Steven R. August 15, 2019
If anybody is struggling to find the Twitch page of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, there’s a good reason for that.
The Natus Vincere star was slapped with a ban on the streaming platform for using a homophobic epithet during a recent stream. While the slur was not apparently made in anger, it still violates Twitch rules and will keep him from streaming for a week, per Rod Breslau. The slur was reportedly directed at teammate Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov.
While the clip is not available through Twitch, the moment was captured by a CIS Counter-Strike content creator who made a short video on his ban.
Despite being slapped with a ban, S1mple was unrepentant in his first public statements. Speaking in a pair of posts on Twitter, he jokingly acknowledged the news and then followed that by saying “Twitch is a joke, sorry for such a hatred Boombl4.” Natus Vincere has not made a public statement on the matter.
According to Breslau, s1mple’s ban comes alongside a larger push against homophobic language used by streamers in the region. A number of other content creators have been banned, with some being sanctioned for as long as 30 days.
Since splitting off from Team Liquid in 2016, s1mple has been one of the CIS region’s foremost stars. He is regarded by many as the single best player in the world and has almost single-handedly maintained Natus Vincere's positioning as one of Counter-Strike’s best teams. 2019 has been a decent year for s1mple, highlighted by a top-four finish at the IEM Katowice Major and first place at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7.
While s1mple’s ban from Twitch and his dismissal of the discipline could be worrying, this is unlikely to impact his playing career. He is set to compete at the StarLadder Berlin Major, which begins on August 23.