The king’s new bedmate

Elliott Griffiths

Illustration by ANDY. Source: s1mple, PGL | João Ferreira

Sometimes, it’s important that a king gets his crown in front of his subjects.

HLTV put on a bit of a shindig in Stockholm this weekend, with the world’s first Counter-Strike award show (or at least, the first that mattered) ending in predictable, but deserved, fashion with s1mple taking #1 in the HLTV Top 20.

s1mple gave a heartfelt speech about the award - but largely about the war raging in his home country, as he held the trophy declaring him the best of 2022. Not his first award, and probably not his last, but one of the most prestigious.

He was also declared AWPer of the Year, where his heartfelt speech was more… cloudy headed. He just said ‘let’s get drinks’ and walked off. Which we’re sure he did.

Awards were doled out to:

  • karrigan, for both IGL as well as Team of the Year award for FaZe Clan,
  • Ax1le for Closer of the Year
  • NiKo for Opener of the Year
  • Nigma Galaxy for Women’s Team of the Year and their star AWPer aNa for Player of the Year
  • Anchor of the Year went to Perfecto
  • Coach of the Year to a somewhat dejected B1ad3 (who used his speech to talk about how he didn’t deserve it, bizarrely)
  • Play of the Year quite controversially went to m0NESY vs MIBR over ropz in the Kato Grand Final.
  • m0NESY took Rookie of the Year as well, perhaps unsurprisingly.

m0NESY’s clip is unreal, but the pressure and the moment of ropz’ was absurd. We’re glad we didn’t have to make that choice.

No award for Newsletter of the Year, but we’re still a little offended we didn’t win. We (read: aizyesque) even dressed up for the occasion.

The ceremony was a celebration of the game we’ve all loved for years, even if that’s a little twee. At the very least, it was a fun excuse to dress up and get drunk with esports folk. Not that we need one.

s1mple remains the king. But 2023 is a new year, and it turns out it’s right around the corner…

January 15, 2023

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