S1mple's heartfelt speech during IEM Katowice had the entire esports world listening.
Ukrainian Counter-Strike player Oleksandr “s1mple” Olegovich Kostyliev has experienced overwhelming emotions over the last 48 hours. A proud Ukrainian citizen—s1mple and the rest of the world watched helplessly as Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an attack on Ukraine.
It's been an unimaginable few days ahead of IEM Katowice; S1mple and his teammates on Natus Vincere (NAVI) are looking to win a share of $1M USD and ultimate glory. Before the event, s1mple took to the stage and bravely delivered an emotional speech before hoping that everyone would enjoy the event
S1mple's Impactful Monologue
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) February 25, 2022
Despite NAVI not expecting to play until Saturday, the team took the stage in support of s1mple and residents of Ukraine. The CS:GO phenom and two-time player of the year stole the show:
“First of all, I don't have a lot of words to say, but I want you to know that esports is out of politics and all our players all players from different teams and all of you have nothing to do with government decisions. My whole career I've played with Ukrainian players I've played with Russian players and I've played with American players. And all of them, great guys. And right now I stay with my friends.
We win together and we lose together and all of us want peace for Ukraine and for the whole world. All of us are scared and all of us need to show example on this tournament for the whole world. We need to stay together as a unit with our fans, with our friends and with everyone who's going to watch this tournament. And we all need to stay humans first.”
The crowd cheered an emotional s1mple as he willed his way through the brave speech. His words echoed through social media, where s1mple received an outpouring of support.
NAVI Eyes Another Championship
— Michal Blicharz (@mbCARMAC) February 25, 2022
NAVI remains focused on the task at hand. They'll face off against G2 Esports and breakout star Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov following their win over Virtus.pro.
A win for NAVI at IEM Katowice victory would make for an incredibly impactful story, considering the roster features a mixture of Ukrainian and Russian players. No matter the outcome, s1mple's words will go down in history as an emotional moment during an incredibly challenging time for everyone.
Featured Image: ESL