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One of the greatest Counter-Strike players of all time, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev is arguably the most important individual to have touched Global Offensive (or CS:GO) over the year, cementing himself as a true legend of the game.

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Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev – a Counter-Strike biography

One of the best players to ever touch the game, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostlyjiev is a 1997-born Ukrainian player best known for his seven-year stint on NAVI and the near-endless number of accolades he’s accrued along the way. Nicknamed “The Undertaker” for his ability to single-handedly put opposing teams six feet under, s1mple has racked up over $1.7 million in prize money winnings throughout his glittering career, finally clinching a long-overdue Major win in November 2021 at PGL Stockholm in one of the most dominant runs of all time.

It’s been a long and arduous road for an incredible talent with his fair share of anger issues and controversies, but he ultimately became a real ambassador of his country and his game.

Here’s how you can bet on s1mple’s Counter-Strike matches

Betting on esports matches in 2024 couldn’t be any easier, including those that involve s1mple, the Counter-Strike superstar. On Bitsler, you can find markets and a variety of bets for all of the biggest CS2 games around, with great odds and incredible bonuses available to you to increase your edge.

Just navigate to the Esports tab in the Bitsler sidebar and select CS2 to list all the available Counter-Strike 2 competitive matches, with the most popular ones listed separately on the top. Here, you can sort by starting times and competitions to find the best game you’re looking for, including s1mple’s CS2 matches.

From here on, it’s all down to your analytical and predictive powers, and a keen eye on upsets and sudden changes in the balance of play to take advantage of Bitsler’s great crypto esports betting offers!

The early days of s1mple’s career – from HellRaisers to Team Liquid

Starting out his professional career at the age of sixteen in a Ukrainian mix team called LAN DODGERS, s1mple soon found himself part of HellRaisers’ big project featuring some of the best CIS players of the time. However, he received a ban for cheating in ESL events (notably the EMS One Katowice 2024 Major qualifiers), with the ban extended after he tried to play under a new account, so HellRaisers moved on from him. However, since this wasn’t a VAC ban, just an ESL-exclusive punishment, he could later return to the competitive scene, and he did so in spectacular fashion.

After a turbulent period playing on Flipsid3 Tactics, the mercurial young talent struck a partnership with HiKo, a notable North American player, who eventually convinced him to join forces with him on Team Liquid in a globetrotting adventure. His time on the North American org still featured its fair share of conflicts and controversies as the short-fused Ukrainian just couldn’t fathom why mere mortals couldn’t play out rounds the way he himself could, but there were notable successes and heartbreaks along the way, as the team went on a near-Cinderella run at the MLG Columbus Major, falling short to the eventual winners, FalleN’s Luminosity Gaming, in the semifinals.

A similar story followed at the ESL One Cologne Major – the event where he made that play on Cache, the one that was immortalized with an in-game graffiti, which he tattoed onto his shoulder –and by August of the same year, s1mple returned home in more ways than one, becoming the poster boy of the premiere Ukrainian org, Natus Vincere, nowadays simply stylized as NAVI.

Joining NAVI – s1mple becomes the G.O.A.T. of CS:GO

In what would become one of the most fruitful individual periods of Counter-Strike dominance, s1mple survived many roster iterations and disappointments on NAVI over the years, with past-their-prime veterans like Zeus, seized, and GuardiaN holding the team back for what must have felt like eons until a long-overdue injection of new blood finally propelled the squad to the heights worthy of the Ukrainian AWPer’s individual talent.

Once electronic joined the squad, wins at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 5, CS:GO Asia Championships 2018, ESL One: Cologne 2018 marked an exciting new period for NAVI fans, even if Astralis continued to sweep the honors at the Majors. Ultimately, the additions of Boombl4 and bit were what helped lift the team to the top of the world, including wins at the biggest tournaments in competitive Counter-Strike in 2021, which will surely go down as the annus mirabilis in s1mple’s storied career.

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S1mple’s biggest career highlights – Major win and Intel Grand Slam

Without a doubt, s1mple’s biggest career highlights are the long-overdue Major win in Stockholm, where his NAVI team only dropped a single map throughout the entire tournament, sweeping the field in epic fashion, and the Intel Grand Slam win shortly before, winning four of the biggest third-party tournaments in the space in close succession – though, for what it’s worth, that accomplishment is a little bit diminished by its adjacency to the pandemic-enforced “online era” of play.

But of course, the near-endless procession of highlight reels is also worth a mention, along with the record-high 21 HLTV MVP awards and him being the only player ever to become HLTV’s player of the year on three separate occasions: 2018, 2021, and 2022.

In November 2022, ESL crowned s1mple as the Counter-Strike player of the decade (meaning 2012-2022), a momentous accolade worthy of his accomplishments, and a sign of an incredible set of performances over an extended period of time, with his legacy forever secured in the game.

It was a fitting capstone of an incredible CS:GO era for s1mple, but his next Counter-Strike chapter would not begin in anywhere near such a sterling fashion.

Why did s1mple stop playing Counter-Strike 2?

It’s safe to say that CS2 released in a somewhat unfinished state, more of an open beta than a feature-complete product. While this is part and parcel of modern game development practices, it still made a poor impression on the casual and professional player base alike to find the 1.0 release of CS2 missing a lot of content of CS:GO and lacking some polish in the movement and netcode department despite the many exciting new features.

As a professional player of the highest caliber, s1mple was already involved in the closed beta of CS2, and he’s been consistent in his criticism about the state of the sequel long after its launch, writing, “don1t play this shirt game rn, wait for updates” on X, formerly Twitter, as late as October 5 last year. While no one could have faulted him for taking some time out for personal reasons – the war in Ukraine clearly took a toll on the Kyiv-born phenom, and he’s been competing at the elite level for almost a decade without a break – ultimately, it was the early CS2 period where he decided to temporarily hang up his mouse, posting the announcement ten days after his aforementioned outburst.

https://twitter.com/s1mpleO/status/1717577528888398323

Apart from confirming the break, the Ukrainian phenom also highlighted his interest in potentially transitioning to a rifle role and perhaps leaving NAVI’s yellow-and-black outfit behind altogether, with huge potential consequences for the professional scene heading forward.

“Job not done yet,” he posted in the tweet thread soon after, suggesting this won’t yet be the end of an era, at least in terms of his involvement in the competitive scene. In fact, s1mple still continued to stream throughout his sabbatical, playing FACEIT matches live on broadcast from time to time while also committing to some other Counter-Strike-related projects like the All Stars Promotion educational platform he’s announced at the end-of-the-year HLTV Awards Show, which is expected to materialize sometime in April.

By February, he was singing a different tune about CS2, writing “Happy with new updates, keep it up @CounterStrike ♥️” on X

Bitsler – the best place for CS2 esports betting

S1mple may be taking a break, but the esports action never stops, and the best place to take advantage of the benefits of these exciting digital competitions is Bitsler, the world’s premiere cryptocurrency betting site.

With the best players in the world constantly duking it out at tournaments like IEM Katowice and the CS2 Majors, there is always an exciting Counter-Strike competition to bet on, and it only makes sense to do so on a platform that offers incredible bonuses and a great set of features, especially on the crypto side of things.

We accept dozens of popular cryptocurrency options, and we offer a seamlessly integrated unified wallet to make the user experience as straightforward as a B rush on Dust 2. Better still, with instant deposits and live in-play betting, you will never miss out on any of the action.

What are you waiting for? Create an account now and explore the wonderful world of Counter-Strike esports betting with Bitsler!

Is s1mple making a comeback for CS2?

All signs point to yes! The Ukrainian legend took a few months off competing but has always signaled his intent to make an eventual return, and he made quite a splash in early March when he temporarily joined forces with Falcons on a loan deal for their run at the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown, shortly after announcing his intentions to return properly after the Copenhagen Major.

It was his professional CS2 debut, and it didn’t go very well: the team lost to Swedish surprise package Metizport 2-1 in the opening round of the knockout bracket, with s1mple posting a -11 K/D record across the three maps in a hugely disappointing showing. That said, the series decider was Vertigo, a map that was NAVI’s permaban, meaning it was s1mple’s third time ever playing it in a competitive setting – perhaps unsurprisingly, it was by far this worst map of the series.

Naturally, the big question now is whether he will be moving on from NAVI and, if so, whether he’d perhaps take the Saudi bag by joining the Falcons project. Even in a diminished state, he’d be a no-brainer of an upgrade from BOROS, and he does have experience playing on an international team from his Team Liquid days of yore. Meanwhile, NAVI still had to keep on fielding a competitive squad, so they had to find themselves another AWPer, no matter whether s1mple’s move would turn out to be temporary or permanent – for now, 19-year-old Ihor “w0nderful” Zhdanov is holding down the big green for them, with s1mple confirmed as the team’s substitute for the PGL Copenhagen Major.

There have been questions early on in CS2 esports whether AWPers will be able to maintain their impact – going to MR12 from MR15 with no changes made to the economy made the big green an even greater investment – and not every sniper was able to cope with the infinitesimal changes made in the match engine, but the prowess of ZywOo and m0NESY (as opposed to someone like dev1ce) shows that it is possible to make the grand leap forward and stay as the top dog of your team even in the Counter-Strike 2 era.

Whether s1mple will be able and willing to match their accomplishments heading forward remains to be seen.

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