The Case for lollipop21k: The Big Fish in a Small Pond

Avatar photo

As the off-season shuffle draws to a close, RBM’s writers are highlighting the best, and their favorite, available players. In this article, Lukas DeWitt shines a spotlight onto 25-year-old benched rifler and Belarus talent Igor ‘lollipop21k’ Solod.

It is well-documented that the CIS region is full of talent. Whether you are a team looking for developmental players or looking to contend for a title, this region has what you need. Operating in a competitive environment like the CIS region allows the best talent to receive the best opportunity, but in some instances, the limit in domestic organizations can leave deserving talent looking for a team. For most, the only option is to bide time until an opportunity comes and make the most of it. However, as Counter-Strike continues to grow, so does the opportunity for international teams to thrive. A player that puts themselves in a position to be considered for an international lineup not only means they have the talent but the willingness to go the extra mile outside of the server to win. When looking at lollipop21k, he is one of the few available players that possess these qualities and more.


Last Halloween, lollipop released a TwitLonger revealing that he requested his benching on Nemiga after realizing his “views about the future of the team differed” with the organization. The following day, he revealed on Twitter that he was studying at a linguistic university and had become versed in multiple languages.

The language of the TwitLonger, the learning of multiple languages, and the players’ overall increased self-promotion suggest that he is readying himself to take the next steps and compete with a bigger organization at bigger events. He has even opted to put his studies on pause to pursue his career goals.

With Nemiga being the only notable organization from his home country of Belarus, it is clear that lollipop21k has outgrown his domestic scene, and will need to seek opportunities elsewhere to tap into the potential he possesses. He has the talent and went several steps further to learn multiple languages to put himself out there in ways that almost no player has. Those extra steps point to how serious he is about succeeding in his CS career.


For the second straight year, he performed at a 1.15 HLTV rating while maintaining higher map activity than most of the world’s top players. He kicked off 2021 with a 17-map streak with a 1+ HLTV rating and continued that form for almost the whole year, ending just shy of 71% of maps played with a positive HLTV rating. Whether it was ESEA ladder play, weekend cups, or online tournaments, he was able to showcase his skill in its entirety with almost no hiccups.

His performance in domestic events was eye-popping, with the rifler showing his superior talents over the rest of his competition nearly every step of the way. He performed at a 1.15 rating or better in over half of the events he played in, only performing below a 1.00 rating in three of the 29 events, two of which he played a single map. lollipop21k has been building a case for himself over the last two years as a legitimate candidate for a championship-winning team with his portfolio of strong performances over the rest of his current competitive peers.


For some players, transferring the type of production lollipop offers into the stronger competition can be a task too tall. For Igor, he was unphased by even the strongest team in the world. At the IEM Fall CIS RMR, 56th ranked Nemiga lost a 30-round nailbiter to eventual Major-winning NAVI. He made the most of this opportunity, even in defeat. He led the whole server in nearly every major statistic including frags, ADR, and rating.

His constant pressure at squeaky door on the T side was an x-factor in taking seven rounds and keeping the match competitive in the first half. His pressure did not let up on the other side, as he offered even more impact defensively on the A site. Although it was one map, when factoring the map, team, and context of the situation, this performance becomes much more impressive.

This performance was one of many stellar performances against the best teams last year. His rating against mutual top 30 teams was quite impressive for a player with no tier-one experience. Although the sample size is much smaller than most top players at just 31 maps, he performed at a 1.07 rating on average, which puts him on par with many top players.

Over the last year, lollipop has proven to everyone that he not only possesses the talent necessary to hit the next levels of global Counter-Strike but also has the drive to do what he needs to do and more inside and outside of the server to accelerate his career. Any manager looking to either bring in a single international import or start an international roster altogether, the conversation should start and end with him.

Related Posts

Mustache Masters Season 3 is Live!