S1mple Delivers an Emotional Speech at IEM Katowice 2022
The GOAT of CS:GO had a heartfelt message to deliver.
Ukrainian CS:GO star Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, who is currently competing for NAVI delivered a heartfelt speech in front of a live audience at the Spodek Arena during the opening ceremony of IEM Katowice 2022. The 24-year-old addressed the ongoing Ukrainian crisis while reminding the audience present at the venue and the esports community at large, stating that "esports is out of politics."
"All our players, all players from different teams, and all of you have nothing to do with government decisions," he said. "My whole career I played with Ukranian players, I played with Russian players, and I played with American players. And all of them: great guys."
s1mple on behalf of NAVi's CS:GO lineup, comprised of two Ukrainian players, three Russian players, and a Ukrainian coach stated, "Right now, I stand with my real friends. We win together and we lose together. All of us want peace for Ukraine and for [the] whole world."
He went on to stress that esports needed to be an environment that showcases bringing people together by saying, "All of us need to show [an] example in this tournament, for the whole world. We need to stay together as a unit with our friends, with our fans, with everyone who is gonna watch this tournament. We all need to stay humans first."
S1mple gives a heartfelt speech at the Spodek Arena during IEM Katowice 2022
The Ukrainian CS:GO star has been vocal about the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine since the start, requesting for peace while expressing worry for his family and friends back home in Kyiv. Though he feels lucky to be away from home, all he wants right now is to be back there.
With the playoffs stage of IEM Katowice 2022 starting today onwards, s1mple only wants to think about the tournament at hand as NAVI takes on the winners of the second quarterfinals (Virtus.pro vs G2 Esports) tomorrow on 26th February.
But during the opening ceremony when NAVI's lineup was called upon to receive their Intel Grand Slam Season 3 award which they had won last year in 2020, s1mple took a moment to speak his mind and delivered an emotional speech.
Earlier the Ukrainian esports organization, NAVI, had itself come forward with a statement on the situation expressing that they are devastated and that their main goal is to try and stay calm while taking care of our loved ones and those in need of help.