch of player stickers.
#40 – René “TeSeS” Madsen
Unfortunately, TeSeS has claimed the honor of the ugliest player sticker. The signature looks like it was drawn on a trackpad. There’s nothing really more to be said than that.
#39 – Yuri “yuurih” Boian
It’s always admirable when players take risks and try to incorporate more design elements into their autographs. Unfortunately, in this case, I think it’s a swing and a miss.
#38 – Ismail “refrezh” Ali
The second Heroic player at the bottom of the list is refrezh and his signature is, frankly, uninspired. Bland. Boring.
#37 – Martin “stavn” Lund
For some reason the Heroic players (with one notable exception) didn’t really put much character or risk into their autographs. It’s a shame too because stavn had a monster performance at the PGL Major.
#36 – Abai “Hobbit” Hasenov
Hobbit’s signature looks to be a cut and paste from his PGL Major Kraków 2017 sticker, which is a much better sticker overall because it carries the weight of the first and only major win of his career.
#35 – Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo
This was a surprisingly tough sticker to rate. It’s horribly ugly, no question there, but the context matters here. VINI is a jovial, smiley, happy guy and that’s clearly represented in his signature. In that regard, this sticker is spot on.
#34 – Rasmus “sjuush” Beck
If you’re keeping track, you’ll know this is the fourth of five Heroic players. It’s a shame that they all have such plain, reserved designs considering it’s their first player sticker and the team made such a deep run in the playoffs. Sigh. Maybe next time.
#33 – Richard “shox” Papillon
Considering Vitality’s early exit and the lackluster design, this signature doesn’t have much going for it.
#32 – Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov
From a design perspective, nafany took some swings. There’s a lot packed into the signature and it clearly has some subtext, but visually it doesn’t quite nail the right look.
#31 – Linus “LNZ” Holtäng
It looks like LNZ just took a sharpie and wrote his name. Surprisingly, it works.
#30 – Nicolas “Plopski” Gonzalez Zamora
Bolder text generally looks better in most of these gold stickers, but Plopski’s signature and the way its framed by the Ninjas in Pyjamas logo is not bad for a thin-lined autograph.
#29 – Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato
It’s a simple design, but somehow KSCERATO makes it work. Also, the FURIA Esports logo is badass.
#28 – Timur “buster” Tulepov
This is another sticker where the design aligns nicely with the player’s personality. Sedate and straightforward, buster’s signature is reflective of his in-game demeanor.
#27 – Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov
Ax1Le’s signature sticker is another example of thin lines done well. Even though there’s not a whole lot going on, it’s clean and framed nicely by the Gambit logo
#26 – Evgeniy “FL1T” Lebedev
There’s a nice balance of design elements and text here. The dollar sign is a bit garish, but it’s also a classic so what can you do. Plus, this is as good a time as any to mention that the Virtus.pro logo looks amazing in all the PGL Major stickers. Something about the Norse runic-looking polar bear is badass.
#25 – Audric “JaCkz” Jug
Something about including a crosshair in the signature is just plain cool. It’s a distinctly Counter-Strike addition that works well as an accent. Bold text is also a big plus. This is a fantastic sticker that’s held back by the fact that it looks like the Nickelodeon logo.
#24 – Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut
In the spirit of honesty, this sticker is only rated as highly as it is because of the player. This is not an attractive sticker.
#23 – Fredrik “REZ” Sterner
REZ’s signature is blissfully bold. This signature is one that will really pop out on a gun skin. The lowercase lettering is a bit strange.
#22 – André “drop” Abreu
Most of the stickers from this point on are quite good and drop’s is no exception. The style and the design of the “P” are creative, tying back to the player’s in-game name.
#21 – Denis “electronic” Sharipov
The first of the PGL Major winners on this list, electronic is only rated this high because of that tasty little “Champion” addition on this sticker. Frankly, the signature — which he’s used a handful of times for different majors — is ugly. The lightning bolt is a nice touch but the bubble lettering doesn’t quite land.
#20 – Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz
One of the greatest to touch the game, dev1ce has plenty of momentous signature stickers to celebrate his many majors. This is his first in a while with a team logo that isn’t Astralis. While his signature is a bit lacking, it’s the wider context and the history of the player that makes this sticker special.
#19 – Nemanja “huNter-” Kovač
This is an uncomplicated sticker, but the bold lettering and framing from the G2 logo elevate it.
#18 – Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov
It’s hard to articulate but this sticker just matches sh1ro’s personality well. Although he didn’t perform to his usual standards at the PGL Major, this is a sticker that will undoubtedly age well as the young AWPer gets better and better.
#17 – Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov
This is a design that Boombl4 has used before, but the hearts have an added significance this time around. After Natus Vincere’s in-game leader led the team to their first major win, he proposed to his girlfriend. Unfortunately, the signature itself doesn’t pass the eye test, especially compared to his design for his ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018 sticker.
#16 – Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi
While the shaky lines are a bit of a turnoff, the PGL Major was when the world at large was exposed to the budding star that is b1t. That, in combination with the fact that the 18-year-old won the whole damned major makes for a pretty special sticker. Also, crosshair.
#15 – Aleksei “qikert” Golubev
It’s clear that qikert brought his A-game with this signature. It’s a big step up from his previous sticker designs.
#14 – Kévin “misutaaa” Rabier
This is a signature that says “class.” Well-executed, not overly showy. Nothing more needs to be said.
#13 – Hampus “hampus” Poser
This is probably one of the last stickers on this list where the player didn’t enlist outside help. That said, the bold lines and solid framing make this signature sticker easy on the eyes.
#12 – François “AmaNEk” Delaunay
Even though this signature doesn’t boast any fancy design elements, the font is perfect. Somehow, it perfectly matches the G2 samurai aesthetic.
#11 – Casper “cadiaN” Møller
At least one Heroic player tried for some flair. The karambit knife is a nice touch and it adds a lot to an otherwise uninspired signature.
#10 – Dan “apEX” Madesclaire
Although apEX has used this design before, it looks particularly good in this PGL Major iteration. The leading lines of the Vitality “V” in the background frame the signature perfectly. It’s also as boisterous as apEX himself.
#9 – Jayson “Kyojin” Nguyen Van
There’s not a lot from a design perspective, but Kyojin’s signature still stands out as the best take on the “classic” cursive, flowery lettering approach to an autograph.
#8 – Timofey “interz” Yakushin
I don’t know how interz knew what PGL were planning when he submitted this signature, but thematically it’s an exact match for the Norse stencil design on the team logos.
#7 – Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis
YEKINDAR went for what you’d almost call a cyberpunk style for his signature. It’s not too ostentatious but it still stands out as one of the best of all the player autographs.
#6 – Andrei “arT” Piovezan
For a man who died his hair blue for the PGL Major playoffs, you want some pizzazz from arT’s signature. He delivered with the winged “A” and the stylized font. Add to that FURIA’s kick-ass logo and you’ve got one hell of a sticker.
#5 – Dzhami “Jame” Ali
Clutch your AWP close to your chest because it’s Jame time.
#4 – Nikola “NiKo” Kovač
NiKo has used this signature design for almost all of his major appearances. That said, with his standout performance at the PGL Major and overall second place finish, there’s some added significance here. It also looks fantastic over the G2 logo.
#3 – Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy
Someone’s been copying NiKo’s homework. Still a fantastic sticker. Framing is excellent and, of course, you’ve got the “Champion” sub-text.
#2 – Nemanja “nexa” Isaković
For this signature sticker, nexa came to play. The font and the two swords making up the “X” are both nods to the G2 samurai branding. Add that to G2’s second place finish and you’ve got a picture of why this sticker is so highly rated. It might’ve even taken the No. 1 position, except the autograph is placed strangely high on the G2 logo.
#1 – Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
What to say about s1mple’s signature. The man finally won his major. His autograph is good and, even if it’s not the best from a visual standpoint, it’s up there for sure. This is a sticker that will go down in Counter-Strike history.