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2013 onGamers Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Awards

We look back at what we think was the best of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2013.

Votes were cast by the onGamers editorial staff and Tomi 'lurppis' Kovanen.

Editor's Note

The year began with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive struggling to even put itself on the esports map, relegated to a smaller title and set to face a tournament circuit composed of small to medium sized events. NiP's dominance did make waves outside of the game, but their success almost seemed to lend credence to the notion that the game and its audience were too small to challenge the bigger esports titles, such as LoL, Dota2 and SC2. That all went out the window with the announcement of Valve's crowdfunding esports key initiative.

So much money was raised through the scheme that Dreamhack Winter was transformed into the first real major tournament for the game, replete with a $250,000 prize pool. The year's storylines had been set in place through the numerous smaller events and now CS:GO had its own pinnacle point in the year to gather together those threads and weave them into something grander and more worthy of history. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive had truly arrived as an esports title, and over 140,000 people were watching it in awareness of that fact.

I. Player of the Year
II. Team of the Year
III. Breakout Player of the Year
IV. Map of the Year

Player of the Year - Christopher 'Get_RiGhT' Alesund

TeamNinjas in Pyjamas
Total Tournament Earnings in 2013$40,277.45
SponsorsTelia, SteelSeries, BenQ, Thor, CKRAS

Despite some inspired play from shox towards the end of the year, this award was always going to be won by Christopher 'Get_RiGhT' Alesund. Not only was his team the best team of 2013, by far, but he was the best player on that team in practically every tournament, as well as the best player in most of the tournaments played this year.

In CS 1.6 GeT_RiGhT always struggled to get his due, playing on a storied team like fnatic and alongside a legendary individual player like f0rest. Nonetheless he had already established himself as a consistent and individually masterful player, powered by an unparalleled work ethic and drive to succeed. In CS:GO he has been able to come fully out of the shadow of f0rest and establish himself as the best player in the world.

Honorable Mention: shox

GeT_RiGhT was never in danger of losing this award, as he had already locked it up within the first two thirds of the year, but out of nowhere he did, finally, get a contender to his crown. VeryGames' ascent past the final hurdle of NiP to the top of the CS:GO mountain came on the back of shox establishing himself as the best player in the world for the last few months of the year.

The Frenchman was apparently a great player in Source, but in CS:GO all eyes had been on other French stars like kennyS and ScreaM. It wasn't until shox broke out that all the rest of the VeryGames pieces fell into place and their team could finally become the world's best side.

Team of the Year - Ninjas in Pyjamas

When one considers that Ninjas in Pyjamas, combining their offline results of the previous year, at one point sat on a staggering 87-0 map winning streak in offline competition, it should come as no surprise they are front and center as candidates for team of the year. Virtus.Pro and VeryGames were able to provide them with competition, at varying times of the year, but in the end NiP's record for the year in the tournaments was incredible. The Ninjas won nine offline tournaments, eleven if you include Swedish only tournaments.

Add to those wins their four second places and never placing below fourth at any offline event all year and you have a truly all time great year to go into the books. 2013 will be remembered as the year of NiP.

Honorable Mention: VeryGames

At the end of 2012 VeryGames were a frustrated team, a collection of silver medals at the hands of NiP suggesting they were still a way off becoming the world's best team. When Virtus.Pro were the first to take NiP down, while the Frenchmen were still looking for their first offline map win over their Swedish rivals, it seemed as if perhaps VeryGames were destined to always be the best of the rest, but never the best of the best.

During the NiP era VeryGames were able to steal a couple of events NiP didn't attend and even win EMS, thanks to Virtus.Pro doing them the favour of eliminating the Swedes. It wasn't until October that Ex6tenz's men were able to begin establishing themselves as the world's best side. Winning three straight series against NiP, going 6-1 in maps over those, and two out of three events featuring the Ninjas, VeryGames took over the spot of best CS:GO team in the world for the first time.

The year ends with NiP as the best over the span of the year, but VeryGames arguably the best team in the world right now. Considering how the year started, that says a lot in itself.

Break Through Player of the Year - Jesper 'jw' Wecksell

When Epsilon burst onto the LAN scene with a solid placing at Copenhagen games and then a runner-up finish at Dreamhack Summer, their reputation of being cheaters or onliners began to change into one of a solid prospect in offline events. With a line-up composed entirely of new names, for the top end of the scene, it was Jesper 'jw' Wecksell who shined the brightest of them all. Many were soon calling him the next Swedish star, the highlight clip makers certainly seemed able to supply evidence that might be the case.

It wasn't until the end of the year that jw and his men, now under the fnatic banner, were able to land that big tournament victory, but boy did they ever! fnatic won the biggest event in the games history (Dreamhack SteelSeries CS:GO Championship) and the game's first true major. As the best player on that team, it's only right that jw wins this award. A true rookie to the top team and a breakthrough for the Swedish scene.

Honorable Mention: shox

The temptation was there to give shox this award outright, so brilliant was his play in the latter few months of the year, but in the end the true rookie status of jw amongst the top players prevailed. shox was known as a top player in Source, so the leap was least drastic to his status in CS:GO. Still, the Frenchman went from being an outside shout for top five individual player in the world to being firmly entrenched as one of the world's two or three best stars at the game.

Map of the Year - Inferno

There were other reasons to be considered, but the first major of CS:GO ended up being a story of inferno games. Nearly all the group stage matches took place on the map and each series would inevitably see it brought out. That alone suggests the teams themselves favored it as the best map, in as much as everyone was willing to play it against everyone else.

The beauty of inferno, much as in 1.6, is the balanced nature of the map, which both allows teams strong on one side to make the map looked biased to that side, and also allowed close games regularly, as teams are less pressured by specific map biases which are overwhelming on some other maps, like train or nuke.

Honorable Mention: mirage_go (old)

Dreamhack may have been played on the new version of mirage, which allowed for some funky results in itself, but the old one was widely hailed as one of the best maps in the game. Back in 1.6 mirage was a strange map, loved by a few teams but otherwise merely tolerated by the others. In CS:GO it has been a map which has both provided some great series changing games, and also allowed teams to display some of the more tactical components that can seem missing from the really CT sided maps at times.

Image Credit: ESL Flickr, DreamHack/Helena Kristiansson, Starladder