S1mple Donates $33,000 To Support Ukrainian Army
Shortly after a heroic speech on-stage at IEM Katowice, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive superstar Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev has donated $33,000 to his native armed forces as Ukraine fight back against the invasion from Russia.
Recently, the Ukrainian AWPer took to social media to plea for peace as his home city of Kyiv was shelled. Often hailed as the greatest player of all time, s1mple has used his ever-growing platform to condemn the violence, claiming "I can’t do this anymore".
Now, the esports exemplar has donated a huge sum of money to the Ukrainian Army, after his teams’ success at IEM Katowice.
S1mple sends heartfelt message to fans following IEM Katowice Semi-Final
Natus Vincere took to the stage at IEM Katowice on February 26, just a mere two days after Vladimir Putin ordered the horrific invasion of Ukraine and the bombing of Na’Vi’s home town, Kyiv. Despite a gallant effort to take G2 Esports within three rounds of winning, Na’Vi fell just short of a Grand Final tie with FaZe Clan, although the off-field conflict was doubtlessly in the back of their minds.
Having secured a third-fourth place finish, s1mple stole the show with a heartfelt message to fans, the esports community, and the wider world. As he took the mic, s1mple said, "All of us want peace. For Ukraine, and for the whole world. All of us are scared, and all of us need to show an example at this tournament. We need to stay together as a unit, with our fans, with our friends, and with everybody watching. And we all need to stay humans first."
S1mple Donates $33,000 To Ukrainian Army Following IEM Katowice Winnings
The Ukrainian organisation took home $80,000 in winnings ($20,000 per player), and shortly after, s1mple took to social media to reveal that he had pledged $33,000 to the Ukrainian army.
Through a series of donations, he donated a whopping one million Ukrainian hryvnias, which equates to roughly $33,290, or £24,959 - just shy of the average yearly income in the United Kingdom.
Following the invasion, CS:GO tournament organiser BLAST followed a range of mainstream sports governing bodies in banning Russian-based teams from competing in their competitions. Shortly after, Na’Vi also broke off any cooperations with ESFORCE Holding - owners of CS:GO rival team Virtus.pro - after they allegedly denied the horrors in Ukraine.
The effects of the war have begun to take their toll on esports as an industry, making s1mple’s donation and resounding voice on the matter all the more important.