On Saturday, January 14, HLTV hosted an awards show in Stockholm, Sweden. This was an incredible event for both the hundreds in attendance and those viewing on Twitch. It turned out to be a spectacular show with warm words, touching speeches, and drinks flowing. The regular cast of HLTV Confirmed, Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill, Milan “Striker” Švejda, and Zvonimir “Professeur” Burazin, hosted the event.
A pool of HLTV employees and also professional players decided who should receive nominations. The idea here was to make sure that many active players got a say in who they thought were the best throughout the year. After all, these are the people who play with and against some of the best players in the world and therefore can have unique input to those only spectating.
The award most were there to see being given out was Player of the Year. Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut, and Dmitriy "sh1ro" Sokolov were the three nominations and the winner was “s1mple”.
Not only did he claim this award, he also claimed the award for AWPer of Year. He gave an extremely moving speech when receiving the Player of the Year award (his second award of the evening), but decided his first speech was better left simple, as he exclaimed: “let’s have some drinks!”. A sentiment I’m sure was shared by many in attendance.
Awards were also given for the Women’s Player of Year, Team of the Year, Women’s Team of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Highlight of the Year. HTLV have greatly highlighted the importance of women’s Counter-Strike, and rightfully so as it continues to grow through tournaments such as the ESL Impact League.
It’s fantastic to have a show that shines a light on some underrepresented areas of the esport. The winners for these awards were as follows:
Team of the Year: FaZe Clan
Women’s Team of the Year: Nigma Galaxy
Rookie of the Year: Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov
Highlight of the Year: Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov vs. MIBR
Not a bad first year playing at the top level of CS:GO for the 17-year-old AWPer from G2! Not only did “m0NESY” win two awards, he also placed seventh in HLTV’s Top 20 players of 2022. The only player younger than him to achieve a spot on this list was Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin, who pushed his way into 19th place in 2019 at the age of 17. “m0NESY” will continue to shine for years to come, I am sure.
Best Five of the Year
Along with the aforementioned awards, HLTV also gave awards to five players who outclassed the competition in their roles across 2022. They also gave away an award for Coach of the Year, shining a light on those who put in hours of work behind the scenes.
Many of these awards had quite clear-cut winners, with only the award for the Opener of the Year being a close call. A three-point difference saw Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis lose out. The Best Five of the Year are as follows:
AWPer of the Year: Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev
Anchor of the Year: Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy
Closer of the Year: Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov
Opener of the Year: Nikola "NiKo" Kovač
Coach of the Year: Andrii "B1ad3" Gorodenskyi
We hope that we’ll see another HLTV award show in 2024, especially after this year’s event received so much praise from those directly involved in the Counter-Strike scene. Well done to HLTV and congratulations to all of those who won awards for their performances in 2022.