Player Of The Year 2021


ESTNN awards Counter-Strike Player Of The Year.


Counter-Strike has evolved with time. Although the game doesn’t see any drastic changes, the esports scene is going quite strong. The top competitive scene of CS:GO has some immensely talented players from various parts of the world. While some are gifted, others practice a lot to earn their spot. Since we are approaching the end of this year, ESTNN has picked the best player of 2021, who has dictated the terms of the game and dominated the tours.

As many of you must have guessed, it is none other than Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev who wins the Player Of The Year Award for 2021. Not only has s1mple surpassed every other player in the entire world, he also seems to have changed and matured for the better. He is undoubtedly the greatest player to ever play the game. Let’s look at what makes this man so great.

Performance And Consistency

Getting in those performances in tournaments and continuing to do so throughout the year is the number one parameter for judging the best player. S1mple ticks all the boxes and does more. The 24-year-old has been phenomenal throughout the season with eight Most Valuable Player trophies and seven tour wins in the entire year if we include the BLAST Global Final of 2020.

S1mple differs from other professionals we see in the mix. His playing style is unique, brimming with confidence and finesse. If we look closely, Sasha has perfected his game in almost all departments needed to shine at that stage. He has outstanding game sense, skills to land crazy shots and grit to play risky yet highly rewarding plays. The fact that s1mple can play the entire map in a single round, rotating fast to keep the enemy guessing is one of the highest possible plays one can make. It’s not easy to play every single position and excel at it during a match.

History And Changing For The Better

Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev rests his forehead in his hand during a break between games

S1mple wasn’t always the man we see now in the top level of competitive CS:GO. Known to be toxic and short-tempered, the Ukrainian professional did not gel well in many of his past teams.

In 2015, s1mple was part of Hellraisers. However, the org soon removed him from the squad because of his comments about Germans and an ESL wire ban because of cheating. After an exit from the team, s1mple joined Flipsid3 Tactics. It was not long before problems in the team started cropping up and a semifinals exit at ESWC 2015 sparked some toxic comments from s1mple. “This was my last tournament with this team, thanks to all who supported us,” fuming on the results, s1mple added, “Either that or I will not play with some of the players anymore.”

During his time at Flipsid3, s1mple played with Andrey “⁠B1ad3⁠” Gorodenskiy who is the current head coach of NAVI. Things have changed quite a lot for the player; who most people branded as a toxic, immature kid who rages on his teammates. The community widely regarded the prodigious talent as being overly aggressive with his playing style. Pushing smokes and trying no-scopes in important stages of competitive Counter-Strike, most people saw s1mple as a childish professional who was trying to look flashy.

After joining Natus Vincere in the middle of 2016, s1mple slowly matured not only as a player but also as a person. As we stand today, s1mple has changed many aspects of his game. The only remains of history is his overly aggressive play style, only this time bearing fruits for his team. Making outlandish shots he used to miss before and doing it repeatedly, s1mple has proved everyone wrong by his sheer skill and passion for the game.

Sasha has grown to be a team player. He believes in his teammates and has a helpful attitude towards them. His movements in the game and his general play style speaks loudly about the same. Even in low moments of NAVI, s1mple hardly shows traits of raging on his team. The team works as a unit and that makes them a force to reckon with.

What’s Next For The GOAT?

S1mple wants to carry forward what NAVI has started in the 2021 era. Winning multiple trophies, we selected them as winners of the Team Of The Year award. You can read more about that here.

The Ukrainian professional mentioned that he and the entire team wants to win more next year. While winning trophies is the main objective, the team wants NAVI to reach new heights as an organization. Consistency will be key for s1mple and he can’t think of putting his foot off the gas.

In a recent interview with HLTV, s1mple mentioned that he wanted to take a break after the Major win. However, it’s something which the star has to postpone right now; the team has a good momentum and he just wants to continue with it. So maybe after this year’s break Sasha can get a breather to look after himself and comeback to win yet another Player of The Year award in 2022.

Feature Images: BLAST Premier , HLTV



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