“I want to see beautiful Counter-Strike” – s1mple launches esports education project 

s1mple esports education project
Image credit: Play Like s1mple

Counter-Strike legend Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev has launched an educational programme designed to bolster skills in Counter-Strike 2 (CS2).

The project, called Play Like s1mple, is a video series that includes more than 60 interactive sessions that focus on in-game skill development, strategies and out-of-game career advancement. 

“I was interested in it because I know how to make players play better,” said s1mple in an interview with Esports Insider.

“I see how many mistakes they do and I feel that it’s a good opportunity for them to learn something from me and from other pro players as well. Because there’s going to be a lot of examples of how to play and how to not play in some crucial situations.”

According to s1mple, the project’s initial idea came from his brother and friends. The opportunity to create an educational series similar to popular online classes seen by companies such as Masterclass was an enticing proposition.

Some features noted for the project include participating in tournaments with members, gaining personal communication with s1mple and ‘other top players’ and joining a like-minded community. The videos that will be made available from the project will be pre-recorded.

For those unaware, s1mple is arguably one of the biggest names in esports. Ranked the best CS:GO player in 2018, 2021 and 2022 by HLTV, the Ukrainian has spent most of his form years at NAVI, winning PGL Major Stockholm 2021, IEM Katowice 2020 and the BLAST Premier World Final in 2021, among many other accolades.

As esports matures and its history grows longer, the concept of individuals within esports — retired and current — providing skill development opportunities is not new. Some coaches and players have used platforms such as Metafy to provide coaching services. However, none are seemingly as in-depth as what the Play Like s1mple project is offering. 

Aside from a stint with Team Falcons earlier this year, s1mple has largely taken a break from competitive Counter-Strike since October 2023. The player noted that during his hiatus he was able to invest in the project and develop the courses ready for launch. He said: “The break that I did from competitive [gameplay] was really, really nice to spend time with the new project. Because I got much more opportunity and much more time to do an even better project. So I focused more on these courses.”

Nevertheless, when asked whether this project meant he was moving away from competing in the future, s1mple was quick to state his ambition to play alongside working on the programme. “I’m looking forward to coming back to the esports scene. We just did the first half of the project, so there is going to be this second part of it. 

“It’s a bit harder to come back to the scene when you have a team (NAVI) that just won a Major,” joked the player.

S1mple during PGL Major Stockholm 2021
Image credit: PGL, Stephanie Lindgren

As s1mple revealed, this is only the start of the project with the player having ambitions to expand Play Like s1mple globally with other people in the esports realm. “In the second part of this course, we will invite people from esports and we’ll provide a lot more information from different perspectives of other esports players.

He continued: “I feel we will involve players, coaches and managers, so they can explain to a new generation what it feels like to play competitively.”

Whilst the project is likely to attract those aspiring to enter the Counter-Strike esports scene, s1mple did underscore that the project doesn’t necessarily have to be exclusive to those players. emphasises that the courses won’t just feature mechanical lessons, with discussions about the psychological aspects of esports, decision-making and his own experiences in teams and at tournaments included throughout.

For the project, s1mple is not alone. For its launch, he has teamed up with community esports platform FACEIT. As a result of the deal, Play Like S1mple members will gain access to premium FACEIT features and exclusive on-platform content, however, exact details of what’s included in the partnership have yet to be revealed. 

Ultimately, the player’s ambitions for how this project will impact Counter-Strike is simple: “I want to see less mistakes, I want to see players play more as a team. I want to see beautiful Counter-Strike.”

Overall, a year-long subscription for the course is expected to cost around $100, Esports Insider was told. Registration for Play Like s1mple will open on May 13th with limited spots available.

Tom Daniels
Tom has been part of Esports Insider's team since October 2020 and is currently the platform's Editor. When not playing Football Manager, he enjoys reporting on the mobile esports scene as well as the betting sector.