s1mple: "Next time I'd like to win the tournament instead of the MVP"
We managed to get a hold of Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev after the grand final of StarSeries i-League Season 4, where he won the HLTV.org & Betway MVP medal despite Natus Vincere's second-place finish.
Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev has been doing wonders for Natus Vincere all-tournament long, but stepped up to a new level in the playoffs, especially after the first map of the quarter-final, where his team lost to Astralis on Nuke. The Ukrainian deserved the HLTV.org & Betway MVP award for his immense fragging, clutching and overall impact.
After the game, we talked to s1mple who became the first player to receive an MVP award of an event without winning it.
It's obviously disappointing not to win, but can you find positives from this tournament for you as a team and for you personally?
It's our third tournament with this team, first it was DreamHack Winter, not a really big tournament but we won it. After that, it was the Major, and we have electronic who has up to that point never been in big tournaments, in finals, semi-finals... So we lost to FaZe, and we discussed mistakes. Now at StarSeries we lost the final, unfortunately, but we will fix our mistakes and we will keep moving forward. I believe in this team, I see that everyone wants to win and everyone is trying really hard.
We didn't close Mirage, we had our chances with 15-14, and after that, they just played better on Train. So congratulations to mousesports.
Tell me, last year you finished eight on HLTV.org's Top 20 rankings, I think you even commented that you don't even deserve that. Have you come into this year with even more determination? Even going back to DreamHack Winter, it seems like you have been playing insane since then?
I just started to practice more with the team. So things like setups, flashbangs... electronic showed me a lot of nades that I now know, and I can help my team from any position. I don't know, I'm just practising a lot and I want to become champion with this team.
I think a lot of people took note of the clutches you pulled off throughout the whole tournament, the last two series in particular. Is it a thing that once you win a couple of them, you feel even more confident, so it is even easier to win more later? What's the deal there?
When I'm playing well I'm just feeling more confident and it's more comfortable for me to play any map. So I'm just trying to play better and better, trying to fix my mistakes from every game. That's how I'm trying to become a better player.
What's next for you guys, you are obviously missing Katowice so you have a break, how do you go on from here?
We are going to take a five days break, maybe one week, and practice for ESL Pro League matches. We need to qualify for the ESL Pro League Finals, it's our main goal because we are going to miss Katowice. After Katowice I guess it's going to be WESG with Team Ukraine and Team Russia, so after that we are going to practice coming up to next tournaments. We don't actually know what the next tournament is after Katowice, but now that we finally have a lot of time, we will do a bootcamp, a big bootcamp.
Now that you are the first player at a premier event to win an MVP and not win the tournament, how does it feel, is there anything special?
It feels good, but for me, it's better to win the tournament than the MVP medal. I'm not happy about it, I'm fine with getting it, but next time I'd like to win the tournament instead of the MVP.
Any last thoughts, shoutouts, something you want to say?
Thanks everyone for the support, unfortunately, we didn't close out the final, but I'm proud of my team that we actually beat FaZe and Astralis, two strong opponents. Today, mousesports are better, so I'm just waiting for the next tournament. I want to play.