2022 has been a fantastic year for CS:GO fans - with some fantastic victories (and stunning losses) keeping us entertained throughout the year.
2022 has been a dramatic year for CS:GO - both in and outside of the game, and trying to encapsulate everything that went down this year feels like an impossible task.
And so here’s just a selection of some of the biggest, most exciting and most unexpected moments from the 2022 CS:GO season.
There’s not long to wait before the 2023 season kicks off in earnest - so let’s take a look back before the new year begins! And remember, we'll be keeping you up to date on all of next year's action - so sign up for your free account, and we'll see you in the 2023 season!
NAVI’s s1mple makes an emotional speech at IEM Katowice
The esports world is sadly not isolated from wider global events - and this has been apparent following the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The war has understandably put Ukrainian team Natus Vincere (NAVI) in a uniquely uncomfortable position, as they continue to attend CS:GO events and Majors amid the turmoil in their home country.
NAVI’s AWPer Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, himself a Ukrainian, addressed the unprecedented situation in a moving speech on stage at Intel Extreme Masters Season XVI in Katowice, which took place shortly after the war first broke out.
S1mple’s speech cut right to the heart of the matter, calling for peace and declaring that no matter what their nationality, the professional CS:GO players had nothing to do with the decisions of their governments.
He stated that they all wanted peace, “for Ukraine and for the whole world. All of us are scared, and all of us need to show an example at this tournament. We need to stay together as a unit, with our fans, with our friends, and with everybody watching. And we all need to stay humans first.”
Outsiders are crowned champions at the IEM Rio Major
It’s fair to say that the IEM Rio Major didn’t go the way anybody expected it to. Some of the top ranked teams in the world struggled right from the start - with the mighty FaZe Clan shocking fans with their disappointing placement of 15-16th. It was a shocking wake up call for the team, who came into Rio having won a staggering number of tournaments - including Intel Extreme Masters XVI in Katowice, ESL Pro League Season 15, PGL Major Antwerp 2022, and the Intel Extreme Masters XVII - Cologne.
FaZe Clan weren’t alone though - world-class team after world-class team were sent home after two underdogs worked all the way up to the final, with Outsiders facing off against Heroic in the final.
But it was Outsiders who ultimately claimed victory - beating Heroic, arguably the stronger team, in a stunning 2-0 win. It was the team’s finest moment in their debut year, after Virtus.pro adopted its new tag earlier this year.
After taking a year away from the CS:GO scene to take care of his mental health, Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz made an unexpected return late this year.
We hadn’t expected to see dev1ce play at all this year, with most expecting him to mark his return to Astralis’ roster sometime next year. While he had signed with the team in October 2022, he hadn’t been seen in competitive play since December 2021, back when he was still repping Ninjas in Pyjamas.
But Astralis announced that he’d be returning sooner than previously thought - with the team including him on the roster during CCT North Europe Series 2, an online tournament that took place from November 24 to December 7.
It perhaps wasn’t the superstar return that fans were hoping for. Astralis started off well, through a 2-0 victory against Tricked, but ultimately lost to HEET in a 0-2 loss - leaving them ranked in 5th-8th place.
Still, CS:GO fans had been abuzz all year about when dev1ce would finally return to the CS:GO scene, where he is considered one of the best players in the world. Prior to his return, Astralis conceded that he needed some time to get back on top of his game - So we can expect big things from him in 2023.
We'll be keeping you up to date on how he gets on, so be sure to claim your free account now!
k0nfig leaves Astralis in a violent fashion - and makes a Heroic return
In less positive news, Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke found himself in hot water this year - after a physical altercation saw him dropped by his then-team Astralis
In perhaps the most dramatic news outside of the game itself this year, k0nfig fractured his ankle during a fistfight with a club promoter in Malta, during ESL Pro League Season 16. Astralis reacted quickly to ensuing controversy, announcing that they had reached a mutual agreement with k0nfig, and brought his contract to a premature end.
Despite initially denying the incident, k0nfig later publicly expressed regret for his involvement in the incident, explaining that he had been in a “really dark place” following multiple surgeries to repair his ankle. He described the weeks following the incident as “the hardest time” of his life, and committed to quitting drinking and seeing a psychologist after further stories about his behaviour came to light.
And with that, he disappeared from the CS:GO scene - until recently, anyway. He made a surprise appearance at the BLAST Premier World Final, playing as a stand-in for Heroic, joining the team in Martin “stavn” Lund’s place.
Unfortunately, Heroic struggled at the World Final this year - placing in a disappointing 7th-8th place following back-to-back defeats from OG and NAVI, sending them home without ever leaving the group stage.
G2 wins the BLAST Premier World Final 2022
The 2022 season ended on a fantastic note, with the BLAST Premier World Final closing things out, running from December 14 to December 18.
It was a rollercoaster of a tournament from start to finish, with a number of teams defying the odds time and time again. It was the year of the underdog, with the likes of G2, OG and Team Liquid all pulling off fantastic performances - often against more powerful teams.
But it was G2 who ultimately claimed victory, in a truly cathartic moment for the team. They’ve had a tough run of it over the years, without a single S-Tier win to their name in five years - until now, anyway. The BLAST Premier trophy is the latest to join their cabinet, which has been gathering dust since 2017, when they won the DreamHack Masters Malmö.
G2 had a terrific tournament. While things started out on a sour note in their opening match against FaZe Clan, they quickly turned things around and eliminated Outsiders and Team Vitality, and finally got revenge against FaZe Clan before defeating Team Liquid in the final.
And with that, CS:GO's 2022 season is now behind us. It's certainly been a memorable year, but we won't have long to reminisce. We don't have long before 2023 kicks off with a bang - and we'll be keeping you up to date right here on Luckbox, so claim your free account now!