Dust2.us' Advanced TOTY 2022
With another year of competitive Counter-Strike in the books, NA saw a resurgent year for high-level play across all level of competition. Familiar faces at the tier-one level left their mark abroad, while some fresh faces across Advanced and ESL Challenger worked to cement themselves as potential future prospects. Looking back at 2022, here are the five players and the coach at the ESEA Advanced level that through their impact and individual performances are Dust2.us' Advanced Team of 2022.
Adam “Grizz” Golden (Limitless, Take Flyte, Rectify)
Finalist, ADV S43
2022 was a massive year for Grizz, especially at just 17 years old. Despite only playing his first season of Advanced, Season 40, at the start of the year, the youngster managed to make playoffs on three occasions with Rectify, Take Flyte, and Limitless. In Season 43, Grizz and Limitless managed to go all the way to the finals before falling to Davenport University in a close five map series. While Grizz's impact on the server was felt throughout all of 2022, he peaked in Season 43, posting a 1.24 rating throughout the latter portion of playoffs. Additionally, his 1.26 rating in Relegation was a key catalyst in Limitless clinching a lucrative spot in ECL this season.
Josh “JBa” Barrut (Limitless, X13, Levitate)
Finalist, ADV S43
JBa is the second equally important piece of Limitless to make Dust2.us' TOTY for 2022. At 18 years old, JBa finally made ECL after five consecutive appearances in Advanced playoffs in 2021 and 2022. This can be attributed to an eyepopping 1.29 K/D ratio over 2022 in Advanced along with finding a winning core that could take him to the next level. Additionally, JBa finally had the chance to attend his first LAN events this year, which cannot be understated as an important factor in a young player's growth.
William “spek” Smith (Davenport University, InControl)
Champion, Fragadelphia 16: Chicago
Champion, ADV S43
spek has proven himself to be something of a phenom over the course of 2022 with InControl and Davenport. After winning Fragadelphia 16: Chicago with the former team, he was quickly scooped up by Davenport and has been impressing since. Outside of incredibly consistent performances in Advanced, spek has proven he can tangle with NA's best on LAN as well. At Fragadelphia 17, spek posted a 1.13 rating over eight maps, which includes strong showing against EG Black. While he struggled in ECL during Season 42, spek is one of the most exciting prospects in NA at the moment. While many lament the departures of Denis "swicher" Baranov and Collin "CoJoMo" Moren, if spek continues to develop at his current trajectory he could be a superstar within the DU program.
Johnny “JDubs” Wu (Detonate, Big Chillin)
JDubs joins Dust2.us' list as one of the more experienced names, having played many seasons of ECL and Premier over the past two years. Despite this, he is someone who has never really hit his stride in the division, returning to Advanced on multiple occasions. While he likely longs for a permanent callup, he is still one of the strongest names in ESEA Advanced, performing especially well with Detonate. In ECL and Advanced, JDubs ended 2022 with a 1.23 K/D ratio, 91 ADR, and 12.2 RWS, which was enough to receive a nod from Noah “Nifty” Francis upon his return to competition. It will be interesting to see if this opportunity is enough for him to claim a permanent spot in ECL in 2023.
Caleb “jchancE” Davis (Reign, Vexo Purple)
Reign’s leading AWPer, jchancE, is by far the oldest and most experienced player to earn a spot on Dust2.us' TOTY. His competitive experience dates all the way back to Season 18, predating the creation of ESEA Advanced by a number of years. Despite being an elder in Advanced, he was the X-factor in his teams for most of 2022, closing the year with an impressive 1.15 K/D ratio, 85 ADR, and 12.2 RWS with the big green. Although team success was not as impressive as personal success, he did enough to help put his team in a position to get back to ECL to end the year. Despite falling short of ECL in the final decider, jchancE continues to offer tons of upside against his peers.
Colin “koi” Thor (Davenport University)
64% win rate
Finalist, SIGMA Esports Cup Toronto
Finalist, Fragadelphia 17: Chicago
Champion ADV S43
Davenport University's well-known coach continued to grow his collegiate empire throughout 2022, putting the Michigan-based team on the map with multiple standout performances online and at LAN. While koi and Davenport were unsuccessful in their previous outing in ECL, no one in Advanced comes close to koi's eye for talent and approach to building out a winning program. One of the team's highlights from 2022 was when they turned heads at Fragadelphia 17 by pushing EG Black to their absolute limit despite the massive divide in experience and pedigree. In Advanced, koi ends 2022 with a 64% annual win rate and is in a position to continue putting collegiate CS:GO on the map in 2023.