Ukrainian Counter-Strike superstar s1mple donates $33,000 to Ukrainian army
28 February 2022
Following the unfolding of the horrendous events in the Ukraine over the past few days as the result of Russia’s brutal invasion, Ukrainians and other people around the world have stood up to make their voices heard in support of the attacked nation. For many people, support goes even further than a voice, like is the case for Ukrainian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player Oleksandr “s1imple” Kostyliev. After publicly calling for peace at the Intel Extreme Masters CS:GO tournament in the Polish city of Katowice, just about a four-hour drive away from the Ukrainian border, s1imple also donated one million Ukrainian hryvnias to the Ukrainian army, which translates to about $33,000.
World of international esports condemning Russian invasion
When s1imple took the mic at IEM Katowice 2022 earlier this month, he spoke about peace for the Ukraine and the world, but not before the room exploded with applause. “My whole career I’ve played with Ukrainian players, I played with Russian players, and I played with American players, and all of them [are] great guys,” s1mple started saying, “Right now, I stay with my friends, with my real friends. We win together, and we lose together. And all of us want peace for Ukraine and for the whole world. All of us are scared”. He said this as he was flanked on the big podium by his teammates, three Russians and one Ukrainian.
S1imple plays for Kiev-based Ukrainian esports organization Natus Vincere, a CS:GO powerhouse in their own right, and the team did not fail to support one of its star players. Like several other international esports organizations around the world, Natus changed their profile picture on Twitter to the Ukrainian flag and expressed gratitude for all the support they have received over the past few days. “You can’t imagine how important your support is”, the organization wrote on February 24th, “Especially all the Russian people on the street protesting against this devastating war”.
S1imple setting the good example
By using his stage to be so vocal about the heinous attack on his country by the Russian armed forces and by making a sizeable contribution to the Ukrainian defense effort, s1imple is setting an example that will likely be followed by many. He is, after all, considered one of the best CG:GO players of all time, with the leading Counter-Strike news website and forum HLTV stating that his 2021 season might well have been the strongest season anyone has ever had in the history of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
S1mple made his donation of $33,000 to the Ukrainian army on February 27th through a series of transfers in Ukrainian hryvnias. He informed his fans and followers of the donations by posting a story on his Instagram account (@s1mpleo), where he has 1,6 million followers at the moment of writing. Hopefully his actions will inspire others, both from the world of international esports and beyond, to get involved and help end the Russian nightmare that has been forced upon the Ukrainian people.