YEKINDAR has the world at his feet.
He woke Liquid out of their slump, single-handedly — if you believe Liquid’s own interviews, anyway — calling, entry fragging, mid-rounding, anti-stratting and probably cooking for them as well.
After just a few months standing in for the Americans, they’re EPL finalists, #3 in the world, and have a real shot at the IEM Rio Major. Seems like he’s worth picking up permanently, if you ask us. And Liquid agree, finally signing the Latvian permanently.
Of course, the real reason YEKINDAR was a stand-in for so long wasn’t anything to do with in-game. Not everyone’s as good as Cloud9 at funnelling money through certain agencies to certain oligarchs, after all.
But once he was a free agent, it was always going to be Liquid, wasn’t it? He fits like a glove.
As does s1mple in NAVI, who has also put pen to paper on a deal. Which is great news for CS — as long as there’s no VALORANT clause in his three-year contract.
Three years may sound like a long time, and it is. But it only puts more perspective onto Xyp9x signing a FOUR-year deal with Astralis in 2021. The GOAT gets three years, but some bloke who won a few clutches gets four. Makes sense.
Seriously though, when you consider how short esports careers are, three years is a very long time. If s1mple is still the best player in the world in 2025, that will have been 8 years of dominance. That’s unprecedented in any **esport.
But s1mple is the exception.
He’s the best player of all time, and even an 80% s1mple would be a top two player in the world. More s1mple = more frags, more trophies, and just as crucially, more eyeballs.
NAVI have won the lottery. It only makes sense to build a 12-inch thick safe around their winning numbers.