Event News


Head to head

European Skier of The Year: The Quarterfinals

By: Ethan Stone February 14, 2024

Who killed it hardest in 2023? Help us decide and cast your vote in the European Skier of the Year contest presented by Peak Performance, Head and Tyrolia.

Eight women and eight men have advanced to the ESOTY quarterfinals. It’s head-to-head from here on out.

Keep scrolling to cast your quarterfinals votes. You may vote once in each head-to-head contest. Quarterfinals voting is open until 20:00 CET on Sunday, 18 February.

Quarterfinals voting is now closed. Check back later to cast your vote in the semifinals!

Men’s Quarterfinals #1: Nikolai Schirmer vs. Markus Eder

Two former ESOTY winners face off in the first men’s quarterfinals match-up. Nikolai (voted ESOTY in 2019) was as productive as ever in 2023, pumping out content on YouTube, filming a segment for Matchstick Productions’ “The Land of Giants” and co-starring in the award-winning short “The Draconians.” In contrast, Markus (voted ESOTY in 2014 and 2018) may not have been as media-heavy, but he still won the Nendaz Backcountry Invitational, kept it real in the park and stacked clips in Alaska for a two-year project.

This poll has ended (since 2 months).
Nikolai Schirmer
Markus Eder

Women’s Quarterfinals #1: Hedvig Wessel vs. Megane Betend

In the first women’s quarterfinals match-up, Freeride World Tour newcomer Megane faces off against moguls-turned-freeride powerhouse Hedvig. While taking a break from the FWT in 2023, Hedvig put in work on the film side, doing everything from producing her own projects (Headspace, Light in the Shadows) to starring in big-ticket productions (The Land of Giants, Unified). Meanwhile, Megane was busy on tour on her rookie year, winning the Kicking Horse stop and taking third in Fieberbunn on her way to a third-place overall finish.

This poll has ended (since 2 months).
Hedvig Wessel
Megane Betend

Men’s Quarterfinals #2: Kuura Koivisto vs. Max Hitzig

It’s hard to imagine two more different skiers than this match-up. In one corner, you’ve got a preternaturally talented Finnish freestyler who, after missing the Olympics due to an injury, bounced back with a jaw-dropping season project, “Dream.” In the other corner, you’ve got an up-and-coming freeride star who delivered one of the most insane backflips in living memory to win the Kicking Horse Freeride World Tour stop.

This poll has ended (since 2 months).
Kuura Koivisto
Max Hitzig

Women’s Quarterfinals #2: Anni Kärävä vs. Manon Loschi

It’s a style showdown from the streets to the steeps! Anni has been keeping things fresh on the World Cup circuit, and still found time to bag some gnarly urban shots in “Forre Movie 2.” Manon missed her planned Freeride World Tour debut due to an injury, but was able to show off her talent in film projects like “Double Trouble” and “New Growth.”

This poll has ended (since 2 months).
Manon Loschi
Anni Karava

Men’s Quarterfinals #3: Matěj Švancer vs. Max Palm

This is a heavy match between two of the most hyped names in the freestyle and freeride worlds. Besides dropping groundbreaking tricks in every contest he entered, Matěj went ham in Faction’s “Abstract” and dropped a personal project with Red Bull, “Skiing Graduation” that showed him skiing through his high school. While Max didn’t succeed on his mission to win the Freeride World Tour, he did win the Baqueira stop with his signature double backflip, and his personal project “Realis” is simply a thing of beauty.

This poll has ended (since 2 months).
Matej Svancer
Max Palm

Women’s Quarterfinals #3: Tess Ledeux vs. Arianna Tricomi

Tess was on fire in 2023, winning the World Championships Big Air, the Silvaplana slopestyle, the Copper Mountain Big Air and taking second at the X Games. But Ari, back after a knee injury in 2022, came back swinging, filming with MSP in Japan for “The Land of Giants” and making her own personal project “What if…?” Oh, and she picked up a wildcard at the Fieberbrunn FWT stop, and promptly won the thing.

This poll has ended (since 2 months).
Tess Ledeux
Arianna Tricomi

Men’s Quarterfinals #4: Candide Thovex vs. Jesper Tjäder

Can anyone stand in the way of the GOAT? If anyone can, it’s probably Jesper Tjäder. He won the World Cup slopestyle in Silvaplana, took second in Tignes, won X Games Knuckle Huck and Red Bull Playstreets, and turned his Unrailistic projects into a successful event. And Candide? Well, he launched his own ski company, and has just been doing Candide things.

This poll has ended (since 2 months).
Candide Thovex
Jesper Tjäder

Women’s Quarterfinals #4: Mathilde Gremaud vs. Sarah Hoefflin

It’s a Swiss showdown in the final women’s quarterfinal match. Mathilde went hard in 2023, winning four different World Cup events—two slopestyle, two Big Air—as well as the World Champs slopestyle and second at the X Games. Her compatriot Sarah joined her on several of those podiums, with second-place finishes at the Laax Open and the Silvaplana World Cup as well as bronze at Big Air Chur.

This poll has ended (since 2 months).
Mathilde Gremaud
Sarah Hoefflin

Voting is now closed in the quarterfinals. Check back tomorrow to vote in the semifinals!