s1mple Natus Vincere CS:GO
Photo via BLAST Premier

G2? Team Liquid? The best CS2 teams for s1mple to join if he leaves NAVI

The GOAT could play for a new team in CS2.

The CS2 cycle officially started in October and a lot of teams find themselves in a unique spot: They have the opportunity to sign the best CS:GO player ever. Yes, s1mple is up for grabs.

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The CS:GO GOAT is taking a break from competing and confirmed on Oct. 26 that it would be “interesting” to hear offers from other teams while he sits on Natus Vincere’s bench.

While s1mple could make any team in the world better, at least on paper, he’s arguably a greater fit for G2, Vitality, FaZe Clan, Cloud9, and Team Liquid specifically—and I’ll explain why throughout this article.

G2: S1mple is the only one who can potentially replace NiKo

NiKo is reportedly being targeted by Saudi organization Falcons and therefore could be departing G2 at the beginning of CS2. G2’s general manager Petar “?peca?” Markovi? admitted on Oct. 29 that it would be “extremely difficult” to replace NiKo with just one player, but there’s arguably nobody better than s1mple if G2 needs a new star.

Though s1mple made a name for himself as a dedicated sniper, he’s just as good with the AK-47 or M4A4—and has said he’s willing to play as a primary rifler as he thinks the AWP isn’t as impactful in CS2 as it was in CS:GO

On top of potentially matching NiKo’s firepower, s1mple has even more fans distributed across the globe than the Bosnian, which would give G2 enough leverage to negotiate some sweet sponsorships and create unique merch featuring s1mple. If G2 loses NiKo, acquiring s1mple is as good as it gets.

Vitality: Why not have ZywOo and s1mple on the same team?

CS:GO star players s1mple (left) and ZywOo (right) from the BLAST Paris 2023 Major.
Imagine the best CS:GO players ever on the same CS2 team. Photos by Stephanie Lindgren via BLAST | Remix by Dot Esports

Vitality has the opportunity to form the ultimate CS2 superteam as it can bring s1mple in to play alongside ZywOo. Though ZywOo started playing professionally way after s1mple—2018 versus 2013—they’ve become historic rivals due to their prowess with the AWP and carrying potential.

S1mple was named the best player in the world in three different years (2018, 2021, 2022) and is the only player to achieve that. ZywOo, on the other hand, has already won that award twice (2019 and 2020) and is on his way to securing the honor for the third time this year as he helped Vitality to most notably win the BLAST Paris Major in May. With that in mind, could you imagine what they’d be able to do together? It’d be like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo joining forces in their peaks.

Though s1mple isn’t exactly the best replacement for Magisk, who’s on his way out of Vitality to join Falcons, due to the roles the Dane plays, Vitality would have more firepower than any other team as they’d have s1mple and Spinx doing their best with rifles while ZywOo shines with the AWP.

The move would also open numerous marketing opportunities and solidify Vitality once and for all outside of France when it comes to CS.

FaZe Clan: A team historically made up of superstars

With Twistzz potentially returning to Team Liquid, FaZe Clan will have a vacant spot in its star-filled CS2 lineup—and there’s no one more famous than s1mple to fill his shoes.

Throughout CS:GO’s history, FaZe has become a team made of superstars and convinced the entire scene that an international team could be as successful as domestic squads. The organization housed names like olofmeister, GuardiaN, NiKo, and coldzera in the past, and its roster currently features ropz, who’s one of the best players in the world and has a huge following.

Although FaZe has been through some financial hardships since it went public last year, the organization is being acquired by GameSquare and should be in a healthy spot once again in 2024. With s1mple on board, FaZe would benefit from his skills in the server and be able to produce a ton of content with the help of streamers such as Ninja, TimTheTatman, and NICKMERCS as the FaZe and GameSquare content creators will be a part of the same network when the merger goes through.

Cloud9: The perfect replacement for sh1ro and a NAVI reunion

C9 has had more awful results than good ones since it picked up the Russian lineup that played for Gambit in April 2022. Not even the pickups of electroNic and Perfecto in July 2023 made the team play better. If there’s anyone who can save C9 and turn them into a real superteam, it’s s1mple.

The timing also favors this potential move as sh1ro asked to leave C9 on Oct. 26. The Russian AWPer was named the third-best player in the world in 2022, only behind s1mple and ZywOo. If I were C9, I’d want to replace sh1ro with an AWPer just as good as him. And with s1mple being available, you couldn’t ask for more.

The move would allow s1mple to reunite with his former NAVI teammates electroNic, Perfecto, and even Boombl4, should C9 sign him permanently. These four players plus b1t dominated the scene in 2021 and could do it again, this time under the C9 banner, as Ax1Le is just as good as b1t, if not better. 

Team Liquid: Time to finish unfinished business

S1mple playing for Team Liquid's CS:GO team at DreamHack Masters Malm? in 2016.
I bet Liquid fans would support this reunion. Photo by Adela Sznajder via DreamHack

Team Liquid never won a Major in CS:GO but they got close to doing so twice in 2016 when s1mple was the only European player on the squad among four NA players. They lost to Luminosity Gaming in the MLG Columbus semifinals in April 2016 and to SK Gaming (former LG roster) in the ESL One Cologne grand finals in July 2016.

A lot happened after that. Liquid won a grand slam in 2019 with a full NA roster and s1mple went on to win multiple championships with NAVI and become the CS:GO GOAT. Liquid ditched NA for EU months ago, but the results were atrocious, to say the least. 

Liquid is reportedly rebuilding its team with Twistzz and cadiaN to play alongside NAF, YEKINDAR, and oSee. But why not throw s1mple into the mix as well? The Ukrainian superstar was ready to be NA’s savior back in 2016 but couldn’t drag Liquid across the finish line. Now, s1mple would have the challenge of putting Liquid on the right track for CS2, which might not be as hard as it looks considering all the great players Liquid is already reportedly negotiating deals with.


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Author
Leonardo Biazzi
Staff writer and CS:GO lead. Leonardo has been passionate about games since he was a kid and graduated in Journalism in 2018. Before Leonardo joined Dot Esports in 2019, he worked for Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte. Leonardo also worked for HLTV.org between 2020 and 2021 as a senior writer, until he returned to Dot Esports and became part of the staff team.
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