Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev donates $33,000 to Ukrainian army, gathers collective support from community
AWPer Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, a Ukrainian CS:GO professional esports player for Natus Vincere has donated one million Ukrainian hryvnias (roughly equal to $33,000) to the Ukrainian army.
S1mple posted the noble gesture on Instagram following an emotional speech he made in IEM Katowice 2022 on February 25, after host Oliver James Borg “OJ Borg” D’Anastasi asked if he was okay.
The 24-year-old shared a heartfelt speech of peace amid the ongoing Russian invasion of his country, adding that throughout all of his career, it is a pleasure for him to compete with players of many nationalities, and “all of them are great guys”.
S1mple’s speech, plead for peace
“All of us want peace—for Ukraine, and for whole world,” S1mple said. “All of us are scared, and all of us need to show an example at this tournament. We need to stay together as a unit, with our fans, with our friends, and with everybody watching. And we all need to stay humans first.”
The 19 HLTV medals winning player broke news headlines shortly after and tweeted his thanks and gratitude on Twitter adding “let’s stop this war together!”.
“Thank you for listening to me, that’s the most important thing, let’s stop this war together!” S1mple’s tweet reads.
Prior to his speech in IEM Katowice, S1mple’s team NAVI has been eliminated by G2 in the semi-finals. The match was a sweet win for G2 after back-to-back elimination from NAVI on the grand finals. Eventually, G2 has set itself free from its curse against all odds.
NAVI’s semi-finals elimination, support from community
However, NAVI’s loss to G2 was appreciated by the community and even the fact that the Ukrainian esports organization came out to play in the first place.
Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen, the game leader and supportive rifler for G2 has appreciated NAVI for participating in the competition “considering the circumstances”.
“2-0 vs @natusvincere. Kudos to them considering the circumstances,” Aleksib’s tweet reads.
AS for S1mple and his team, being eliminated from the semi-finals is not the end of everything. S1mple’s speech was greatly accepted by many, attracting the attention of fellow professionals, organizations, and studios in the gaming industry.
Various gaming organizations and professional players expressed their sympathy and some even collectively don the blue and yellow to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Several active professional esports players such as Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik, Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, and Timothy “TimTheTatman” John Betar has expressed their support.
“I can’t believe what is happening in the world rn, actually makes me feel sick to my stomach… Prayers for Ukraine and its people,” TenZ wrote on Twitter.
Other notable video game developers such as 11 bit studios has decided to donate all proceedings from their anti-war game over the next week, CD Projekt Red on the other pledged to donate 1 million PLN (approximately $240,00), while Bungie has planned to donate 100% of Game2Give proceedings in the first 48 hours on February 25, and the list goes on.
The outstanding gesture from the gaming community in supporting the Ukrainian people is a swift and endless move. CD Projekt Red added in a tweet that the invasion left them shocked and outraged.
Donations can also be directed to organizations such as the Ukrainian Red Cross and UNICEF among others to help in providing Ukrainians with urgent supplies and medical needs.