Only four months after joining, Oleksandr “S1mple” Kostyliev will be leaving Team Liquid, the team have announced.
During his time on the starting lineup, S1mple became one of Team Liquid’s star players. The Ukrainian was a key piece of the team’s success and instantly became one of the most explosive players in North America. It is possible however that his reputation for quarrelling with teammates caught up with him, amidst rumours that he and adreN/Kenneth “Koosta” Suen argued over who should be using the AWP.
In the announcement about s1mple’s departure, Liquid said the player felt homesick and would prefer to return in Europe and stay close to his family. S1mple added some context to this, saying that he felt alone in the Liquid League of Legends residence where he lived, and had little interaction with his teammates who lived at their own homes.
“I live alone in Los Angeles, everyone else live in their home and can meet with friends and do whatever they want,” he said on stream. “I said ‘ok, let’s do bootcamp in Europe so I can visit my family’, and they said ‘no’.”
However, it wasn’t just homesickness that is causing the problems, but also that he has “concerns over his in-game role on the team.”
“They said I would have good role that I like, so it’s gonna be AWP role,” he said on his stream. “Then they bring in koosta, and he can’t play with rifle, so I said ok, I say I want to play with AWP as well, and they say ‘no.’”
S1mple plans to eventually return to Europe and find a new team. For the time being, however, he’ll remain a streamer for Team Liquid while the organisation tries to facilitate a transfer. Replacing S1mple will be Eric “adreN” Hoag, the player S1mple replaced himself when joining the team at the start of the year.
The move may come as a surprise to fans after the team managed to secure a top four finish at the recent major in Columbus, where S1mple was one of the top performers. The team also played adreN in that tournament, and he posted perhaps his best international performance to date.