Article written by: John "JAYEL"
Counter Nature is happy to present our Advanced Awards for Season 36. It has been awhile since we have released awards; Our last being Mid-season awards for Season 34. Those Awards proved to highlight some impressive players who have gone on to do big things, and we are hoping to showcase some of the current players who will have a bright future in this season’s version.
Before getting into it, I wanted to give a big shout-out to Nartouthere for starting these awards back in Season 34. His awards remain the baseline in Counter Nature’s methods and I’m lucky to have the ability to build on top of them for the future.
This season, we decided to get some community feedback from specially selected players and teams on who they thought were most deserving of the different awards. We combined the community’s votes with our own thoughts and feelings to bring you all of the below selections. Thank you to everyone who spent time filling out the survey and we’re looking forward to continuing evolving that process for future seasons. If you didn’t receive a survey from us to submit votes and you are interested in participating in this sort of thing--please reach out to us via our Twitter or our Discord. For Advanced awards, we would prefer you to be an Advanced player, coach, or analyst.
As a disclaimer, we tried to avoid giving paiN Gaming every single award that they were voted into. After all, this is a professional team playing in the Advanced division--we weren’t going to just hand them every award. Also, some of these awards were extremely difficult to decide a winner, so if you were surprised or upset by any of the picks, just know that we understand some of these awards could have gone to a number of deserving people.
Let’s get into it now, shall we?
🏆 Most Valuable Player
🏆 Rookie of the Season
🏆 Most Improved Player of the Season
🏆 Comeback Player of the Season
🏆 Coach of the Season
🏆 Most Surprising Team of the Season
🏆 Best AWPer
🏆 Best Clutcher
🏆 Most Valuable Player: saffee from paiN Gaming
MVP is the best player of the season. The player who has dominated for their team and proven to be feared by all opponents. While we tried to stay away from giving awards to the Brazilian professionals, it is impossible to not say saffee has been the stand-out of the season--regardless of the circumstances. In a division in which paiN probably relies heavily on aim and sheer-skill over tactics and execution; Saffee absolutely dominated on the server. Rafael “saffee” Costa received 58% of the votes for MVP. He finished the regular season with a 102.87 ADR and currently leads paiN’s HLTV page with a 1.28 rating over his 8 months on the team.
BeaKiew0w, Counter Nature CS alum (S35), received the second-most amount of votes (16%) for MVP. He was an absolute force for Eros, and also helped keep the team together throughout their many roster changes during the season. Despite 9 different players touching the server during the season for Eros, BeaKiew0w performed through it all, posting a 97.72 ADR (4th best in the league), 365 frags (4th best in the league), and 162 AK-47 frags (4th best in the league). Expect big things from this player in the upcoming season 37.
🏆 Rookie of the Season: lemonz- from HeadShotKings
- Previous winner: koalanoob from Ekasi Esports (Season 34 Mid-season)
This award is given to the player who performs the best in their first-ever season of Advanced. Receiving 40% of the counted votes for this award, lemonz- from HSK claims Rookie of the Season. If you go to the History tab of lemonz-, you will be shocked. In three seasons, he has gone from Open, to Main, to Advanced. In season 34, he played with CohesioN Concepts in their deep Open playoffs run which led to Main, where they ran it back and made Advanced via Main playoffs.
This season, lemonz- linked up with HeadShotKings and has exploded onto the Advanced stage. During the regular season, he bested the currently active roster with an 81.68 ADR. HSK gives lemonz- his space to make plays and build confidence up, and it’s worked thus far. Expect big things from this young star in the making, as he has made significant progress each season of his career. What will the next stop be for this emerging star?
The Most Improved Player award is granted to the person who has seen the biggest amount of progression from previous season(s) in Advanced to the current season. Bootylord is to be recognized for a number of reasons: Firstly, his name. Secondly, his loyalty to his team. He's been playing with Pryde for about eight seasons now. Thirdly, his progression as a game-changing AWPer. When Pryde entered Advanced for the first time last season, BootyLord held a 76 ADR and 117 AWP frags. This season, he returned with an 87.4 ADR and 162 AWP frags. Sources say that he has been digesting feedback from Premier players and working on perfecting his peaks and setups to benefit his team to the best of his ability. Kaiden is a player who wants to improve and is actually taking the steps to do so. Next season should be a showcase one for BootyLord.
🏆 Comeback Player of the Season: Cryptic from Flash Point
- Previous winner: Turismo from Savage (Season 34 Mid-season)
The Comeback Player award is reserved for someone who has stepped away from competing in Advanced or the game in-general for a season or longer, and returned with a vengeance and high-level of play. Cryptic earns this award for S36 since his return to Advanced. He hasn't competed a full season of Advanced since S32. In S35, he dropped down to Intermediate with the Tidal Esports lineup, after the much anticipated Advanced project came to a close. After claiming the Intermediate division championship, Cryptic returned to Advanced to post some of his best stats of his career. His last full season of Advanced (S32) displayed a meager 69 ADR, only to increase minorly to 76 in S34. However, S36 proved to be the breakout season with an 87 ADR.
🏆 Coach of the Season: Millz from Team Veloz
The Coach of the Season award requires no explanation. This award goes to the best Coach in Advanced for the season. Receiving 61% of the votes was Millz from Team Veloz. If this award proves anything, it's that great players make great coaches. In what seems to be his first season coaching, Millz has played a vital roll in getting the talented Veloz team into a structure and form that WINS. It is unknown if Millz will continue coaching in the future, or if he will return to playing if a good opportunity presents itself.
🏆 Most Surprising Team of the Season: Recon 5 Black
- Honorable Mention: CyberStorm
The Most Surprising Team of the Season award is given to the team that performed significantly better than anyone predicted at the beginning of the season. Recon 5 Black (Ex-Springroll) rightfully received 46% of the votes for this award. This overhauled roster for S36 defied the odds and did what most teams fail to do successfully: completely reset the team and improve. The only players from this team who remained from the S35 campaign were taiwi and Just2EZ. New additions of hossmarkboss, garret, Kleine, and stxyz (coach) have seemed to be the perfect ingredients to bring this team to the next level. After a respectable but mediocre 11-5 (1-2) season in the previous season, Recon 5 Black went 14-2 during the regular season, and are currently 2-0 in playoffs. At this point, it’s Premier or bust for this squad.
Cyberstorm receives the honorable mention here, as they surprised just about everyone this season. After barely securing Advanced birth in Main playoffs last season (11-5 regular season, 3-2 playoffs), the team put together a solid run in their first season of Advanced. After a rough 2-4 start to the season, they went on to finish 8-2 and secure the very last spot in playoffs.
🏆 Best AWPer: heretic- from reporting for duty
By special request from the voters, AWPer of the Season is awarded to heretic-. Previously competing in Premier, heretic came back to Advanced for S36 to dominate the competition with his deadly AWP. For the regular season, he topped the AWP charts with 228 frags, 39 more than the second-best (kismer). It is uncertain what will be next for heretic-, but he has proven that he is still one of the most lethal AWPers in the NA scene.
🏆 Headhunter: slugy from STMNesports (now teamless)
The Headhunter award goes to the player with the highest headshot percentage for the regular season, with a minimum of 100 frags. slugy takes this award with a HSP of .300 through 262 frags.
🏆 Best Clutcher: k1Nky from InFinity Esports
The Best Clutcher award is given to the player with the most clutches from the regular season. k1Nky topped the charts with 12 clutches on the season (9 1v2s and 3 1v3s).
Thanks for reading and I hope you stick around for more content in the future.