Welcome to Red Bull’s first ever eSports Player Of The Month poll! Every month, we’ll ask our panel of casters and eSports experts to nominate a player from each major eSport, and then you just have to vote for your favourite in the poll. We'll announce the winner next week.
In February and early March (the Dota Shanghai Major straddled both months so we included it), there have been some outstanding performances by stars and newcomers from Call of Duty’s MarkyB to Dota 2’s pieliedie and Street Fighter’s new star Mister Crimson. You can vote in our poll below, but if you don’t know who to vote for, make sure you take a look at each of the nominations from our experts.
Vote for Red Bull's eSports Player of the Month in the poll below.
Call of Duty – Mark ‘MarkyB’ Bryceland (Team Infused)
Nominated by: CoD caster Alan 'Bricey' Brice
Bricey says: "Mark had a great month as his Team Infused squad not only secured the number one rank in the Call of Duty World League in Europe, but also went on to win Europe’s first major event, coming back from 2-0 down in the grand final to win 3-2 and secure the lion’s share of $25,000. Mark was a key player in the team, and many thought he was the MVP. After a run of bad luck last year (by his own admission), it’s a return to form for one of Europe’s most popular players. His team will soon be playing at season one finals where they have a shot at winning $200,000."
Vote for MarkyB in the poll above and tell him you supported him on Twitter: @MarkyBCoD
Alan Brice is a professional presenter and eSports commentator. Follow him @Bricetacular
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – Olofmeister (Fnatic)
Nominated by ESL caster Lauren Scott
Lauren says: "The ace up Fnatic’s sleeve. The 24 year-old Swede has shown inhuman performances on the biggest stage of Counter-Strike. His versatility as a player has been a a real talking point recently, being able to switch from supporting his team to opening the next round or AWPing because he can. He has every tool needed to be a god tier player and we will be saying that for a long time. He will be needed to assist Fnatic along the way in the Pro League, and with the MLG Major that's on the horizon."
Vote for Olofmeister in the poll above and tell him you supported him on Twitter: @olofmCS
Heroes of the Storm – Sake (MVP Black)
Nominated by ESL’s James Carrol
James says: "Known previously for his Jaina and Kael'thas play, Sake has branched out to fulfil the role of Greymane and Li-Ming, which he has executed very well. Being the captain of arguably the best team in the world right now must have its challenges, but Sake seems to coordinate MVP Black like no other, while still playing in one of the most pivotal and game changing roles himself as the main assassin.
"This style of play wouldn't be strong without a core front line to back him up, but Sake knows when to deliver the finishing blow with Greymane, who always walks that fine line between over-extending and fight defining dives. Be sure to look out for him and his team making a deep run through the Spring Global Championship coming at the beginning of April."
Vote for Sake in the poll above.
James Carrol is a Heroes of the Storm commentator for ESL. Follow him on Twitter: @Kaelaris
Hearthstone – ThijsNL (G2)
Nominated by Hearthstone caster Marcin 'Gnimsh' Filipowicz
Marcin says: "ThijsNL is not only the European champion, but he’s currently holding 1st place on the GosuGamers ranking. His performance in February alone was astonishing with an 82% win rate. He won the Curse trials tournament vs Savjz, finished third in the Hearthstone Champions League, and qualified for PGL Spring Tavern Champs where he started with a 5-0 score on the swiss part, and finished in the top four. He also won 3-0 against Kolento in the G2 class legend tournament, losing only to Zetalot who finished second. I'm looking forward to his performance in the Spring champs.
"So he’s my player of the month, but keep a eye on new and upcoming player Tars who qualified for both Winter European champs and the PGL event."
Vote for ThijsNL in the poll above and tell him you’re supporting him on Twitter: @G2Thijs
Dota 2 – pieliedie (Team Secret)
Nominated by eSports caster Paul ‘ReDeYe’ Chaloner
ReDeYe says: "Pieliedie had five different teams in 2015, but in Team Secret he has finally found the home he needed. No one player is ever the single reason for a tournament victory, but at times in Shanghai, Johan 'pieliedie' Åström made you wonder.
"He may have the nickname The Lion King for a reason, but it didn’t seem to matter what he played in the hard 5 position, he would come up big almost every time. While EternalEnvy may have got most of the mentions, EE would probably tell you himself, he couldn’t do what he does without pieliedie around. It’s about time supports got due credit and in the case of Pie-God (sorry, but we god everyone nowadays!) it’s well overdue."
Vote for pieliedie in the poll above and tell him you supported him on Twitter: @PieLieDieDota
Paul ‘ReDeYe’ Chaloner is a host of major Dota2 events, including The International 2015. Follow @PaulChaloner on Twitter.
FIFA 16 – Spencer ‘Epsilon Gorilla’ Ealing (Epsilon)
Nominated by Gfinity FIFA caster Chris Trout
Chris says: "Spencer Ealing was unstoppable in FIFA in February, beating his opponents in convincing fashion to win the first season of the Play Like A Legend 2016 Ultimate Team tournament. The 2015 champion had all the pressure on his shoulders coming into this tournament, with a lot of his opponents gunning for his spot at the top, but without batting an eyelid, Spencer coolly dispatched the competition one by one to reach the Grand Final, where he rounded off an amazing display by defeating the 2014 FIFA Interactive World Cup winner August Rosenmeier 6-0.
"August described him as a 'robot' on Twitter, which was a fair description as he put together a rock solid defensive display and scored goals from all types of situations."
Vote for Spencer Ealing in the poll above and tell him you supported him on Twitter: @Epsilon_Gorilla
Chris Trout will be casting Play Like a Legend 2016 Season 2 on 26 March from the Gfinity Arena. Follow him on Twitter: @TheTrout91
Halo – Mathew ‘Royal2’ Fiorante (CLG)
Nominated by ESL caster Richard Simms
Simms says: "Royal2 is turning out to be an exterminator with the sniper rifle and with the Worlds Championships this weekend, you can bet that his eyes are set firmly on the prize. The team enjoyed an explosive North American Regionals finals – within the first few minutes of CLG Vs. RNG, we saw an incredible Airborne Snapshot Overkill, and the kills just kept coming to help them win with ease.
"CLG proved it was no fluke as they practised for the upcoming world championships against RNG. Same map, same game type, same teams, same Royal2 with a sniper rifle, getting three back to back to back no scopes from one clip. Royal2 truly is one of the best players in the game right now."
Vote for Royal2 in the poll above and tell him your supported him on Twitter: @Royal2
Richard Simms will be commentating at the Halo World Championships from 18 March. Follow him on Twitter: @TheSimms
Street Fighter – Mister Crimson
Nominated by Street Fighter Pro Tour presenter Logan Sama
Logan says: "Mister Crimson is a name that most of you may not be familiar with, but get used to it! This young player from Lyon in France won the first ever Capcom Pro Tour ranking event for Street Fighter V in February with his great Laura play. He currently sits atop the worldwide CPT rankings for this achievement, but that could soon change as events come thick and fast across the world. However, judging by his incredible use of meaty set ups and bamboozling mix ups to defeat legends like Ryan Hart and young stars such as Phenom in Cannes, you will be seeing more of him this year!"
Vote for Mister Crimson in our poll above.
Logan Sama presents Street Fighter action on the Capcom Pro Tour. Follow him on Twitter: @djlogansama
League of Legends - Song ‘Smeb’ Kyung-ho (Rox Tigers)
Nominated by NUEL’s Balint Kiss-toth
Balint says: "ROX Tigers were undefeated in LCK in February, and Smeb played an integral part. Also, after picking up MVP in five matches, he overtook TrAce on the MVP leaderboard.
"Playing with over eight champions in as many weeks, Smebs' versatility has shone through in February. From bringing out the team fight with Kennen (still the only top laner to do so in this split of the LCK) to counter-picking with Quinn, Smeb has filled any role required of him by ROX Tigers. Their quick 2-0 victory over the second place Jin Air team in week six demonstrated the trust the team have in Smeb. With never ending turret diving in game one, and then a strong carry performance with Quinn in Game 2, Smeb is the pinnacle of top lane talent in Korea and the world."
Vote for Smeb in the poll above and tell him you supported him on Twitter: @LOLSmeb