In Catan, one can observe which cards opponents draw with their second settlement, and then observe what die rolls and trading do to their hands. Thus it is possible, though difficult, to follow opponents' hands.
In blackjack, the ability to "count the deck" represents the difference between being a winning and losing player. In bridge, players see 26 out of 52 cards, and through bidding and early play, can largely [reconstruct the two hands that they can't see.] There are probably no world class players that aren't reasonably good at this task.
Is the ability to reconstruct the opponents' hands of similar value in Catan for tournament players? Are there world class players or experts who weren't at least competent at this one aspect of the game?
Edit: My question was about the value of card counting in establishing one's rank in tournament play. The other question was about the mechanics of doing this in casual or "home" play. They have overlapping subject matter but their directions could not be more opposite. An answer that was suitable for one question could be wildly wrong for the other.