Discussions regarding Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev retiring from Counter-Strike stirred up discussion about his career, his legacy, and how he might fare if he made the jump to professional Valorant.
S1mple could be the next big-name Counter-Strike professional to retire from the game and move to Valorant, but there’s no sign that this is actually going to happen. In an interview at the HLTV Award Show 2023, s1mple joked about his plans to retire from the game. He immediately clarified that it was a joke and not an actual plan.
After the release of Riot Games’ Valorant, a long list of professional players retired from their games to join the newest FPS. Some, like Ethan “Ethan” Arnold and Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker, have made the jump and found major success. Other like Joshua “steel” Nissan and Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt made the jump but had little to show for it.
Is s1mple retiring?
s1mple does has not retired from competitive Counter-Strike and has not indicated that he plans to. After seven years of active play, the Ukrainian superstar took a break from competitive Counter-Strike but has not left the game.
In October 2023, s1mple took the fans by surprise when he announced a hiatus. Through Twitter, s1mple explained that he “needs to fix documents and take care of other people.” S1mple also clarified that he has never thought about changing teams but would be interested in receiving offers. Several teams, including paiN Gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Heroic, reacted to the announcement.
s1mple stated he will be working on his own Counter-Strike 2-related projects while on hiatus, but it’s unclear what those projects may be and they don’t seem to be related to Valorant. It is unclear if s1mple will return to the game in 2024 or what role he might be in when he does.
Following s1mple’s announcement, Natus Vincere acquired Ihor “w0nderful” Zhdanov from sprout as his replacement. This left the organization with the following roster:
- Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen
- Valerij “b1t” Vakhovsjkyj
- Justinas “jL” Lekavicius
- Ivan “iM” Mihai
- Ihor “w0nderful” Zhdanov
Is s1mple going to Valorant?
There is no indication that s1mple is going to leave Counter-Strike in order to start playing professional Valorant, though he hasn’t ruled out the possibility.
By the end of 2021, s1mple had effectively done everything there is to do in competitive Counter-Strike. He has won an official CSGO major, the ESL Pro League, events held in Katowice and Cologne, an Intel Grand Slam, a BLAST Global Final, and a long list of other tournaments. s1mple leaving pro Counter-Strike to play Valorant would hearken to when Michael Jordan took up baseball after winning three NBA Championships and two Olympic gold medals.
While it would make sense in some ways, there’s no indication that it’s going to happen. s1mple has played some Valorant on Twitch in the past, including around the same time that he made his fake retirement announcement. Fans shouldn’t get too excited about him making the jump, though.