Renowned Esports figure Richard Lewis sparks controversy with a daring assertion about Natus Vincere ace Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev
During a recent podcast, prominent Esports journalist Richard Lewis stirred up controversy with a bold assertion regarding Natus Vincere's star player, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev. The timing of this statement coincides with s1mple's announcement of an indefinite hiatus from competitive gaming, casting doubt on his future return.
What did Richard Lewis Say About S1mple?
Richard Lewis has put forth the idea that Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev might be considering an exit from Counter-Strike. Citing information from insiders at Natus Vincere, Lewis claims that the Ukrainian sensation is currently battling burnout and hates the latest version of the game. During a podcast conversation with Mauisnake, Richard also contemplated the idea of s1mple transitioning to Valorant as he seeks a fresh competitive challenge.
“Remember the last time we talked, and what did I tell you?,” Lewis told Mauisnake. “‘My read is s1mple going to retire from CS2 and go play Valorant.’ I told you that. And you were like, ‘No, no.’ Again, speaking as an insider, all of the chatter behind the scenes, coming from Ukrainian players and people around NAVI (and remember, guys, I have lots of friends in that part of the world, I've been covering this stuff) is this: s1mple has been burned out for a while, he wants a rest, and he hates CS2.”
“He is not doing a bit on social media. He is not a player looking for some clout or engagement. He really hates this game, that's what everybody says. And I didn't talk to s1mple about it, but I get the impression that's not a lie,” Lewis explains.
The veteran journalist also believes this could prompt s1mple to consider a career change.
“We all know he plays Valorant, we all know he likes a challenge, we all know he will get a single payout, the likes of which the world has never seen in esports, probably, if he goes to Valorant. And it's not within a realm of impossibility that he could play Valorant for NAVI, and it would be a sideways move. I've called it for a while, and I just think we are so close to losing the GOAT to Valorant.”
S1mple Takes Hiatus with Uncertain Return Date
Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev's decision to step away from professional play on October 26 has sent shockwaves through the Counter-Strike community. While the break may have appeared sudden to the public, reports suggest that this hiatus might have been on the horizon for a year, shedding light on the mounting pressures that the superstar was facing.
So what’s next, time to take break as I wanted but that’s only half of story
Need to fix documents and take care of other people in my life
About switching to other org : never thought about it but would be interesting to see offers, maybe on rifle since awp a bit not impactful…
— Sasha (@s1mpleO) October 26, 2023
One of the most significant indicators of s1mple's discontent with the state of CS2 was his conspicuous absence from the debut CS2 tournament in Sydney. This absence raised eyebrows and fueled speculation about his future in the game.
Photo Credit: Sportskeeda
Additionally, s1mple openly voiced his criticisms of the new CS2 title on multiple occasions via social media, expressing his discontent with various aspects of the game. What was even more telling was the fact that when developers sought his input on potential improvements, the Ukrainian prodigy remained conspicuously silent, indicating a growing disconnect between him and the Counter-Strike community.
In a move that further fueled speculation, s1mple revealed his intentions to work on a “CS2-related project” during his hiatus. This announcement has left fans and experts alike pondering whether s1mple's break is merely a temporary respite or the beginning of a significant shift in his career trajectory.