Top 10 greatest Call of Duty players of all time

by Brian Bencomo

The dust now has settled on the 10th Call of Duty League Championship, where the Los Angeles Thieves beat the Atlanta FaZe at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. With four players winning Champs for the first time and three players being denied a third ring, it’s the perfect time to look back on the greatest Call of Duty players of all time. Winning tournaments, Champs or individual accolades aren’t enough by themselves, but combined they give a pretty good picture of the cream of the crop. This list of top 10 COD players was determined by taking into account tournament wins, with COD Champs titles given more weight and top-three finishes at COD Champs also being a factor. Individual accolades such as league MVP and Champs MVP were a factor too.

All stats are courtesy of COD esports' fandom site on Champs and individual player wins.

1. Crimsix

37 wins, 3 Champs titles, 5 Champs top-three finishes

Photo credit: Josh Alfaro / ESPAT

Ian “Crimsix” Porter is arguably the greatest Call of Duty player of all time. His 37 LAN tournament titles are the most of any player by seven, and his three wins at Champs are tied for the most ever with two others. He won two titles during the Call of Duty World League era -- 2014 with Complexity and 2017 with OpTic gaming -- and one in the Call of Duty League era with the Dallas Empire in 2020. Crim was named Champs MVP in 2020. He also kept his streak alive of appearing at all 10 Champs tournaments after leading the New York Subliners to a miraculous second-place finish at Major 4 this year. His pedigree is unmatched, and his showmanship is second to none.

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2. Karma

24 wins, 3 Champs titles, 4 Champs top-three finishes

Damon "Karma" Barlow is the greatest Canadian COD player of all time and was an early GOAT of Call of Duty esports after he won each of the first two COD Champs tournaments. He won in 2013 with Fariko Impact and in 2014 with Complexity Gaming. In 2017, he won Champs again. This time with an OpTic Gaming team that included Crimsix and a couple other players on this list. Despite being a year younger than Crim, Karma is now retired and didn’t find as much success once Call of Duty esports transitioned from the CWL to the CDL. He only spent part of the 2020 season with the Seattle Surge before retiring.

3. Clayster

19 wins, 3 Champs titles, 4 Champs top-three finishes

James “Clayster” Eubanks won his first Champs with Denial Esports in 2015 and was named Champs MVP. Then he won back-to-back Champs rings in 2019 with an eUnited team filled with young stars and in 2020 with the Dallas Empire alongside the veteran Crimsix. He’s also an X Games gold medalist in 2014 with OpTic Gaming. His streak of appearing at every COD Champs ended this year after the New York Subliners benched him in the middle of the season. Despite being benched and being 30 -- old in esports years -- Clay has continued to play on Challengers teams and is likely eager for a chance to be on a CDL starting roster next year for an opportunity to chase a fourth Champs ring.

4. Scump

30 wins, 1 Champs title, 5 Champs top-three finishes

Photo credit: Eric Ananmalay / ESPAT

It had to feel good for Seth “Scump” Abner, a name synonymous with OpTic Gaming, to pick up his 30th tournament win at the OpTic Major earlier this year. He joined Crimsix as the only player with 30 or more LAN tourney wins. He and Crim are the only players with five top-three finishes at Champs. Unfortunately for Scump, he only has one Champs title, while the other four have been third-place finishes. That lone title came when he was on an all-time great 2017 OpTic team that was at the height of its glory.

Read more: Call of Duty players say goodbye to Vanguard at Champs

5. FormaL

23 wins, 1 Champs title, 2 Champs top-three finishes

He has only one Champs title, but with 23 LAN tournament wins, his place among the top 10 greatest COD players is undeniable. His one Champs win was when he was part of that legendary 2017 OpTic Gaming team that included Crimsix, Scump and Karma. He was the MVP of that Champs tournament. He’s retired now but still doing damage in Halo.

6. JKap

10 wins, 2 Champs titles, 4 Champs top-three finishes

Jordan "JKap" Kaplan was a world champion in 2015 and 2016. He did so first with Denial Esports and then with Envy the only time the perennial contending org won Champs. He came excruciatingly close to winning Champs three straight years in 2017. Instead, Envy lost after a bracket reset to OpTic Gaming in the grand final. He’s now a champion as a coach too as the head coach of the Los Angeles Thieves. That title doesn’t count for purposes of this ranking but it’s a nice cherry on top for JKap’s Call of Duty career.

7. Simp

8 wins, 2 Champs titles, 4 Champs top-three finishes

Photo credit: Josh Alfaro / ESPAT

He’s the youngest player on this list and might become the greatest of all time when his career is over. The 21-year-old Simp has been to the Champs final in four consecutive years, and until this year he hadn’t lost a LAN match at Champs (2020 was online). He’s been a league MVP (2021) and a Champs MVP (2019). His eight LAN wins pale in comparison to Crimsix’s 37 or Scump’s 30, but with two Champs rings and two Champs runner-up finishes, he’s quickly gaining ground on the COD legends.

8. Arcitys

9 wins, 2 Champs titles, 4 Champs top-three finishes

Everybody thinks about Chris “Simp” Lehr and Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris when thinking about the Atlanta FaZe, but it wasn’t until after Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson joined the team that FaZe became a juggernaut. He has one more LAN win than either of the Tiny Terrors, but without any league or Champs MVP trophies he sits below Simp on this list.

9. Abezy

8 wins, 2 Champs titles, 4 Champs top-three finishes

ABeZy has all the same team accomplishments as Simp. He’s even been a Champs MVP (2021). However, he has never been a league MVP and his 17th-24th Champs finish in 2018 with Enigma6 drags down his ranking a bit. Still, he’s been an integral part of eUnited in 2019 and Atlanta FaZe since 2020.


17 wins, 2 Champs titles, 3 Champs top 3 finishes

Patrick “ACHES” Price rounds out the top 10. He won Champs in 2014 with Complexity and 2018 with Evil Geniuses. His 17 LAN wins are the sixth-most all time. In the transition from the CWL to CDL, he spent part of the 2020 season with the Los Angeles Guerrillas before retiring.

Photo credit: 100 Thieves via Twitter

Honorable mention

There are five players who just missed the cut for the top 10. Bryan "Apathy" Zhelyazkov is the only player with two Champs wins that isn’t among the top 10. It’s hard to put him over Scump or FormaL who have one when they each have over 20 LAN wins while Apathy only has seven. Tyler "TeeP" Polchow has 16 LAN wins, which is just one fewer than ACHES, but only one Champs title. Austin "SlasheR" Liddicoat has four top-three finishes at Champs including one title. With the LA Thieves beating the Atlanta FaZe at Champs this year, Kenneth "Kenny" Williams picked up his first Champs title and McArthur "Cellium" Jovel picked up another runner-up finish to give them each one Champs title and two second-place finishes. Cellium also was named league MVP this year and Kenny got Champs MVP.

Lead photo credit: Francisco Suarez / ESPAT

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