Stockholm Major was won by Simple and the NaVi brigade after a long and tumultuous history of losses. It is the story of how a solo player became the greatest Team adhesive in modern history.
Simple is one of the greatest esports athletes in modern history. There is unarguably no one better mechanically at the singular PC Game he plays- Counter-Strike Global Offensive, Valve’s “San Grail” of FPS eSports.
He was notorious for being overtly cocky and toxic towards his teammates. More often than not, s1mple has utterly disrespected pro-squads before leaving them astray. But, times have changed. A lot.
Years after his ban was lifted, s1mple continued to play Counter Strike Global Offensive. Oleksandr’s ban was lifted in 2012. He started playing the next year.
— PGL (@pglesports) November 7, 2021
S1mple could never win a CSGO major until Stockholm 2021.
In 2014, s1mple got signed into the first Tier 1 pro-circuit team in CSGO. It was called the Lane Dodgers. Soon after he was signed by Courage Gaming a few months later.
Around September 2014, Oleksandr got signed by Hellraisers. There, he joined ANGE1, Dosia, Kucher, and Markeloff, who s1mple considers his idol. But the journey would only be a stop there.
After going through a series of team changes, he finally landed in Liquid in 2016 as a prodigy. He would soon earn the title of the best player in the world. But there was a curse looming on s1mple.
Twice in 2016 and 2017, s1mple would come closest in his early career to winning a Major. But Liquid lost in the semifinals at MLG Columbus and in the finals at ESL One Cologne. The fallout caused s1mple to leave for NaVi the next year.
NaVi had no team ready. It was all a one-man show. Guardian, Zeus and Edward were yearning for retirement. Building the team again was now on Oleksandr alone.
S1mple could not focus well in Liquid away from family.
Natus Vincere eventually signed B1t, Perfecto and Booml4 alongside Electronic to support S1mple. S1mple made a monster out of the team. Frequent angry melt-downs and toxicity seemed all but gone by 2019.
But, we cannot judge a person over a singular event or instance. Maybe, anger and perfection for the game is s1mple’s determination. The time he lost out on friends and family only made him stronger.
In 2019, with the new roster alongside him, s1mple lifted his first trophy in 2 years. NaVi won the Starladder with utter dominance. Everyone knew that 2020 would be the year that Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev wins a Major.
Internal tensions caused s1mple to leave Liquid and join NaVi.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) October 3, 2021
But, 2020 was hit by a pandemic. It was s1mple’s curse all over again. S1mple would have to wait a year more to realise his dream. 2021 started with a bang for NaVi at Blast Premier.
But, a new player from Vitality would be vying for the title of best CSGO player in the world. It was Vitality Zywoo. But, Stockholm Major shut everyone up.
The Avicii Arena witnessed plays that could only be handcrafted by the game’s best mind. 1, 2 and 3 setups at a single choke point. Every round there would be a match where s1mle would simply annihilate the entire enemy team in 3 seconds.
The King is finally crowned at Stockholm Major 2021.
Nuke is s1mple’s goto map and for a reason. S1mple knows Nuke like the back of his hand. The whole NaVi team played the game to win. It was not just Oleksandr this time around.
It was amazing to see a rookie prodigy and an AWP mastermind hold the entire G2 Esports team multiple times in both maps. B1t and s1mple are death reapers. Eventually, S1mple muddled through every curse to reach his crown.
The “Uncrowned King” of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is uncrowned no more. All hail the King, NaVi s1mple!