Team Liquid gives an inside look at s1mple’s time with CSGO squad

By Nick Johnson


May 23, 2020

Reading time: 2 min

Team Liquid’s new video show “Tilts” recently took on the topic of what happens when a player leaves a team, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive manager Steve “jokasteve” Perino and Team Liquid co-owner Steve Arhancet took the opportunity to talk about one of CSGO’s best players and his time with the organization.

Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev spent nearly five months on Team Liquid at the beginning of 2016, helping the team become the first North American team to reach the grand finals of a CSGO Major. But s1mple was also young, and whispers of toxicity and culture shock made the rounds when s1mple left the team after the event. 

s1mple was CSGO’s best, and he knew it

The latest episode of “Tilts” gave an inside look at s1mple’s time with Team Liquid CSGO, including how s1mple’s own CSGO ability got in his own way.

“… it’s really hard when you’re that good, and [s1mple] has been unanimously the best player in the world now for a few years, to understand why your teammates aren’t as good as you,” jokasteve said.

The comment puts into perspective rumors that have circulated for years that s1mple’s main issue on Team Liquid was that the Ukrainian prodigy simply didn’t think his teammates were capable enough. s1mple entered a TL team that had just added Kenneth “koosta” Suen as it’s AWPer, but fans and analysts were confused when it seemed as though s1mple was wielding the powerful sniper rifle more than koosta, the player Liquid added specifically as an AWPer.

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The issue of culture shock, one that rears its head often when North American teams import foreign players, also came up. As tough as it is to imagine, s1mple’s time on Liquid came before CSGO’s constant tournaments. Back in 2016, there were months that would have only one or two Counter-Strike events, which stands in harsh contrast to today’s packed calendar. jokasteve explained that s1mple would often want to go home during these breaks, conflicting with the team’s desire to practice.

It makes sense. s1mple was only 18 years old when he joined Liquid and homesickness at that age is understandable, especially when there were long layoffs between events

Team Liquid’s first episode of “Tilts” is a riveting watch, with Team Liquid’s Avery “Avery” Hammond taking on the show’s hosting duties. The first episode covers everything from Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng’s recent departure from Liquid’s League of Legends team, jokasteve’s relationship with both s1mple and Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin, and what it’s like to let players go from a professional esports team. As always, Team Liquid’s esports content is giving fans an inside look at what it takes to run one of the world’s most successful esports organizations, and “Tilts” first episode is a raw, unfiltered look at the choices organizations have to make when it’s time to cut ties with some of the world’s best players.