Credit: Team Spirit social
2024 has started with a bang for 17-year-old Danil "donk" Kryshkovets. The young Russian has been the talk of the town after delivering insane numbers for Team Spirit in their RMR matches and at IEM Katowice.
Name: Danil "donk" Kryshkovets
Date of birth: January 25th, 2007 (17 years old)
City of birth: Tomsk, Russia
Current place of residence: Belgrade, Serbia
Winnings: $166,094 (updated, 12/2-2024)
Teams: Spirit Academy (August 2021-July 2023), Spirit (July 2023 – present)
Debut as 14-year-old
In 2021, Danil "donk" Kryshkovets played his first competitive map registered on HLTV. At the age of 14 years, the Russian rifler played the second map against EC Kyiv for Spirit Academy at the Malta Vibes Knockout Series 1. Spirit Academy won the match with Danil "donk" Kryshkovets ending the second map of Dust2 with an 18-15 K-D score.
Progression of donk’s stats throughout his career:
2021: 0.99 rating (Spirit Academy)
2022: 1.14 rating (Spirit Academy)
2023: 1.29 rating (Spirit Academy/Team Spirit)
2024: 1.65 rating (Team Spirit) (updated 12/2-2024)
From Siberia with high ping
Danil "donk" Kryshkovets is born in Tomsk in Siberia, Russia. With more than 5,000 km from the nearest CS server in Stockholm, the young Spirit rifler has been used to playing CS:GO with a 100 ping. A situation that has helped donk elevate his game in CS2.
- I have had to play from Tomsk with 100 ping, and when you play on such a high ping, you cannot stay still in the game – you have to be on the move always. And that is kind of the gameplay in CS2, so I think it has been easier for me to adapt and why the transition has been so smooth, donk told Pley.gg in November 2023.
In 2023 the Spirit player started to gain attention after destroying FACEIT, while also performing excellently for the Spirit Academy team. He was promoted to Spirit’s main team in the summer of 2023 alongside Artem "ArtFr0st" Kharitonov and Myroslav "zont1x" Plakhotia. Here the team found instant success winning the BetBoom Dacha tournament.
“I like to play cocky”
At the few LAN events, that Danil "donk" Kryshkovets has attended, his behavior has been highlighted several times due to his shouting and taunting of his opponents. An attitude that was critized by NAVI’s experienced head coach, Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy after a match at IEM Katowice.
- He has a great future, but I think the only thing he needs is to fix his behavior. Sometimes he's screaming really bad words at this age, and it's weird, very sad that nobody around can help him, to have good advice to say to him. They even praise him for doing this is, this is weird for me. I would really like to advise him not to be that kind of aggressive, screaming. It's different. When apEX is screaming, it's a different thing. He's screaming bad words and you see he means this, actually. It's a dangerous road, B1ad3 told HLTV in an interview.
In our interview with donk last year, the Russian rifler explained his playstyle on the server like this.
- My playstyle is very aggressive, I like to take duels, and I like to play cocky. But I also like to play disciplined sometimes. I would say my strengths on the server are my confidence in taking duels, and my confidence that I will out-aim and out-play my opponent.
Future number 1?
While most people would point at Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut as the clear-cut contender for the title of the best player in the world for many years to come, Danil "donk" Kryshkovets’s performances at the start of 2024 has elevated him into the sphere of the elite CS2 players in the world. With Dmitriy "sh1ro" Sokolov’s arrival to Team Spirit, donk finds himself on a team, that could also be challenging for the titles at S-Tier tournaments such as IEM Katowice, where Spirit has been the best-performing team of all so far.
In the race for number 1 in the world, donk will have to take up the fight with one of his heroes. His idol growing up has been Nikola "NiKo" Kovac, who finished 2023 as the second-best player in the world. In our interview with Danil "donk" Kryshkovets, he explained why he has looked up to NiKo as a player.
- Because our playstyle is quite similar and he’s also a confident player, who takes a lot of duels, and is capable of producing highlights as well. I’m watching his demos so if I see something good that I can replicate, then for sure I will try to incorporate in my own game.
Editor's note: After this article was written, donk went on to win IEM Katowice and was named MVP of the tournament with a 1.70 rating.