After 5 years of being close but no cigar, Natus Vincere finally won their first ever Major in CSGO. Although their pedigree in Counter Strike is unmatched, a Major trophy had always been a step away from the CIS organization. The org had lost the DreamHack Cluj-Napoca Major final to ENVY, the MLG Columbus Major to SK Gaming, and the Faceit London Major to Astralis, but at PGL Stockholm, they were done playing second fiddle to better teams, and cemented their might as the best team of 2021 and winning their first-ever Major.
The biggest impact of this win undoubtedly would be on ‘s1mple’. A player correctly called ‘The Best player to ever touch the game’, had everything to his name except a Major. He had been the #1 Player of 2018, won multiple trophies, innumerable MVP Medals but the title of the most coveted achievement in CSGO had been eluding him for some time.
Till now, Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev had played 9 Majors, always showing up on the Biggest Stage when needed. But maybe it wasn’t meant to be all those times, due to fate or their opponents being the better team in every way, or sheer dumb luck that Sasha hadn’t won a Major yet.
Placing 3-4th at MLG Columbus in 2016, followed by a devastating loss in the Grand Final of ESL ONE: Cologne 2017 saw s1mple come back to his roots in Ukraine and join Natus Vincere.
But even at NaVi, it seemed that whatever ‘The Undertaker’ did wouldn’t be enough as they lost the Faceit London Major in the Grand Finals again. At IEM Katowice 2019, they lost to underdogs ENCE in the semis, a most unlikely result robbing s1mple of yet another Grand Final. They lost to NRG in the Quarters of StarLadder Berlin, and it was the end of the road for Veteran Zeus.