How CSGO prodigy s1mple “held” those who didn’t believe in him

Published: 2022-12-27T21:23:48

Updated: 2022-12-27T21:23:48

Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, has reached the pinnacle of Counter-Strike and esports at the age of 25. In an exclusive interview with Dexerto, he spoke about his journey and what drives him to achieve more.

Every sport or esport needs a face. Lionel Messi for football, Lebron James for basketball and for Counter-Strike, s1mple. Yes, it might sound ridiculous to mention s1mple in the same breath as iconic sports legends, but every esport needs a figure capable of getting an entire arena on its feet.

The magic of sports comes from creating villains and heroes for fans to adore or loathe. Because even though sport is a career for athletes, for many fans it ultimately serves as a form of entertainment incomparable to any other medium.

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You either hate or love s1mple, which is exactly what he wants. The Ukrainian professional CS:GO player possesses the rare “it” factor to stun audiences with his highlight skill. He is a polarizing figure, but widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. s1mple has made it its personal mission to prove people wrong.

BLAST

s1mple winning the 2022 BLAST Premier Spring Finals

s1mple becomes famous in CS:GO

s1mple’s earliest video game memory came from playing Heroes of Newerth after his brother showed him the MOBA. He later joined a computer club and discovered CS 1.6, an earlier version of the historic FPS title.

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After s1mple took home his first prize of a 2v2 tournament, “his family realized this was more than just a game and got their support,” he said.

It has become a common trend for aspiring young esports players to drop out of school, become full-time streamers, or join an organization. But s1mple advised young people to ‘stay in school, it will come in handy later in life’. He found a balance between studying and chasing his esports dream.

In 2014, s1mple joined his first professional CS:GO team, HellRaisers. Unfortunately for him, things didn’t go as planned, but he envisioned a career path.

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“I realized for the first time that I could become one of the strongest players in 2014.”

s1mple experiences turbulent career start

simple with liquidDream Hack

s1mple’s time with Liquid ended on a happy note as he led the team to the ESL One Cologne 2016 Major finals

HellRaisers retired s1mple in 2015 in part due to an ESL wire ban for cheating, which prevented him from attending the ESL One Katowice Major. The ban, which dated back to his 1.6 days, had been extended after he attempted to circumvent it.

s1mple wears his emotions on his sleeve while on stage, with some community members deeming his behavior “toxic”.

“I believed in the 2014 HellRaisers roster and I’m sure I was removed because of the ESL ban, not because I was toxic, as ANGE1, one of NAVI’s Valorant players, claimed.”

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In 2016 s1mple got a second life with Team Liquid in the United States. He struggled with homesickness and could not get used to life outside the home. Despite struggling offstage, he thrived in the game and led Liquid to the semifinals and finals of Majors.

At ESL Cologne 2016, he pulled off a 1v2 AWP falling no-scope clutch round against Fnatic, and Valve immortalized the moment with an in-game graffiti painting on Cache. (s1mple has graffiti tattooed on his left shoulder.)

“I believe I’ve had a great career and accomplished a lot in NA after leading the NA team to the Grand Finals for the first time.”

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s1mple finally finds a home on NAVI

Stephanie Lindgren/PGL

s1mple finally won his first Major title with Navi in ​​2021.

In 2016, s1mple found the homecoming he was looking for by joining Natus Vincere in Ukraine. He shined as the team’s AWPer, pulling off memorable plays with the sniper rifle in hand at every event. HLTV ranked s1mple as the best CS:GO player in 2018, but his individual accolades still didn’t translate into trophies.

Critics wondered if s1mple could win a Major, but he never gave up confidence in his ability as a player.

“I never gave up and believed that one day I would become a top player and win Majors. I saw what I needed to work on and always set goals for myself.”

s1mple silenced doubters by delivering one of his career best performances as NAVI won. their first Major title at PGL Stockholm in 2021. The Ukrainian side made history by winning every map in the tournament, and s1mple earned MVP honors for his heroic performance.

“It’s an incredible feeling to hold it against those who don’t know anything about me or my team and don’t realize how much I wanted this or how hard I worked to get to this result.”

HLTV has again named s1mple the best CS:GO player in 2021, and he has won a record 21 MVP medals to date.

What’s next for s1mple in CS:GO?

s1mple-blst-premier-worldwide-finals-mvpBLAST Prime Minister

celebrating s1mple during a CS:GO match.

Even after finally winning a Major title, s1mple has no plans to retire or leave Natus Vincere anytime soon. He recently signed a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the organization until the end of 2025.

“I am very happy to have played for the Ukrainian club for more than six years, although it is not easy for me because I had not stayed on a squad for more than a year before.”

Nurturing the next generation of talent is essential to the growth and stability of an esport. It’s even more important in CS:GO, with Valorant poaching young talent.

“I think at the age of thirty I will think about whether I might want to stay in the organization as a coach or in another position, because I want our academy to become even more prominent in the future. Or maybe I’ll go into business – I don’t know yet.”

Whatever s1mple decides to do in the future, he has already proven everyone who doubted him wrong, and he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest AWPers and CS:GO players of all time.

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