There’s only a week left to make sure the world knows your favourite personality in esports. Voting for the Golden Joysticks award for eSports Icon in association with Gfinity ends this Friday. PC fans have the pick of the litter as only one console game gets a look in on the nominee list, and there are players (and casters) from CS:GO, LoL, Dota 2 and Smite contending for the top spot. Head over to the site to cast your ballot, or read on below if you’re undecided on who deserves the prize at the full award ceremony on October 30. Remember to vote! Not only will you enjoy the raw power of unfiltered democracy, but you’ll also get a copy of BioShock Infinite for £1/$1/€1.
Dota 2: Suma1L
Syed "Suma1L" Hassan wowed the world in August by capping off a truly remarkable debut year in Dota 2 with his hand in claiming the Aegis of Champions at TI5. The 15-year-old Pakistani national had a rough start at his first LAN in January, but whispers of stage fright soon faded to cries of savant. The Evil Geniuses mid player is best known for his Storm Spirit, a hero he was playing in the final game of TI5 as team-mates ppd and Universe pulled off the Six Million Dollar Echo Slam. Though his supports got the lasting glory, Suma1L often carried his team from behind on their way to the final. Here's an early example of his dominance from the TI5 group stages.
Another reigning champion, Brett “MlcSt3alth” Felley was part of the Cognitive Prime team who won the Smite World Championships at the start of the year. Since then, not much has changed other than the team name as Cloud9 picked up the American rulers. MlcSt3alth still excels in the midlane, with an enviable synergy with his Jungler Andinster, and still puts his team in winning positions. In previous lives, St3alth could be found playing TF2, Tribes: Ascend and occasionally commentating on Call of Duty games. None of which proved as lucrative as literally playing god. Here's a roundup of his best moments from the first SWC:
Sebastian "Forsen" Fors has set himself apart from most Hearthstone players as a combination streaming and co-casting talent too. His multi-faceted approach to Blizzard’s card game sees him turn up in almost as many places as his legion of faithful FORSENBOYS, the viewers of his chaotic streams. Despite being one of the best Miracle Rogue players in the world, he rarely places highly in Premier tournaments, a side-effect of his personal opinion of never being lucky. Perhaps your votes can change that outlook. Have a montage.
Andrey "Reynad" Yanyuk is the owner of Tempo Storm, the Hearthstone team he also plays under. Among his contributions to the community are conceiving and hosting the first ever Arena-style tournament, and popularising decks such as ZooLock and Aggro Warrior. Like Forsen, Reynad has also found more luck casting than playing as he was on the talent list for last weekend’s Americas Championship. That said, he was instrumental in proving just how broken Grim Patron is during the Last Call qualifier in September with this minute-long Armoursmith interaction.
CS:GO: Anders Blume
Anders is one of the most prolific casters in CS:GO, lending his knowledge and increasingly hyped reactions to every major tournament on the calendar. When he isn’t excitedly proclaiming players’ reactions to be inhuman, he also helps break down the metagame and advanced strategies teams use on stream. Through this education, fans have been able to get an inside look into the reasons why teams might molotov the roof of a house or shoot blindly through a wall at a certain time. He also likes to shout "are you kidding me" a lot.
CoD: Advanced Warfare: Seth 'Scump' Abner
Seth ‘Scump’ Abner is captain of Optic Gaming, one of the most notorious teams in pro Call of Duty. Though most would know more of former team-mate Nadeshot, Scump’s consistency nets him far more in the way of accolades. He is so far the only player in esports to win back-to-back Gold medals at XGames and has helped restabilise the team after the departure of Nadeshot earlier this year, leading them to an 11-0 record in Season 3 of the MLG Pro League.
Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund has been voted Player of the Year for the past two years running by CS:GO’s community on HLTV. The Ninjas in Pyjamas lurker is well-known for his cool-headed flanking and impossible-seeming clutch plays that emerge when the rest of the team hits the dirt. NiP’s placing in 2015 has waned slightly, as some of the magic has worn off, but GeT_RiGhT’s performance is as strong as ever.
League of Legends: xPeke
Spain’s Enrique "xPeke" Cedeño Martínez is one of League of Legends’ most storied players, having played for two of Europe’s strongest sides. Currently residing in the middle lane for Origen, the team he founded having left Fnatic, xPeke has led the team through an incredible debut season and are now sitting in this week’s Quarter Finals for the LoL World Championships. Having been in the professional leagues since the start, winning the first Worlds with Fnatic, he is also considered a veteran of the scene.
League of Legends: Faker
Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok is possibly the most famous esports player in the world. His fame, inside and outside of his native South Korea, can be exemplified by the exclusive streaming deal he secured with broadcaster Azubu—the genesis of a bizarre legal rights battle as a ‘fake’ Faker began rehosting his stream on rival Twitch. Currently playing for Korean team SK Telecom, who have also secured a Quarter Finals spot this week, he is widely considered one of the best at the game, being proclaimed the “Lionel Messi of League” by many commentators. Here's what happens if you're rude to him in-game.
Dota 2: Dendi
If Faker is the Lionel Messi of League, then Danil "Dendi" Ishutin is the Ronaldinho of Dota. Though remaining loyal to Natus Vincere, Dendi has not had much fortune in the past year with the team as their Gosu ranking dropped to 77th in the world this week. But Dendi is consistently one of the most entertaining players in the game. Best known for his Pudge, Dendi demonstrates his love for Dota through the way he plays. Attempting ‘Hail Mary’ moves in any game he is in, his brinkmanship is always a joy to watch even if it doesn’t always pay off. There's probably a Dendi montage vid for every other type of Dota video on YouTube, so here's an Invoker Rampage because why not.
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