NAVI star s1mple gives IEM Cologne medal to fan

Helena Kristiansson/ESL Gaming via ESPAT

NAVI prodigy Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev has given away his IEM Cologne runner-up medal — to a fan in the crowd.

NAVI finished runners-up to FaZe in the ‘Cathedral of Counter-Strike’ after a five-map thriller that had a peak viewership of almost 1.25 million people, according to statistics website Esports Charts.

s1mple received his second-place medal from George Woo, Esports Marketing Manager at Intel, after the game. He quickly removed it and glanced at it. Shortly afterward, he tossed it to a fan standing in front of the stage.

In an interview with, s1mple denied that the gesture was born out of frustration.

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“I’m just traveling all the time with my bag, and I don’t have a place for the big DHL MVP,” he said. “ And this medal is… too many medals inside this bag, you know, I need to save them for home.”

With the loss in the grand final, s1mple’s hopes of stopping FaZe from winning the Intel Grand Slam were dealt a significant blow. FaZe are now one tournament victory away from scooping the $1 million prize, and could become the fourth team to claim the prize — after Astralis, Team Liquid and NAVI — in early October, at ESL Pro League Season 16.

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NAVI’s players will now enjoy what is set to be a short break before the new campaign begins on August 19 with the BLAST Premier Fall Groups.

Helena Kristiansson/ESL Gaming via ESPAT
NAVI’s lineup for the next tournament season remains unclear

In the coming weeks, the Ukrainian organization is expected to make a decision on the future of stand-in Viktor ‘sdy’ Orudzhev, who has replaced Kirill ‘Boombl4’ Mikhailov in the starting lineup.