EXCLUSIVE: s1mple on defeat by Heroic, fan support, and a scandalous photo with Cloud9

Антон Мазай

Players editor-in-chief Oleksiy Kharchenko, who is currently working at IEM Katowice, was able to talk to NAVI sniper Alexander s1mple Kostylev after the defeat against Heroic in the semifinals of IEM Katowice 2023 in CS:GO. The Ukrainian told what the team lacked to reach the grand final and commented on the scandalous photo with Cloud9 players for the first time.

I know that it's hard for you psychologically now, you failed to win the match. How are you going to cope with this, since we know that Katowice is an important tournament for you?

Yes, it's very hard, because I don't understand how we can play like this after yesterday's game against Outsiders. We played so badly, we had no communication at all, and some players, as I said before, they shit themselves. We need to keep practicing, because we have a new player and G2 and Heroic really deserve to be in finals. Before that, G2 won the tournament in Abu Dhabi and Heroic in Copenhagen, so I think they're going to meet now.

So you can say that there was not enough practice, integration of a new player, you just didn't have enough time?

We lacked both practice and experience on the stage, not only npl, but also b1t, because he was closed off and it was difficult to play with him.

NAVI were actively supported in the arena, what do you think of the audience?

Ukrainian and Polish fans supported us very much. It was top notch.

How long do you think it will take for the team to start dominating the scene again, like in 2021?

I think we need maybe two months, maybe two tournaments. I really want us not to make mistakes that happened today but at the Paris major.

You made a very cool speech at the HLTV Awards, you're helping Ukraine, but after that you had a photo with russian players. This photo caused a strong reaction in the community, what can you say about it?

Snax came up to me and asked about the photo, he took pashaBiceps and Cloud9 players said something to him, he invited them to take a picture with him. Everyone might think that I was like, "Let's all take a photo together, it's really fun," but it was different, I told them how it was.

The community will always hate, and it's reasonable, because these are Ukrainian people who are now under rockets and bombs. I accept this hate, but as I said, I was asked to take a picture by Snax and Pasha, and then Snax called two players from Cloud9.

How did you react when you saw this hate from the community?

I felt uncomfortable. I thought about commenting on it, but changed my mind. It's good that you asked.

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