Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev took the first place in the annual top of 20 players of the year from HLTV.org. As many predicted, Natus Vincere superstar once again managed to overcome his rival Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut.
With this achievement s1mple became the first player who managed to take top-1 three times — in 2018, 2021 and 2022. Only three other players made it twice in their careers, it's Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund (2013, 2014), Marcelo "coldzera" David (2016 and 2017) and Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut (2019 and 2020).
Even tho Kostyliev only won one tournament this season — BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2022 — his individual performance allowed him to overcome all opponents without much intrigue. After Vitality had a poor showing at BLAST World Final 2022, the last chance of ZywOo to compete disappeared. S1mple reached the finals in IEM Cologne 2022 and PGL Major Antwerp 2022 and twice became an MVP of the tournament, increasing his lead in this category over the whole career.
In 2023, the two last players in the top, together with other nominations, were announced on the live show in Stockholm.