s1mple’s tweet came in response to Astralis’ Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander, who voiced his own opinion on CSGO’s coaching scandal. s1mple issued his own statement and denied any knowledge of the matter before it became major news.
I can say that my team never suspected this bug and did not know that the coach could do this, you have my word
— Sasha (@s1mpleO) October 2, 2020
At first glance some fans might see s1mple’s tweet as a reactionary comment, but if anyone in professional CSGO can be trusted, it’s s1mple. It’s ironic that s1mple’s comment came in response to gla1ve because Astralis knows all too well how trustworthy Na`Vi’s star is at his core. During the grand finals of DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018, Na`Vi was down a map against gla1ve and Astralis, before a sudden technical pause came in from s1mple. But it wasn’t his mouse or monitor that he wanted DreamHack to fix.
In a moment that showed fans what kind of competitor s1mple is, the young star called the pause because he had an unfair advantage.
Unbeknownst to anyone else, s1mple had a full view of the match’s observer feed thanks to a reflection from the arena’s screens, and s1mple wanted DreamHack to fix it before Na`Vi continued. s1mple’s sportsmanship was on full display that day, and it lives on as one of CSGO’s most honest moments.
But s1mple’s pause in Marseille was a long time ago, especially after a long 2020 season. Since Valve’s postponement of the ESL One Rio Major, CSGO has been grappling with issues both from within and without.
The Esports Integrity Commission released a report in late September and sanctioned almost 40 coaches for cheating during professional matches. While the bug that allowed the abuse has existed for years, the ESIC report released video evidence that showed coaches triggering the bug on purpose. Once triggered, the coach could have a full view of CSGO’s radar and a spectator’s view of anywhere on the map.
Riot Games’ Valorant has attracted CSGO players both casual and professional alike as veteran players and new talents are jumping ship for the hero shooter. In fact, 88% of Valorant’s top-ranked players by prize money are former CSGO players.
It can be easy to forget about s1mple’s honorable pause, especially while Counter-Strike faces such large challenges. But for every coach that cheated their team to victory, there are players like s1mple and Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas to show gamers coming into CSGO what true competitors look like.