Mauisnake: "I do not think, for 2023, s1mple will finish in the top 3"
Analyst Alex "Mauisnake" Ellenberg suggested on the Hot Take Point podcast that Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, who has held the title of the world's best player for the past two years, could be dethroned this year. He believes that NAVI's AWPer now has several strong rivals who are able to oust the star Ukrainian even from the top 3.
I do not think, for 2023, s1mple will finish in the top 3. Who will? I think it's pretty easy to just pick the people that were just right behind him. I think that ZywOo is going to do better than him, broky could actually do better than him. If I had to pick three that are going to finish in the top 3, right now it would probably be sh1ro, ZywOo and NiKo. It's super far away, we haven't even seen sh1ro play this year. But I think that you get those three, you add in Ax1le, you add in potential for broky. I think there is also the chance m0NESY does better than last year.
According to Mauisnake, the main reason for s1mple's possible failure in 2023 will be the protracted rebuilding of the NAVI roster.
Right now it just feels like s1mple and NAVI are in a position where they're just so hung up on the fact that they're rebuilding and they know that. They're almost like giving themselves more time to get better. You know, sometimes B1ad3 would be like: "We're not good enough yet". But he's not like: "Oh, give us two tournaments and then we'll see what we need to do from here". s1mple himself is kind of cooling it off a little bit because he knows that the team isn't in a position to compete for trophies. That's why I think he'll take his foot off the gas just enough, whereas everybody else is so hungry right now.
s1mple was named the best player in the world in 2022 and 2021 and also clinched the No. 1 spot in 2019. He is the only esports athlete in the CS:GO history to have received three awards.