How Child Prodigy s1mple Became One Of The Greats

While Europe is heavily occupied with Flashpoint 3, other regions in CS:GO are also in action. When it comes to CIS, you can count on it being eventful, especially if it involves Na’Vi and their shining star s1mple.

If you are even the slightest into CS:GO, there is a very small chance you haven’t heard of Oleksandr Kostyliev aka Ukrainian superstar AWPer s1mple. At the tender age of 23 s1mple’s list of achievements are extremely impressive, so it isn’t at all strange that you’ll most commonly hear people calling him the best of all time.

Creating s1mple, The Origins

Also, when you check his biography, you’ll quickly realize how that came about. For instance, the legend (on basic Google search) says s1mple begun playing Counter-Strike at the age of four under the guidance of his older brother. That alone already brings out the similarities with creating world-class pianists or gymnasts, where child prodigies are recruited from a very early age. When you add the fact that s1mple’s only mantra is “practice, practice, practice”, it’s very clear with what kind of calibre we are dealing with here.

S1mple continued playing CS until CS:GO came out in 2012, and had already become part of a professional roster a year later. At the very beginning of his career, s1mple was supposedly “toxic and rude” to his teammates. First, several years weren’t a very good period for him in general: he was also banned from playing ESL for two years because of a cheating incident, which led to his team at the time releasing him.

Heart Pulling back To CIS

In 2016 he decided to try out his luck in America and transferred to Team Liquid, where he reached the final of his first Major, ESL One Cologne 2016, enabling Team Liquid to become the first NA team to make the finals of a CS:GO Major. Nevertheless, he decided to come back home to CIS, stating homesickness as the reason for his transfer, although there was probably a lot more behind it. He landed in Na’Vi, who couldn’t wait to get their hands on him after they saw his performance in Cologne. He stayed there until today, winning many trophies and titles. In fact, shortly after he transferred, he won ESL One: New York 2016 with Na’Vi, and ended up being 4th in HLTV player rankings that year.

Today, s1mple is inevitable in CS:GO. For the last three years he was voted for the best or second best in the world on that same HLTV list, he was awarded Player of the year on Esports Awards multiple times, and he was also named MVP for 13 Major tournaments, including the recently finished DreamHack Masters Spring 2021, where Na’Vi beat Gambit, current No. 1 roster in the world.

In his recent interview after that win, s1mple expressed just how much he can’t wait for LAN tournaments to become the norm again. He said he misses seeing his teammate’s eyes and feel their reactions in person to have better performances in-game, showing just how in-tune with the game and his team he really is and how he’s going to be even more of a threat once this Covid-hell is finally over.

One Bad Game – Headline Material

In fact, a long period of online playing and training were possibly the reasons behind a very bad play s1mple showed recently. Na’Vi got their asses kicked by Akuna in their opening game of the ongoing CIS EPIC League. S1mple’s game was so bad it was all over the news, with outlets calling it “the worst game of his pro CS:GO career”.  But, that is just more proof of his greatness: his one poorly executed game is headline material.

CIS is incredibly strong at the moment, which also makes it one of the most interesting regions to watch. They have three teams in the world Top 10 and six in the Top 20, with their two best teams, Gambit and Na’Vi, leading the pack being No. 1 and No. 2 in the world. So it’s not strange for Na’Vi to struggle in regional competitions, you have one bad day, you are out. Nevertheless, Na’Vi still has a chance to recover through the lower bracket, and there’s no doubt s1mple will play a crucial role in it.

Is s1mple your favorite player or do you prefer someone else? Let us know through social media, and in the meantime don’t forget to play our Pick6 for free.