In a recent Twitter announcement, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev has confirmed the ongoing rumors surrounding his intention to take a break from competitive play. The revelation comes in the wake of reports suggesting that Natus Vincere is close to signing Ihor “w0nderful” Zhdanov from Sprout.
The 26-year-old AWPer provided insight into his decision to step back, citing the need to “sort out personal matters and take care of loved ones.” He also expressed curiosity about exploring alternative opportunities when he returns, even hinting at a potential shift in roles.
“Although I hadn’t considered it before, it might be intriguing to explore other offers, possibly as a rifle since the AWP may have a reduced impact in the new game. While nothing is set in stone yet, I hope you’ll continue to support the team in upcoming tournaments.”
s1mple further revealed that during his break, he will be working on a project related to CS2, though he kept the specifics under wraps.
This hiatus marks the end of s1mple’s impressive seven-year journey with Natus Vincere, during which he claimed 17 significant titles, including the PGL Major Stockholm 2021. Additionally, he boasts an Intel Grand Slam victory and a plethora of individual accolades, including three appearances at the top of HLTV’s top 20 list.
Last year, s1mple expressed his desire to step away from the competitive scene during an HLTV interview before Natus Vincere’s triumphant run at the BLAST Premier Spring Final 2022.
“Maybe I will take a break because I need to do things in life, like I need to move, I need to get a lot of documents… when you have a tournament after tournament you just have no time.”
These statements were made against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the benching of Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov. Notably, s1mple remained an integral part of Natus Vincere’s lineup, earning recognition as the top player on the HLTV top 20 list for 2022 and securing the AWPer of the year award.
While the CS:GO superstar experienced a dip in his personal performance in 2023, he still ranks among the top players on LAN this year.
In an attempt to regain their championship-winning form, Natus Vincere underwent a roster overhaul during the most recent off-season, welcoming new IGL Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen alongside Justinas “jL” Lekavicius and Mihai “iM” Ivan, forming an international lineup communicating in English. Their recent second-place finish at ESL Pro League suggested a promising future for the revamped squad.
s1mple has been vocal in expressing his criticisms as the CS:GO scene transitions to the latest iteration of the game, CS2, referring to it as “less than ideal.” He even advised aspiring pro players to wait for three months while the game receives updates, as indicated in a post on X.
Following this, it was announced that he would miss the first CS2 LAN event, IEM Sydney, sparking speculations about the reason behind his absence. Subsequently, it was reported that he couldn’t attend the event due to issues with his EU residency papers.
Last Updated on October 27, 2023