The GOAT: S1mple named ESL’s CS:GO player of the decade

The Ukrainian keeps winning individual awards.

Natus Vincere’s CS:GO superstar s1mple has been awarded the player of the decade (2012-2022) by ESL at the IEM Rio Major today.

The Ukrainian AWPer finished ahead of Astralis’ star dev1ce based on performance, longevity, and legacy. S1mple has been playing professionally since 2013 and has helped NAVI to win several S-tier CS:GO championships, including his and NAVI’s first Major trophy at PGL Stockholm in November 2021, BLAST Premier World Final in December 2021, and IEM Katowice in March 2020.

“Ten years ago I was banned for cheating in another game and the game [CS:GO] changed my life,” s1mple told ESL reporter sjokz after the received the award. “I just want to play, play, and play, and when I see more fans and different fans, I’m more excited, this is why I play. I love you guys [the fans], thank you!”

This notable achievement adds to other individual trophies s1mple has won thus far playing in CS:GO. He was named the best player in the world by HLTV in 2018 and 2021 and finished runner-up to ZywOo in 2019 and 2020. HLTV has also given 21 MVP medals to s1mple since he started playing CS:GO, which is ahead of dev1ce, who has 19 in total.

It’s likely that s1mple will net the player in the world trophy this year once again as he averaged a 1.28 rating throughout 2022, according to HLTV, while helping NAVI to reach the grand finals of PGL Antwerp Major in May and winning BLAST Premier Spring Finals in June. Other than s1mple, only Cloud9’s star sh1ro has the same rating at the moment, but he couldn’t help C9 reach the same heights NAVI did.

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