Way of the Legend: A s1mple Big Story

His name is one that would never be forgotten. Let alone CS:GO, even if any of the esports disciplines we now know become history one day, his name will find a place among one of the best esports players of all time. s1mple, a simple man from Ukraine changed the professional CS:GO scene, and if you hate him, I have bad news for you. You have zero points left to tell me he is not the GOAT.

A career filled with success and achievements: he only missed a Major. When he was the closest to it, Covid-19 happened. That did not stop him. His passion and determination proved to be better than a virus. Yes, 2020 was disappointing for him, but that was because there was no Major he could win. 2021 reintroduced the best esports events, and naturally, s1mple reintroduced himself.

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Birth of a legend

s1mple’s career started in Russian/Ukrainian local teams. His first big leap was HellRaisers, where he attended his first Major at DreamHack Winter 2014 in his rookie year. HellRaisers finished their group first place, but lost against Ninjas in Pyjamas in the quarterfinals. A very good start, eh?

In 2015, s1mple changed teams a lot, organizations like FlipSid3 Tactics or Worst Players became his home. At Electronic Sports World Cup 2015 and StarLadder StarSeries XIII, he took the 3th-4th place, and he attended a number of S-Tier events throughout the year. He was ready for the next step: Team Liquid.

However, once again, he couldn’t see further than 3rd place in Majors or other S-Tier events except for ESL One: Cologne 2016 where they played a final. There were reports about s1mple being homesick, and having trouble connecting with the team. s1mple ended up leaving the team, but not without memorable moments. “You can’t do that s1mple! This is a Major!”

Days of Natus Vincere

At this point, s1mple was already one of the best AWPs in the game surely. However, he needed more experience, and still had so much to prove because of his massive potential. His NAVI run started well with winning his second tournament with the team: ESL One: New York 2016. s1mple’s first S-Tier championship.

2017 wasn’t as good, before the end of the year, they scooped DreamHack Open Winter 2017 and WESG 2017 Europe Finals. It was a quiet year for him. NAVI started to attack once again in 2018, winning StarSeries, ESL One, BLAST Pro Series, playing finals at EPICENTER 2018, but they just couldn’t get the Major! At ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018, FaZe defeated them in the semifinals, and at FACEIT Major: London 2018, they lost against an exemplary Astralis in the finals.

It’s 2019 now. s1mple is getting better each year. He is right there with players like NiKo, olofmeister, dev1ce. I said NiKo right? He didn’t have any Major either. We’ll get back to that later. They attended everything they could, but other than a StarSeries championship, 2019 was not a year that they dominated, really. It should’ve been their best year, but it wasn't. A bit disappointing?

No, what’s disappointing was: s1mple started the year by winning IEM XIV World Championship and BLAST Premier Spring 2020 Regular Season. Then a worldwide pandemic broke up. Majors got cancelled, and s1mple was left without a Major tournament at his peak. The events were mainly dominated by ZywOo and his friends at Vitality that year, as s1mple and his friends at NAVI had problems catching up at online events. He missed LAN.

2021: The s1mple year

To be honest, I don’t think there has ever been such a dominant streak in a game that has this many top-flight tournaments in a year. With the starting whistle to 2021, NAVI ravaged everything like wild predators: BLAST Premier Global Final 2020, BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2021.

-They lost IEM World Championship and ESL Pro League Season 13 at very early stages, but let’s not focus on the losses here-

DreamHack Masters Spring 2021? NAVI. BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2021 and EPIC CIS League Spring 2021? Not NAVI, but who cares? They won StarLadder CIS RMR 2021, IEM Cologne, ESL Pro League Season 14, BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2021 and PGL Major Stockholm 2021 IN A ROW! They only lost IEM Fall in the finals against Gambit but once again, who cares? It was unbelievable! They achieved the Intel Grand Slam Season 3 and finished CIS RMR first place on the way too. But there is more:

s1mple and NAVI were so eager to win a Major at last, they didn’t lose a single map. You heard me right. In the final, G2 challenged them on one, single map but they didn’t give it up. On Nuke, where they haven’t lost since May, G2 made it 14-7 at some point, but NAVI came back in the extra time, overwhelming G2 and winning an invincible Major. One word: s1mple. Sorry, I meant to say unbelievable.

But I think you can use those words interchangeably, because that lunatic had 72 KILLS TOTAL during the games against G2 Esports. 72. A player with similar fate to his, NiKo, tried to stop him or at least slow him but no, he made up his mind a long time ago. While NiKo lost the chance to win his first Major, another legend thrived at Stockholm.

A great man, an unbelievable player, mind and a character. He is no doubt the best at the moment. Until when they can win everything they want? I really don’t have an idea. But right now, the best teams of CS:GO rapidly change their rosters and try out new things because they want to find the answer. They want to take down s1mple. What I know is he won’t give that throne up too easily. It’s his game now.

Find the best events where s1mple is also playing, bet on them and watch them at Luckbox's CS:GO matches page.