S1mple in Team Falcons: the return of a star player not under the NaVi tag

The Falcons organization was able to not only surprise their fans, but also send shockwaves through the entire CS scene. Suddenly the Falcons announced changes to their CS roster and it caused quite a stir! The Falcons decided to bench Mohammad “BOROS” Malkhas and shocked everyone with their new signing – the signature of Alexander “s1mple” Kostylev. It’s worth noting that this agreement will only last for one month and probably only for one tournament, but we get the feeling that this is part of a cunning plan by the Saudi organization.

Many may have forgotten, but when this project first emerged on the professional scene, there was a real uproar and outrage online. It was said that the owners allocated huge sums of money so that Zonic (one of the most successful coaches in CS) would create a super team.

And so, at that moment, the “dream team” seemed to stop, and a rather average roster of players was signed. This team was far from competing at the highest level, as their modest results confirmed. And then RMR happened, where the team failed to qualify and deprived itself of the opportunity to become the first Major winner in history. So why not revive this goal now? Considering all the current circumstances, the timing is very good.

Return of the GOAT

The Ukrainian superstar is making a comeback to Counter-Strike after a lengthy hiatus from competitive CS that lasted since October 2023. The Saudi organization has decided to change their roster just a few days after their disastrous exit from the PGL Major Copenhagen Europe RMR A.

Announcing his inactivity while still with Natus Vincere, s1mple stated that he would be “interested” in considering offers from other organizations, including the possibility of switching his role to a rifler, as he found it challenging to adapt to the new mechanics for AWP in the latest version of Counter-Strike.

Now, all the dreams are becoming a reality as a true Counter-Strike legend joins the team. As we mentioned before, the player will replace BOROS (who was acquired from Monte), while Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia will continue playing with the AWP, as the Saudi organization aims to “balance the roster through rearrangements, shifting players to the right roles and positions.”

s1mple’s transfer to Falcons is a temporary arrangement, at least officially stated. The Ukrainian player has been signed for just one month, with an agreement reached with Natus Vincere. The main objective of this transfer is for Sasha to assist Falcons in the upcoming BLAST Premier Spring Showdown. Grant Russo, the organization’s general manager, added that this “will allow them to have additional roster variation and help make the right decision for its final form in the future. The team still has to compete in ESL Pro League, IEM Dallas, and other Tier-S tournaments, maintaining significant chances for success there.”

The benching of BOROS occurred after the team failed to qualify for the PGL Major Copenhagen, where they were eliminated in the RMR with a 1-3 record, suffering defeats against FaZe, Eternal Fire, and AMKAL.

According to the organization itself, the main reason for this decision was the Israeli rifler’s lack of professionalism and poor performance as a former Monte player. Previously, Danny “zonic” Sørensen had spoken about the lack of professionalism and inconsistent attendance at practice sessions at the beginning of this new lineup’s existence. In general, the Danish coach had tolerated such a careless attitude towards competitive CS for a long time.

The trust in BOROS from Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer and the rest of the team was also in question due to the “misalignment” of roles within the team. This prevented the 19-year-old player from showcasing his full potential and, as a result, he couldn’t play in his preferred roles.

In addition to these roster changes, the assistant coach of Falcons also found himself without a job in the organization. Rafael “Feldman” Rodriguez has been relieved of his duties within the team.

A very “dry” reaction from Natus Vincere

The reaction from s1mple’s “home” organization, Natus Vincere, is also intriguing. They published a rather modest and almost unnoticed post on their website, briefly mentioning the loan arrangement that took place.

Interestingly, just a couple of days ago, rumors were circulating online about Na’Vi demanding an exorbitant amount for their most “valuable asset” in the organization’s history. Despite s1mple being far from his peak form, the Ukrainians apparently set a substantial price tag on the player. At least, that’s what was claimed. The transfer fee is likely so high that only a few can afford it. It is quite possible that this move is not a mere loan but rather a one-month trial period for the player. If everything goes well, s1mple’s contract will undoubtedly be bought out.

In our opinion, the player could have expected a much more elaborate statement than what was written in the organization’s official announcement:

The legendary Na’Vi player, Alexander “s1mple” Kostylev, will temporarily come out of inactivity to compete in upcoming tournaments. For the next month, he will be representing Team Falcons as a stand-in and will strive to help the team secure one of the two slots for the spring finals of the BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown 2024.

Falcons lineup for the next month:

  1. Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer
  2. Pavle “Maden” Boskovic
  3. Emil “Magisk” Reif
  4. Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia
  5. Alexander “s1mple” Kostylev (loan)
  6. Danny “zonic” Sorensen (trainer)
  7. Nathan “NBK-“ Schmitt (on the bench)
  8. Mohammad “BOROS” Malkhas (on the bench)
Have you been waiting for s1mple to join the Falcons?
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