The esports industry has continued to grow strongly in the last decade, and this year has been no exception for it in terms of development. 2022 saw numerous epic live competitions and huge prize pools that the most skilled gamers competed for. Some of these professional players have demonstrated a higher level of play than other esportsmen. So, thanks to the consistent and memorable victories, they definitely deserve top 5 status.
Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
The final boss of CS: GO once again proved to the whole world that he is entitled to the crown of the best player this year. But this time around his victories were significant for him not only from a professional but also from a personal standpoint. In light of the devastating Russian aggression, the Ukrainian esports icon has become a real ambassador for its people. With two 2nd place finishes at Intel Extreme Masters XVII and PGL Major: Antwerp and a win at BLAST Premier Spring Finals, s1mple has a tremendous opportunity to help his compatriots both financially and emotionally.
Evan “M0nkey M00n” Rogez
Evan has dominated online Rocket League events throughout the global pandemic. And when 2022 allowed players to meet at LAN tournaments, fans were curious if he could continue his winning march. The World Championship was a key event for which all high-tier teams were preparing. M0nkey M00n chose this tournament to prove himself. Team BDS managed to take the main trophy. And while Rogez was involved in 71% of all scoring moments, he also received the MVP award for his defensive efforts.
Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok
Even though Faker faced a new leadership role this year, that did not stop him from making it to the top of the League of Legends scene again. His team of rookies set the LCK Split record for going undefeated in 24 games during the entire event. Of course, the second place in the MSI Grand Final and two other tournaments disappointed Faker's crew. But at the same time, it reminded all LoL fans that Lee can still compete with the best.
Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker
When yay got the green light after the merger between Envy and Optic, he began to show incredible levels of play as Chamber and Jett in competitive Valorant games. On the way to his first championship in Masters 1, yay generated enough highlights to get two MVP titles. This trophy was the only gold award in the player's 2022 collection. However, given the numerous silver medals he also won this year, it is safe to say that he had one hell of a successful season.
Neta “33” Shapira
Even if you have never heard of this Dota 2 player before, 33 definitely deserves a spot on our list. The International has always been one of the most anticipated annual gaming tournaments. This year, Neta showed all the fans what a real Off Lane player is and played a vital role in the victory of his Tundra Esports team. While winning a single event may seem insignificant to you, 33 and his squad, who received $8 million in prize money, are unlikely to agree with you.
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