CSGO GOAT S1mple announces return to CS2

CSGO GOAT S1mple announces return to CS2
Image via Adam Lakomy for ESL

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch


12th Feb 2024 16:20

Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyljev has announced his intent to return to the active roster of Natus Vincere after the PGL Major Copenhagen. With this, the arguably best player of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive returns to Counter-Strike 2 competition, having taken almost half a year away from the game after he voiced criticism of its state.

He's back


Amid a turbulent weekend of Counter-Strike, which saw the underdogs Team Spirit around rookie Danil "donk" Kryshkovets take it all at the Spodek Arena at IEM Katowice, another superstar announced himself.

After a five-month break, s1mple says he's looking to rejoin the Na'Vi roster after the PGL Major Copenhagen, which is set for mid-March. During a segment on the ESL stream with James Banks, the Global Offensive GOAT answered questions about his future.

"I hope I will be back after the Major," shared s1mple shared, adding that he's still the sixth player on the current Na'Vi roster, and therefore, would technically be allowed to play for the team in Copenhagen. However, he acknowledged that the team had been preparing for the event without him and that a return there would be unlikely.

"I hope nothing happens with their roster because they are practising really hard after I took a break. I just want them to progress and see what’s going to happen after the Major," the Ukrainian CS legend said. 

S1mple's break and reasons for a return

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The situation in his home country, Ukraine, impacted him in a major way, and he was already thinking out loud about a break as early as June 2022. Trying to catch up on various responsibilities that prove difficult with an always on the road, pro player lifestyle, s1mple said back then he lived "everywhere, just travelling and travelling, and I have become mentally tired of this."

Shortly after s1mple's last official event at ESL Pro League Season 18, he became more vocal with his criticism of the new CS version, pointing out various issues. Eventually, Valve even reached out to him privately, though s1mple ghosted their request, publicly stating that the issues with CS2 were obvious enough and to fix those known problems first. 

Since then, Valve has pushed various updates to CS2, fixing some of its most glaring problems. Moreover, he shared on social media platform X that he was "Happy with new updates," citing it as a reason for his return in his interview with Banks.

While a definitive date has not been set in stone, CS could be entering an exciting era of various generations of superstars fighting for the top spots with competitors like Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut and the new rising star donk providing real obstacles for s1mple to overcome.

Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.

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