Is it finally s1mple's time?

Elliott Griffiths
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Illustration by Crash_ Source: RTP Arena / Pedro Apina

s1mple is the best player of all time (probably), but until he wins a Major, many will not consider him so.

And yet, this is the first time s1mple's team has been the favourite. Every other time, it's been him dragging teams further than they deserve; Liquid being the best example, but NaVi made a final in recent times too.

NaVi are comfortably the best team in the world, and have been for a while. s1mple, meanwhile, has silenced any doubters he had that he might not be the best player in the world, with a ridiculous stretch of ratings.

s1mple last went negative at an event in 2017. Yes.

NaVi will be everyone's favourite, and everything points to this finally being 's1mple's Major'. His one to win, his one to lose. But it's not that simple. Pardon the pun.

This is the biggest event in years, and it's back on LAN. Everybody has been cranking up to this, and everyone will be in tip top shape. Except G2, obviously.

ZywOo and Vitality have been quietly shaping up to upset the GOAT, and NiP dropped a cool milli on device in their attempts to stop s1mple. There's a target on his back, and everyone knows it.

Gambit, importantly, beat them in the IEM Fall final. Though the youngsters of Gambit are not used to LAN - a potential issue for them - they do have something NaVi don't - a Major winner. A worrying omen?

Great teams have not won Majors, and great players too; but s1mple is more than that. All of the pressure is on the shoulders of him, and though NaVi are more than just s1mple and co. nowadays, that won't stop the narrative.

s1mple simply HAS to win. For his own ego, for his legacy, for the removal of all doubt. And that is a pressure he's never had at a Major before. Pressure creates diamonds, but what does it do to a ready-made diamond?

This is s1mple's Major to lose, for the first time ever; and that is a unique pressure. Let's be 'avin ya, Sasha.

October 24, 2021

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