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Published: January 16, 2023

Written by: Isabella Aslam

  • The player has once again topped HLTV’s top-20 players list
  • He has done this for the third time
  • His prowess managed to keep the struggling NaVi afloat in 2022

Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev once again becomes HLTV’s top player, becoming the first player to win the title a total of three times in their career.

S1mple Tops the Charts

When one thinks of legendary CS:GO players, one might speak of Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev. The Ukrainian player has recently added another achievement to his long list of accolades as he received first place in HLTV’s top 20 players of 2022.

What’s even more fascinating is that he managed to overtake many other highly-achieving CS:GO pros like Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut and Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov. To be fair, we should have expected the player to top HLTV’s charts, as he has done so twice before, being named the best player in 2018 and 2021. 

“S1mple has done it again!” HLTV’s ranking reads. “The Ukrainian superstar has broken another record by becoming the first player to be named the best in the world three times, twice on the trot.” HLTV also points out that this nomination marks another record in the Ukrainian player’s five-year-long career. 

S1mple’s achievement is historical in another way. Up until now, the player was part of the club of people who have also topped HLTV’s rankings twice. These include two-time back-to-back winners Christopher “?GeT_RiGhT?” Alesund, Marcelo “?coldzera?” David, and Mathieu “?ZywOo?” Herbaut.

S1mple is Paramount for NaVi

When looking at the last 7 years of s1mple’s professional career, one should not be too surprised that he has topped HLTV’s rankings yet again. In all this time, he had always been in the top 10 players, placing fourth all the way back in 2016, which was his debut year. In 2018, he took the crown for the first time and has since never dropped out of the top two, losing his 2019 and 2020 No. 1 spots to ZywOo.

Despite that, s1mple has continued to consistently place top, often being the sole pillar keeping the at times struggling Natus Vincere up. 2022 was no exception, as the Russo-Ukrainian war put a heavy strain on the Ukrainian organization. NaVi decided very early on to release most of its Russian staff and players, leaving just those who have agreed not to represent Russia in competitions. These are Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy and the team’s captain Denis “electroNic” Sharipov, both of whom are listed as non-representing. 

This move from NaVi and the war as a whole has cost them a lot in 2022, according to s1mple. Despite that, on an individual level, the 25-year-old player is not only holding on but also climbing up. Time will tell if s1mple’s prowess can lead NaVi in 2023 as well.  

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