s1mple is taking a break from CS2, here’s why

By Kenneth Williams


Oct 15, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

CSGO’s esports legacy is synonymous with superstar AWPer Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev, but CS2 will have to start off without him.

Whether he’s clutching out impossible rounds or keeping an iron grip on mid, s1mple is the most respected player in modern Counter-Strike. With the scene’s transition to CS2, s1mple was expected to truck along with everyone else into the Source 2 engine, but it turns out that his complaints are more earnest than fans expected.

The legendary sniper will be benched for the first major CS2 LAN at IEM Sydney, and while there’s no official reason why, attentive fans have their suspicions.

The shock announcement was revealed through Natus Vincere’s official social media channels on October 15, 2023. In the release, the sponsor explained that coach Andrii “B1ad3” Gorodenskyi would take his place in the server. It’s not clear if B1ad3 or Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen will take the reins as in-game leader. Either way, the loss of their star AWPer is a major blow to the squad and its fans.

s1mple CS2 break announcement

The statement is brief, and it doesn’t specify why s1mple is taking a break for the start of CS2 or how long it will last. IEM Sydney starts tomorrow October 16, but this decision was likely made at least a few days in advance. Na’Vi doesn’t have any other big events soon on the schedule, but expect an update before BLAST Premier: World Final 2023 in December at the latest.

Why s1mple is taking a break from CS2

While s1mple has not revealed the exact reason behind his competitive break, it is almost assuredly related to his distaste for CS2 as a whole.

Since the limited beta test, s1mple has been very vocal about the game’s competitive issues. The criticism amplified after release, with the AWPer recommending aspiring players to ignore it for three months. He has also posted several technical issues with the game, claiming multiple crashes in a single match soon after release.

By stepping back from competitive play, Counter-Strike’s most recognized name is sending a very clear message to Valve. The state of the game is simply unacceptable to him, and major changes must be made for him to return to the server. It’s likely that s1mple is still practicing the game in the meanwhile, but by removing himself from pro play, he is strongly signaling to Valve that CS2 has plenty of problems to fix.