21 year-old CS:GO pro dies in defense of Ukraine

Ostip Onistrat taking a picture of himself with a phone.
(Image credit: Ostap Onistrat)

A Ukrainian Counter-Strike pro player, Ostap 'Oni' Onistrat, was killed fighting for Ukraine in the country's ongoing war with Russia. He was 21 years old. Ukraine's Ministry of Defense said Onistrat had been killed by enemy shrapnel on June 3, on the frontline of Vuhledar in the Donetsk region. This is a particularly fierce area in the conflict right now, as the Ukrainian military fights to take back Russian-occupied territory.

Onistrat's last competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament was, per Sportskeeda, at 2021's ZUEL Championship in 2021, where he played for the Ukrainian team Libertatem as they made their way to a second place finish.

"When 21 year old Ostap Onistrat joined the Ukrainian army to defend his country, his father Andriy, a well-known Ukrainian banker, had no second thoughts: he had to be there on the battlefield with his son," reads the notice from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. "He wanted to protect him, to shield his heroic boy from the brutalities of the war... Two days ago Ostap's life was cut short by enemy shrapnel. Another Ukrainian father has lost his son. Ukraine has lost her son. The loss is irreparable. Victory is inevitable. We all owe it to Ostap".

"Young Ukrainian CS player died while protecting [Ukraine] and every one of us," said Sergey Bezhanov, a CS:GO coach for the Ukrainian team Monte Esports. "Glory to hero! Only 21 y.o." 

Onistrat was a drone operator in the 68th Jaeger brigade. Reuters' most recent estimates on the war say 62,295 people have died, 60,000 have been injured, at least 15,000 are missing, and approximately 17 million people have been displaced. With Ukraine currently launching a multi-pronged counter-offensive against Russian occupiers, there is no end to the conflict in sight.

"Sorting through Ostap’s things," wrote Ostap Onistrat's father, Andriy Onistrat. "Many different sensations. It hurts. I bought him many things. He asked me about some things. These are all memories. Now they are heavy and impossible to lift. Pride."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."