s1mple: "The organization and team need to finally decide with what roster we want to continue in 2023"
The Ukrainian superstar commented on his team's struggles in 2022 and the most recent update to the game.
Natus Vincere arrive in Copenhagen to play at BLAST Premier Fall Final 2022 after a disappointing campaign at the IEM Rio Major, which ended in the quarter-final at the hands of FURIA. Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy's team was among the favorites to lift the trophy, especially after other contenders such as FaZe and Vitality were eliminated in the Legends Stage. Instead, Natus Vincere were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by the home crowd favorites.
Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and Natus Vincere will look to enter the season's closing stages on an upwards trajectory with a solid result at BLAST Fall finals, partially redeeming their early exit from the Major.
The "Undertaker" answered a few questions during a press conference on the eve of the tournament, touching on his frustrations about the organization's failure to settle on a 2023 roster, the newest game update, and his expectations for the Danish LAN.
"We are feeling okay," replied s1mple when asked about the team's expectations for the tournament. "We have added a sixth player [nipl] to see how he's going to practice with us and overall we expect to go as deep as possible."
There have been rumors of Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev's departure from Natus Vincere after BLAST, with NAVI Junior prospect Andrii "npl" Kukharskyi among the favorites to take over the spot in the main lineup. However, it seems like the final roster has not been finalized. When asked what the team needs to reach the heights of 2021, s1mple said: "I think the organization and team need to finally decide with what roster we want to continue in 2023."
"When we won all the tournaments last year, we had like four or five months together with our new players and we were always practicing and always had boot camps. Since the war started, there's been no boot camps, there was hard practice, and we removed players as well... I think we just need time and we need to understand with what roster we need to move in the future."
s1mple also touched on the toughness and the pressure of playing against FURIA in front of the Brazilian home crowd at the Rio Major: "It was hard to play, sometimes we did not hear the game, I think FURIA handled it better."
The conversation then moved on s1mple thoughts on Natus Vincere's year, and the disappointment when compared to the heights reached in 2021: "It [2022 season] was 100% worse than the last one because we were winning every tournament," said the 25-year-old. "It was a bad year, the war started and overall it was a bad year for a lot of people."
When asked about the most recent update to the game, which resulted in nerfs for both the AWP and M4A1-S, the Ukrainian marksman said that not much has changed with the Big Green, and that he will still equip the silenced version of the assault rifle: "I am still playing [with] the silenced [M4A1-S]. I feel like there is no difference if you hit in the head."
"I checked all distances, like middle and long distances, and it's the same damage when you hit twice. My teammates started to play with the A4, so maybe in some maps they'll play M4 and in some A1s."