Ukrainian legend Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev has delivered an emotional message to CSGO fans at the opening ceremony of IEM Katowice 2022, and it serves as a much-needed message of peace amid these troubling times as Russia continues their invasion on their western neighbour.

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On February 25th, the Spodek Arena witnessed the Natus Vincere star taking the microphone from host Oliver James Borg ‘OJ Borg’ D’Anasta to send a message in front of the live audience present in the venue. 

“All our players, all players from different teams, and all of you have nothing to do with government decisions,” the 24-year-old 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.”

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S1mple also reminded the audience that the esports community wants nothing but peace for the world. “All of us want peace- for Ukraine, and for the whole world. 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.”

Previously, we’ve seen s1mple expressing concern for his friends and family in Ukraine through a Tweet posted on February 24th.

“I cry thinking about my family and friends in Kyiv,” he said. “I’m ‘lucky’ that I’m not at home, but you can’t even imagine how much I want to be there.”

With the playoffs of IEM Katowice 2022 starting today, s1mple mentioned that he’d be focusing on his upcoming games for the time being.

CSGO fans throughout the world will be eager to see Na’Vi take on the winners of the second quarterfinals on 26th February. 

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