S1mple Returns to CS2 and Joins Team Falcons

s1mple CS2

Lots of professional CS2 players take breaks from time to time, sometimes for more than six months. But when one of the best players in the history of Counter-Strike does this, it’s hard not to notice.

Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev stopped playing professionally back in October last year, not long after CS2 was released. His break lasted for just four months, but it was still substantial. During this time, Natus Vincere played half a dozen important tournaments and mostly did well without him. However, they did not achieve anything spectacular.

A team of Natus Vincere’s caliber is expected to play in Finals and win trophies. Their last important Grand Final dates back to ESL Pro League S18, which took place on October 1, 2023. They lost that match against MOUZ. As for their last important Grand Final victory, it dates back to almost two years ago.

Why S1mple Stopped Playing

S1mple announced that he would take a break from CS2 for a variety of reasons. But the most important of them was probably his dissatisfaction with the state of Counter-Strike. When it was first released, the game was extremely buggy and his favorite weapon, the AWP, was practically useless.

Under these circumstances, it’s not hard to see why s1mple decided to take a prolonged break after competing for Na’Vi non-stop for seven years.

S1mple’s Return

S1mple’s return was announced at IEM Katowice and we recently discovered that he has decided to join Team Falcons. He won’t join them for good, just temporarily. Na’Vi agreed to loan him, and his talent might help them make a comeback.

This team showed great potential at IEM Katowice, where they finished 3rd – 4th and defeated strong opponents like Complexity, Natus Vincere, and ENCE in the process.

But in the qualifiers for PGL Major Copenhagen, something went terribly wrong and Team Falcons failed to finish in the top eight. In fact, they failed to finish in the top 11. Being 9th – 11th would have offered them one last opportunity to qualify for the Major, but their record of 1 W – 3 L was simply not good enough.

S1mple might be just a little bit out of shape right now. But within a few weeks, he’ll probably be back at full strength. And since the game is much better now than it was several months ago, he might start having the kind of impact that we’ve seen Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut have.

Also, there’s a new kid in town. You might have heard of him: Danil “donk” Kryshkovets.

Header image credit: ESL

Posted by
William Westerlund

William is an author, editor, and an avid gamer with over 10.000 hours in CS:GO. He also enjoys playing Rust, Dota 2, and TF2 but never became a top 1% player in any of those games.