s1mple Natus Vincere CS:GO
Photo via BLAST Premier

S1mple returns to competitive Counter-Strike, to debut in CS2 with Falcons on one-month loan

Welcome back.

After many months away, one of the greatest Counter-Strike players of all time in Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev is set to make his professional CS2 debut with Team Falcons, the org announced today.

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The former Major winner is joining on a one-month loan from his longtime team Natus Vincere, meaning he’ll step in for Falcons at the BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown. Earlier today, Falcons announced that Mohammad “BOROS” Malhas had been moved to the bench after the team failed to qualify for the PGL Copenhagen Major.

s1mple Falcons screenshot from Twitter/X
He’s back. Screenshot by Dot Esports via Falcons on Twitter/X

While this move could potentially develop into something more long-term, it appears to be temporary for the time being. S1mple’s brief thank you to NAVI for the “opportunity” doesn’t look like a goodbye, and the Ukrainian org is still displayed in his X bio and banner. Falcons director Grant Rousseau confirmed the loan is temporary, saying it will give Falcons “the flexibility to make the permanent roster decision needed going into” future events.

S1mple took extended time off from professional Counter-Strike last year due to a myriad of reasons, including initial disapproval of CS2 and the need to “fix documents” and “take care of other people” in his life. NAVI have been competing with w0nderful on the AWP in s1mple’s absence and qualified for the PGL Copenhagen Major this past week with a 3-1 run at the European RMR A event.

In recent weeks, s1mple has said he’s much happier with CS2 after several updates, including the very well-received A Call to Arms update. At IEM Katowice, s1mple said in an interview he hopes to make a full-time return after the Major, where he will stand in as a sixth man.

It’s only for a short time, but Falcons has finally landed another major star after pursuing several prolific names during its roster construction period in late 2023. The Saudi Esports-backed organization reportedly went after the likes of NiKo, m0nesy, and Twistzz in recent months.


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Author
Scott Robertson
VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.