Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev has clinched the first Most Valuable Player award of 2021 following NAVI’s win in the grand final, in which they handily beat Astralis just hours after a full three-map series against Vitality earlier in the day.
The 23-year-old led the way as Natus Vincere came back from an opening loss to Liquid in the upper bracket, putting up team-leading performances almost every step of the way as the team completed the lower bracket gauntlet from the first round with wins over Complexity, G2, and Liquid in a rematch.
s1mple went on to play particularly well when the stakes were the highest on the final day of the tournament, recording a 1.47 rating against Vitality in the consolidation final and a 1.57 rating in the grand final facing Astralis.
Over the course of the whole tournament, the Ukrainian averaged extraordinary numbers — even for his own uncommonly high standards —, leading 12 different event leaderboards, including overall rating (1.41), kills per round (0.89), damage per round (89.6), KAST (79.4%), and success in opening duels (72.4%).
With this accolade, s1mple has increased his total MVP count to 12. That sees the Ukrainian distance himself again from Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut, his closest individual rival at BLAST Premier Global Final, as the player with the second-most MVP awards to his name, and close the gap to Nicolai “device” Reedtz, who currently has 18.