When will s1mple return? The Natus Vincere ace has given a probable timeline for his competitive CS2 comeback
Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev is one of the biggest Counter-Strike stars in the world, but the Natus Vincere man has been on a hiatus for months. “When will s1mple return?” this is a question that has been asked by many fans over and over again. Previously, the Ukrainian’s answer to this question was shrouded in ambiguity. Last night, however, he offered a more concrete timeline. S1mple has revealed that he is contemplating a quick return to the game, and we should expect to see him back in action soon. How soon are we talking, though?
When Will s1mple Return?
S1mple was in attendance as a Danil “donk” Kryshkovets-inspired Team Spirit dismantled FaZe Clan at the Spodek Arena to claim the IEM Katowice 2024 crown. The broadcaster did not pass up on the opportunity to ask the Counter-Strike superstar about his future plans. Is a competitive return on the cards anytime soon? The 26-year-old revealed that he is indeed preparing to end his break and rejoin the Natus Vincere setup. He also mentioned that if NAVI qualifies for the Copenhagen Major, he'll be a stand-in player for them.
“I hope [to come back] after the major. I am a sixth player for NAVI at this Major. But I hope nothing is going to happen with their roster because they were practicing really hard after I took this break. Let's see what is going to happen after the Major.”
Despite not yet securing their spot at the Copenhagen Major 2024, Natus Vincere's decision to include s1mple as an official substitute carries significant weight. This goes beyond the common practice of featuring inactive players on lineups. s1mple's confirmation serves as a concrete declaration of his imminent return and fuels anticipation for his potential re-entry into competitive play.
s1mple also predicted that the IEM Katowice Grand Final would stretch to all five maps. That did not turn out to be the case, however, as Team Spirit fired on all cylinders to decide the series with two maps to spare.
Earlier, Natus Vincere coach Andrij “B1ad3” Ghorodensjkyj also was also asked when s1mple will return to the team. He first revealed how he reacted after knowing for the first time that the three-time world no.1 will not be a part of the team for the foreseeable future.
“Well, I think after EPL he messaged the organization that he might want to have a break to go inactive,” Bl1d3 said ahead of NAVI’s BLAST Premier Fall Final 2023 campaign.”I don't know, we just instantly started to think about options, what to do. Yeah, it was unexpected at some point, but, at the same time, our team is changing a lot, we removed Boombl4, then electroNic and Perfecto. b1t and s1mple stayed, now s1mple is gone.”
“It wasn't super surprising because it had started long before. It's something you could expect at some point, maybe if you don't have a good result, or he has too many expectations for the game, CS2 wasn't coming… It was up in the air, it wasn't confirmed, but I felt like it could happen, so I wasn't super shocked.”
The 37-year-old then also hinted at a potential return for s1mple after the Copenhagen Major.
“Of course, of course it's possible. It depends on a lot of circumstances, of course, how he will feel, what his motivation will be like, how the team will feel, how we will find our groove in the coming months. We'll have for sure this BLAST final, Abu Dhabi, and the Major qualifiers. It's kind of risky to change something, you need some time before a Major to build something and be able to compete. After that, anything can happen, obviously.”