CS: GO fans are probably familiar with Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev. Many consider the Ukranian to be the best CS: GO player in the world. Now the use of a homophobic slur has seen s1mple banned by Twitch from streaming on their platform.
The incident took place during a broadcast of the FaceIT Pro League on July 29. Here, S1mple was caught jokingly using the word ‘pidor,’ a Russian phrase used as a derogatory slur against homosexuals, while talking with his NaVi teammate Boombl4. According to esports journalist Rod Breslau who shared the news on Twitter, the ban will last for approximately one week.
As Breslau mentioned in a followup tweet, s1mple isn’t the first big name player from Russia and the CIS to receive such a ban. Others from the region have also received bans, some up to 30 days, for similar homophobic comments.
S1mple made a name for himself for his exceptional skills in CS: GO. HLTV reports that he possesses a 1.41 kill-death ratio on over 151 maps. This dwarfs that of his closest rival, Device, who only has a 1.29. S1mple’s skill is such that Valve immortalized one of his greatest plays, a round winning double no-scope kill during the ESL One Cologne tournament in 2016, as an in-game graffiti tag on the map where he pulled it off.
Responding to the ban, s1mple called Twitch “a joke” on Twitter, while also apologizing to Boombl4 who was the focus of the slur. Additionally, some Russian language speakers on Twitter have indicated that while ‘pidor’ does translate into a slur, it’s often not meant as such. Some have even stated that it may have “lost its homophobic meaning a long time ago.”
— Sasha (@s1mpleO) August 14, 2019
That said, others on have stated that the term is still problematic in the CIS region, especially in Russia, where homophobia runs rampant. With this in mind, the word can clearly be seen as problematic in that context, even if some of s1mple’s fans disagree.
One thing that everyone involved seems to agree on is how Twitch’s enforcement of its code of conduct seems inconsistent. Many have questioned why he was banned, when other streamers are being let off the hook for other forms of questionable behavior. The biggest example people are pointing being Alinity, who was caught abusing her cat on stream, but did not face any action from Twitch at all. Some, including Breslau, have even gone on to joke that s1mple would have been better off abusing a cat instead.