Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev is probably the single best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player in the world, but he isn’t perfect.
The Natus Vincere star wound up with some egg on his face at ESL One Cologne. During a group stage match with Team Liquid, the player botched an attempted knife kill on Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella that helped facilitate a comeback for the North American side. The moment was clipped on Twitch:
Natus Vincere didn’t lose the map on just one mistake and surely had other opportunities to win, but this was still a huge gaffe for the team.
nitr0 was in a tricky position on Dust 2. With Liquid down on the scoreboard 15-11 and facing a one-versus-three situation, he needed to make a desperate clutch. It was an advantageous position for Na’Vi and s1mple knew it, which emboldened him to end the game with a knife kill.
He waited for nitr0 behind mid doors and saw an opportunity, but as he approached, nitr0 turned around and gunned him down. From there, nitr0 took out the remaining two Natus Vincere players and made the defusal to lock up the round. The botch kept Liquid alive, which allowed the team to force overtime. The American side wound up winning the map 22-19 and went on to win the series 2-1.
s1mple was Na`Vi’s best performing player overall in the series, even with the mistake. s1mple brushed off the error on Twitter, saying, “Easy 2-0. Oops I mean 1-2. GGWP Team Liquid next time it won’t happen. Sorry all fans for knife attempt, wanted to give them a chance.”
Though s1mple seemed unfazed by the stumble, the loss robbed Natus Vincere of a guaranteed spot in the playoffs and possibly a start in the tournament semifinals. Now in the lower bracket, the team still has the chance to work their way forward through a tougher road as they would need to win two best-of-three elmination series in order to qualify.
The next game comes against a formidable Mousesports lineup in order to nab a spot in the quarterfinals.
Natus Vincere will almost certainly enter that match as the favorite, but that one knife fail put the team in a tight spot.