Photo via MLG (Licensed)
Widely considered as one of the best players in the game, s1mple was last seen playing with North American organization Team Liquid in the ESL One Cologne grand finals. While the 18-year-old suffered from a poor performance in the final match of the event, his execution throughout the Major put him amongst the tournament’s top 10 performers.
S1mple’s move to Na`Vi comes at the expense of original captain Danil “zeus” Teslenko. The former in-game leader’s tenure with the team lasted for more than five years, dating all the way back to the organization’s legendary Counter-Strike 1.6 roster.
Na`Vi’s CS:GO manager Eugene “ugin” Erofeev explained in a news release that the team had begun to lose motivation after consistently failing to take home a major championship, despite making two consecutive finals. The change, according to ugin, was therefore necessary.
“We always lacked something, finishing second turned into some kind of a pattern, and as I said, the team’s synergy started to fade,” he said of the team’s performance of late. “You can’t stay the best without it. Perhaps, we could go without this change, but in the world where the competition is so tough we have to be ready to undertake such measures.”
This acquisition now makes Na`Vi one of the most stacked teams in terms of individual talent, as both Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs and Egor “flamie” Vasilyev are considered to be some of the best players from the Eastern European region. The question that remains is whether or not the absence of zeus affects the roster’s cohesion, as his strict leadership style has been attributed as one of the key factors behind the team’s success.
While s1mple has received praise from virtually every direction in terms of his play, the Ukrainian has been equally criticized for his behavior in-game. Aside from refusing to practice with Team Liquid for three straight days ahead of the MLG Columbus Major, former FlipSid3 Tactics teammate and CS 1.6 legend Yegor “markeloff” Markelov described s1mple as a “toxic kid.”
S1mple’s debut with Na`Vi will be on Sept. 7, as the team travels to Nanjing, China to compete in the SL i-League Season 2 finals.