Legendary CS:GO AWPer Sasha ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev had a nasty surprise when he logged in to play Valorant, as he found he was restricted from playing ranked matches. He has since been unbanned.
With Valorant firmly established as a dominant FPS title, s1mple has switched up from almost permanently playing CS:GO and given the Riot Games title a spin.
While the Na’Vi star has been playing however, he’s come out with some pretty strong opinions. He ignited a big debate around Valorant’s signature sniper, the Operator, when he criticized it as “the worst weapon”, which big-name pros like TenZ disagree with.
However, when he was about to start his March 27 Valorant stream, s1mple received a nasty surprise when he discovered he was banned from playing in ranked.
The Ukrainian had only just reached the game’s second-highest rank – Immortal – when he discovered he was banned from queuing up for another game.
“I don’t specifically show my nickname, I got to Immortal, I wake up and see a block in ranked games LUL,” he tweeted. “How do I check when the ban will pass? I’m not a cheater.”
S1mple unbanned from Valorant
While the reason for his ban is unknown, the nature of, and response to, the ban suggests s1mple had been incorrectly picked up for toxicity in voice chat.
As part of patch 2.05, players deemed to be toxic in voice chat can have their ranked privileges taken away from them, though they are allowed to play other game modes.
However, Valorant esports strategist Riley Yurk promptly got in touch with s1mple, and the Ukrainian was soon unbanned.
thank you for help, appreciated!
— Sasha (@s1mpleO) March 27, 2021
S1mple’s ban came amid fears of some major CS:GO pros defecting to the ‘dark side’ of Valorant, with NA juggernauts Cloud9 shutting down their CS operations and big-name players like ex-G2 AWPer KennyS rumored to be considering the switch.
In light of s1mple’s ban, some fans couldn’t help but see the funny side of the situation. CS:GO content creator Jake Lucky said: “I got you blocked so you wouldn’t switch, you’re welcome.”
I got you blocked so you wouldn’t switch, you’re welcome
— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) March 27, 2021
A move to Valorant would be a ridiculous money-maker for s1mple, with ex-CS pro and Valorant streamer shroud claiming pros like s1mple would make “millions of dollars a year” if they made the switch.
However, this inconvenient ban will not have won Valorant any favors with s1mple; it would be a major shock to see him ditch CS:GO anytime soon.