We've finally come to the end of our countdown, and we present you our Player of the Year 2013, Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund. NiP's superstar earned the number 1 spot on our Top 20 of 2013 by eSportsventure.com with incredible play throughout the whole year, having MVP-worthy performances at no less than six of NiP's nine title-winning campaigns. He was also the best fragger in the game and one of the best clutchers.
At 23 years of age Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund is perhaps only reaching the peak of his career, but as many others he started back when he was a young boy. His first ever local LAN was as a 13-year-old, while his breakthrough into the scene began four years later in 2007 when he joined Sweden's best known talent-house Begrip.
After making a name for himself there with Björn "threat" Pers, he even spent a very short period in one of the last incarnations of NiP in CS 1.6 before signing for SK-Gaming as a 6th player. Then in 2008 he went on to replace legendary Abdisamad "SpawN" Mohamed just before the finals of the second season of Intel Extreme Masters in March.
But despite showing obvious talent at that event, he still had no place on the roster after Mohamed returned, so he chose to continue his career elsewhere. He would spend the rest of the year back together with Pers, in a team that became best known as Giants.
But as 2009 came around Alesund would finally get his big shot in fnatic. After the departure of Oskar "ins" Holm, he joined Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg and Patrik "cArn" Sättermon in the team that would conquer the world that year, winning almost every big tournament and culminating with Alesund being named Player of the Year.
Following his two year spell in fnatic, he moved to SK Gaming again together with Lindberg where they would have a very successful 2011, and he would reprise his 2nd place from our Top 20 of 2010 with the same position in our Top 20 of 2011.
With CS:GO's release in 2012 Alesund and Lindberg were some of the first top players to give the game a chance, as they decided to form a new team together with fnatic's in-game leader at the time, Richard "Xizt" Landström, thus giving birth to Ninjas in Pyjamas.
The new team quickly fulfilled and even exceeded all expectations, winning every tournament by the end of the year and going on a record-setting run of 58 maps won in a row. Alesund was shining as bright as ever and he was since the very beginning of the new game considered one of the two best players in the world, together with Lindberg.
It wasn't all well though, as at the end of the year NiP had to pass up on SLTV StarSeries IV Finals due to an ear surgery for Alesund, which wouldn't end up being the last of his problems.
"Many people know that by the end of 2012 I had to have an ear surgery.. The operation itself went well and I think I've already talked about this somewhere online.. Overall, I'm fine today - even though I've lost around 10-15% of my hearing.. But I'm glad I'm alive!
But all the health problems didn't stop here..
After the ear surgery, I started to feel really bad in my stomach and after many visits to the doctor, they told me I got a disease which is called 'Ulcerative colitis' (I need to warn you that there are some pretty 'ugly' pictures if u google the disease).
So getting two 'big' health problems in a less then 5 months isn't fun, especially when you feel all the problems never end..
I started taking my medicine by January last year, even though they never told me before the end of March/beginning of April that I have this disease. The worst events for me personally were SLTV StarSeries VII and ESWC 2013.
The disease is weird in some way. Some day(s) I could be feeling much better than before I had the disease and some I could feel so bad that I'd like to lay on the floor and want to disappear."
Despite the problems Alesund would kick start the year with an impressive performance at Mad Catz Vienna, where he put in his first of many MVP-worthy performances. As NiP won another title and extended their streak, he was the best player at the event with 0.96 kills per round and a 1.46 rating.
A 1vs3 clutch in the final of Mad Catz Vienna (Video by NiPGaming)
At their next event, TECHLABS Cup Moscow, Alesund was overshadowed by his teammate Lindberg, but he was still the best player in the grand final 16-10 win over Virtus.pro (26:16, 1.44 rating).
Lindberg's out-of-this-world performance at Copenhagen Games would once again overshadow Alesund, but it didn't take much away from the fact that he also played a perfect tournament. At any other event his 0.92 kills per round and a 1.46 rating would have been enough to make him the MVP, but it was still enough being the second best player after adding another 15 maps to NiP's streak.
With 85-0 written in the record books already, NiP went to SLTV StarSeries V Finals next. After adding a victory over ESC and extending the streak by two more maps, they finally hit the end of the road as Virtus.pro won 14-16, 10-16. As Alesund had his first inconsistent tournament where he didn't play well at every map, NiP also lost their first title to the CIS-based squad with another defeat in the grand final (15-19, 14-16).
"Getting to 87-0 was [one of the best memories], something that no one in my team thought would happen when we started in NiP. We were always aiming for top places, but we could never, EVER think that something like that would happen or that we will win that many tournaments in a row. It was something that you never expect..
Also losing to Virtus.pro at SLTV StarSeries - Maybe it sounds weird to have it one of my best memories of the year, but I'm really proud of what everyone in the team felt and did after we lost first time in an official LAN match, even though it sucked to lose and lose the final as well. But how we controlled it, that was something special!"
The way they controlled it was getting right back on the horse and winning the very next event the weekend after, RaidCall EMS One Spring Finals. Alesund himself was at his very best, adding his second MVP claim with a 1.40 rating and 0.91 kills per round as the team beat k1ck, VeryGames and fnatic to clinch the title.
He would follow that at ESEA Season 13 Global Finals the week after with another MVP-worthy display of 0.87 kills per round and a 1.30 rating, while the team started putting together another streak of 14 map wins in a row after that loss to Virtus in Kiev.
After bouncing back with two titles, the Ninjas went on a deserved vacation until the second half of May, and when they returned they started preparing for DreamHack Summer. But their online results weren't very good, showing that the other teams may have caught up with them, or that the team is simply not on form.
And DreamHack Summer would prove troublesome from the beginning. They opened up the tournament with a win over Swedish side Refuse, but then as they were supposed to top their group, instead they got annihilated by Western Wolves 2-16. More problems followed in the match against Publiclir.se (also known as Team X) when they had to mount a big comeback to even stay in the tournament, but the Ninjas made it out of the group somehow.
"DreamHack Summer was something special, I remember we had a long long bootcamp, and I think when I look back at it that it was too long for everyone and we should have stopped someday(s) before DH, or start with it later!
Anyhow, we didn't play so good online before the tournament, but we knew that we always somehow play better on LAN than Online.. So when we started the tournament with one big fat slap on our faces from Western Wolves and playing so tight against Team X - things weren't as good that we thought!
But we managed to forget what happened and managed to play much better than against WW/Team X, and I think everyone in my team learned a big lesson from that - that we need to be 110% ready on any given day, even though it's not always bo3, and a bo1 can get you out of a tournament faster than you may think!"
NiP improved significantly when the playoffs started two days later, and went on to win another title. Alesund himself had what was probably his worst start to a tournament during that troublesome group stage, but he was then by far the best in the playoffs (1.45 rating), doing well in every map of every series and ending up with the event's third best rating of 1.23.
But the next event, RaidCall EMS One Summer Finals saw the Swedes finish in their worst yet 3rd-4th place after losing to Virtus.pro once again. Despite that, Alesund was the best rated player of the tournament for the fourth time in the year (1.29 rating), although he does remember one moment that he wishes he did better in.
"In the match against former VP lineup at the previous EMS one finals, if my spray against GuardiaN on A site was a kill I think it would go a lot of differently.."
He would more than make up for that slip up at their next event against the same opponents. SLTV StarSeries VI Finals saw NiP struggle against Virtus.pro once again, being on the verge of losing the third map of the upper bracket final, with the CIS-based squad leading 5-15.
The map was de_nuke_se and the Swedes were on the CT side, and they needed a perfect performance to even try to make a comeback. And that is exactly what Alesund delivered, in the manner of the best player in the world he lifted his play to new heights, recording entry kill after entry kill and totaling 21 frags in the next ten rounds to take the match into overtime.
GeT_RiGhT's POV during the comeback against Virtus.pro (Video by csgoworldorg)
NiP prevailed in the end (9-16, 16-10, 19-17) and went on to win another tournament, while Alesund continued doing well in every map and had perhaps his most dominant claim on an MVP title throughout the year with 0.94 kills per round and a 1.41 rating overall, way ahead of anyone else.
"[One of my best matches of the year] must be against VP on StarSeries SLTV VI (last map on nuke) and we were under 5-15.
I remember when we won the first round of the comeback, I was screaming something like "COME ON GUYS WE CAN STILL DO IT" and I remember it felt like no one believed in me after that round, but when I started to scream more and more each round we won - I felt that the team understood that we still have a chance to turn the game around and win it!"
He would continue his incredible form at ESEA Season 14 Global Finals (1.44 rating) where the team won another title. Although they didn't have many problems as there was no Virtus.pro there, or any other European team for that matter, compLexity did give them a fight in the final (16-11, 13-16, 16-10).
Later in August in an online tournament he had an incredible 1-on-5 clutch against Astana Dragons, which also ended up as our top highlight of the year.
1vs5 against Astana Dragons in MSI Beat it European Finals
Alesund continued being relentless and he had an MVP-worthy performance for the third tournament in a row when NiP attended DreamHack Bucharest. The Swedes did lose to fnatic in the group stage which gave them a tougher bracket, but it presented no problem in the end as they made it past VeryGames with ease (16-10, 16-2), Astana Dragons (16-10, 12-16, 16-8) and eventually surprising finalists Lemondogs (16-11, 16-4).
"It's always a fun time to play against VeryGames as they play a bit differently than most of the teams out there! I personally think it's just a fun match every time we play each other.
When they first won a map against us [in FACEIT Cup], I didn't really think about it as it was online and sometimes we struggle online and them as well.. I'd prefer a LAN match against them :D
At DH Bucharest, it felt like the energy and the late matches that everyone played were taking a toll and I think they didn't play on their normal level, and I would expect more from them after that (as they showed!)" – about the map loss to VG in FACEIT Cup August before Bucharest, followed by a convincing win on LAN
It was however, the final chapter in their story of domination over the French-Belgian squad, who in Bucharest had only their first shot at the Swedes since their lineup change, as VeryGames would put an end to their struggles already two weeks later in an online match.
It was the semi-final of MSI Beat it European Finals when NiP first lost to the Frenchmen, and it was in a convincing fashion, 8-16, 7-16, paving way for what would be a turnaround in the rivalry.
"When we played against VG in the MSI Qualifier, things were just really really weird. Xizt got ddosed and we should have to stopped the match, but we like forced game and said to Xizt to go to a friend of his to play it.. I think that was the stupidest thing we have ever done, since our motivation wasn't the best after the DDoS, the waiting and so on..
But they won fair and square if you ask me, they were just better at that moment. And about that we "gave up" before the match started is just stupid to hear.. Why would we want to lose on purpose against a team that we have a huge advantage on as we have won way too many times against them.. I think that's just stupid." – about the first ever loss to VeryGames and the accusations they didn't try their best because they wouldn't travel to China even if they had won
From then on, NiP would lose to the French team at the next three events, SLTV StarSeries VII Finals, RaidCall EMS One Fall Finals and ESWC.
NiP before the grand final
NiP lost their edge against VeryGames
The first loss in Kiev wasn't fatal, as NiP still had a chance to get back into the tournament, but they went out to Astana Dragons afterwards. At the RC EMS One Fall Finals they made it to the grand final and even took the first map, but VeryGames edged them out on the second and eventually won the trophy (16-5, 14-16, 16-6).
"After we won the first map, if I could have just played a bit smarter on cache, I think that we could have won that map as well and even the tournament.. But sometimes you don't have everything that's needed to win a tournament and sometimes you do!"
The third loss came at ESWC in the semi-final, in a very close manner (13-16, 16-19). To people around the tournament area in Paris it was evident that Alesund wasn't at his 100%, and as it turns out it was because of his illness.
"After that online game, we managed to lose three times against them - I just think they got better every time they played against us, and that they could turn a game around when someone from their team makes a big round.
I think the ESWC match was the hardest one to lose, especially when I was so ill that I felt I could play much better.. but sometimes I cannot do anything when my sickness kicks in.."
They also lost to Astana Dragons for the second time in a row in ESWC's 3rd place decider, bringing their series score with the Virtus.pro/Astana core to 5-4 in favor of the CIS-based squad since Copenhagen Games.
"I think there is some unfinished business between us, yes! As they won over us last time, they are a team that I'd like to play against (same with TiTAN) and those series are always the most fun to play! But on the other hand, I think the rivalry between us is different than NiP vs TiTAN for example."
After failing to win three tournaments in a row, and losing to VeryGames at each one of them, Ninjas in Pyjamas put all of their focus onto the final event of the year, DreamHack Winter and on the task of defeating the French.
"We skipped a lot tournaments and online games as we thought it was needed at the time, we felt that we needed to refresh our game style. The bootcamp itself was around 2,5 weeks, and it was really good for us, we started to learn more about each other than we knew before. We changed that I sat next to Xizt instead of Fifflaren and I think they got a better overview of what I was doing in-game then."
At the biggest tournament of the year itself, NiP started well, beating Recursive and Universal Soldiers and moving on to the playoffs as first placed. But then LGB eSports surprised them and took map one 16-14, and even had a 9-6 lead in the first half of the second map.
But then again Alesund stepped up when he was needed the most, and had a flawless second half with a 19:1 score as NiP won ten rounds in a row to even out the series at 1-1.
"I remember I played poorly the first half and I knew if we want to have a chance to turn the match around and probably win it, I need to step up. And somehow I did it on the CT half!"
They ended up going through to the semi-final where they met VeryGames, and after a long and exhausting battle, the Swedes finally beat the Frenchmen (16-13, 6-16, 16-5).
"The VeryGames match on DHW was really cool to play, I think that things were working perfectly for us (except on inferno) and the victory over them was so important.. I mean, of course we've lost 3 games over them lately and I felt that we could have won some of them. So when we won the match, it felt like the final (nothing against fnatic, remember that!) but the game was amazing in so many different ways if u ask me!"
That day also holds one of the best memories of 2013 for Alesund.
"The game itself is not what I'm thinking of. It's the crowd we had behind us when we played them. To just hear he crowd cheering on every time when someone in your team kills someone in the enemy team makes you feel how good the support was at DHW13."
But to almost everyone's surprise they ended up losing the grand final in DreamArena Extreme to fnatic (14-16, 16-6, 2-16), and the biggest title of the year did not end up in their hands.
Nevertheless, despite not winning the last few events and having health issues, the whole year was a great success in Alesund's career, perhaps even the best one he had yet both in terms of achievements and individual performance.
"I've always put some sort of goal for myself at the end of every year and things are still looking good for my own 'hopes' every time!
2013 could be the best year I've had my whole career (it's really close to fnatic 2009 however). But, how my team acts after a win - after a loss, it's something completely different than in any other I've been playing in and I'm really glad to be in this team. As well as playing with a friend of mine for years that I'm really happy to still play with!
So 2013 wasn't a year for me as a player, it was more how a team works. How the team tackles 'bad' things that happen and how to look forward and overcome them.
I'm just really happy to be in the NiP organization and to be a player!"
Even though he has been playing professionally for almost seven years now, he still has the will to keep going every year and has no intention of stopping any time soon.
"I don't know to be honest, I'd love to do this for a long long time.. But I guess everything depends on the motivation. And every year I'm asking the simple question:
'Do you still love to play?' - And the answer has for many years now been the same 'Yes'.
If I would still play if I wasn't on a top anymore one day? I'm not sure, I think everything depends on how much I'm going in for the love of the game."
For five years straight he has been named one of the best players in the world, and this year was especially rewarding in a way.
"I've actually been surprised sometimes, for example when I won in 2009 (Counter-Strike/eSport Player of The Year) I don't get how I won those awards as imo f0rest was far better than me that year. But I'm really happy that I received them and I was driven to prove people who didn't think I deserved it, as in 2010 I think I played far better than 09!
2011 was the goal to take down markeloff haha :D and somehow I did achieve that, but with bigger help from Neo I guess.. But I'm glad that I did play good, but still wasn't "happy" about how the year overall went.. So going back to 2013.
I'm really really happy to win it [this year], as I've been pushed down 2 times by two different players.. Especially amazing players if u ask me! But however, winning over f0rest is something that amazes me - mostly because I'd vote him over me in any voting."
He has earned all those recognitions largely thanks to his impressive consistency, as he hasn't had a bad tournament (by average players' standards) in years now, although he says there is no secret to it.
"My secret is.. Nothing?
I don't know, I don't really think about it.. I guess it's more how much support you're getting from your team mates as well, that I pretty much do "whatever" I want to do in-game and they are willing to give that opportunity to me!
I think the only thing, that I know at least some players are starting to understand that you need to do, is to always practice, practice, practice.. In my case, I've always been one of those who "plays too much", and in a way that's always giving me an edge over some players."
Another characteristic of his game has been the ability to win clutch rounds, the situations in which many players crumble under pressure.
"I think my playing style works perfectly when I'm left in a 1vX situation, as I've gotten the perfect information from my teammate or even the help to make the 1vX situation easier for me.. I don't have anything special to say about it, I just love to play those situations!"
The partnership with Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg extends to five years now, but even though the duo has ruled the world for a long time, they are not letting go.
"Patrik Patrik Patrik.. I didn't know when I first got the chance to join fnatic that we would still be playing with each other after such a long time, and every day I'm thankful to be playing with him.
He's the best player in my eyes, he's always been there for me in the game and personal level and I'm thankful for everything he's been doing for me and 'our' teams we've been playing in.
I've always been amazed how good his skill has been, ever since I first saw him playing in VxO and when he took his big step to fnatic in 2006 back then. It was my dream to play with him and really understand how good he really is! And I'm really happy that he still has the energy to play with this "little kid" (me).
I don't really have any idea about how things work for us, mostly because like he says, we're not having the same playing style, playing on the same spots on maps etc, but somehow every time (not every time but almost!) we end up winning those 2vX situations without talking at all, that says something!
I hope we can make 2014 even more awesome for us! :) "
As one of the main ambassadors of the new game Alesund was surely a part of the reason why CS:GO is getting more and more attention, and he hopes 2014 will be even better.
"I hope that this year the CSGO community / scene will explode even more than it did 2013. There's more organizations willing to spend money on different teams, more sponsors who haven't sponsored a player/team are thinking it's a good move now. I just hope that I can enjoy more and bigger tournaments than last year! :)"
Statistically speaking Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund had the best year of his career, and probably the best year anyone has ever had individually. And yet it wasn't so far ahead of his teammate Lindberg who was actually more consistent than him overall.
But what made Alesund stand out and earn the title of Player of the Year is how often he stepped up and the fact that he was the best player at no less than six different events which led to NiP's triumph – Mad Catz Vienna, RC EMS One Spring, ESEA Season 13 and 14, DH Bucharest, and most impressive of all SLTV StarSeries VI Finals.
He also did great at DreamHack Summer where he stepped up in the playoffs, and he had too many great big matches to count overall in the year, including most of the grand finals he was in.
With an incredible 0.85 kills per round he was the best fragger of the year, and he was also one of the best clutchers and 3rd in the pistol round ranking.
With all those things considered, even though it was a very close battle for first place, Alesund had to prevail ahead of his teammate to become Player of the Year 2013.
Just like his teammate Lindberg and a few other players before them, Alesund predicts big things for Na`Vi's 19-year-old.
Denis "seized" Kostin
"My bold prediction for 2014 must be seized, as I know the guy didn't join Na`Vi long ago and ever since I saw him in the team I've been amazed how good he's playing."
What do you think about our choice for Player of the Year 2013? Does Alesund deserve the recognition?
That concludes our Top 20 of 2013 by eSportsventure! You can check out the full ranking here and follow the links if you're interested to read about any of the players and their performance in 2013.
Stay tuned to HLTV.org as we will in the next few days bring you a special highlight video featuring all twenty stars!