Ukrainian CS:GO legend Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev has donated one million Ukrainian hryvnias to the Ukrainian army to help its war effort, which amounts to just over US$33,000.
This comes just after he exited the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice tournament in 3rd-4th place. Natus Vincere walked away with US$80,000 in prize money, split among all five players, so s1mple effectively gave away all of his winnings and then some.
S1mple appeals for peace at IEM Katowice
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine, after months of troop buildups on the border between the two countries. Various countries have condemned Russia’s actions, which have included the shelling of residential neighborhoods and civilians.
While on stage at IEM Katowice in Poland, s1mple gave an impassioned plea for peace and unity to resounding applause from the audience. “All of us want peace for Ukraine and the whole world,” he said. “All of us need to show an example in this tournament for the whole world. We all need to stay human first.”
S1mple is widely regarded as one of the greatest CS:GO players of all time, consistently placing among the world’s best in HLTV’s yearly rankings.
The Kyiv-based NAVI has also released a statement on the Ukraine war. “Our main goal right now is to try to stay calm and take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and those who need help,” the organization wrote.
Other esports organizations have expressed support for Ukraine as well. Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis, and 100 Thieves have all changed their social media profile pictures to reflect the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag.