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The reality of the incoming roster changes for Na’Vi


The PGL Major saw a champion from the CIS emerge, though it wasn’t who one might have expected. Gambit surprised the world under Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko’s leadership, and took home the coveted grand prize and major title in Krakow. While this is the best case scenario for a well-deserved veteran in-game leader and his troops, it is unfortunately a literal worst case scenario for Na’Vi.

Na’Vi bowed out of the PGL Major going 1-3 in Swiss play, only being able to take a map from the tertiary CIS mix of FlipSid3. While they weren’t exactly a favorite to win the event due to their recent lackluster showings, many expected more out of Na’Vi in Krakow. Following the team’s exit, a few of its members tweeted out that roster changes were imminent, but not much detail was given on who would be on their way out and better yet, who would be brought in to try and fix Na’Vi.

Gambit’s major win is worst case scenario for Na’Vi

Zeus did with Gambit what he could never do with Na’Vi, why would he go back? (image courtesy of esports-pro)

First and foremost, Gambit winning the whole event is pretty much the worst thing Na’Vi could have asked for. While it is unlikely that Zeus would ever go back to the team he felt he was blindsided by nearly a year prior, a player like Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev who has come into his prime recently may have been an option to add consistency to a lineup that is struggling to find results on a regular basis. Further, Rustem “mou” Telepov has been playing alongside AdreN for years now and might bring a new AWPing style to the team beyond what Na’Vi’s current duo have been unable to provide.  Unfortunately, the potential for these changes for Na’Vi has gone from unlikely to impossible due to the success of Gambit in Krakow.

FlipSid3 a more likely trade partner

Should Na’Vi wish to keep things in the CIS region, they should consider looking at a team like FlipSid3. They may be in need of a core IGL, something that the experienced Andrey “B1ad3” Gorodenskiy could offer. FlipSid3 only did marginally better than Na’Vi at the major, though it should be noted that going 2-3 for FlipSid3 is a far better result than they might have hoped for in comparison to Na’Vi’s blundering 1-3 record. Further, FlipSid3 may see their recent successes on LAN as something they can build on, and subsequently may not be as open to making a roster change as Na’Vi would hope.

B1ad3 could be the in-game leader Na’Vi needs (image courtesy of CybBet)

Who is on the chopping block for Na’Vi?

These kinds of performances are not what s1mple was hoping for after joining Na’Vi (stats courtest of HLTV)

Turning the attention to Na’Vi themselves, it is hard to say exactly who is on the chopping block. Denis “seized” Kostin hasn’t been close to the player he once was prior to Zeus’ departure, something he himself has blamed on him taking on the role of in-game leading. The once highly touted young gun Egor “flamie” Vasilyev has been very inconsistent for the team recently as well. The reality of the situation is that the only untouchable player for Na’Vi is probably Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev due to his age, talent and value to the organization.

Na’Vi may need to change more than one piece

What Na’Vi should consider is that moving one piece of the puzzle may not be enough. Look at the mess that NiP had been in for what felt like ages, swapping in player after player in hopes of finding a change in the success of the other four players in the team. Rather, to see any real impact Na’Vi may need to switch out two of their players for either some fresh talent or an experienced in-game leader. Either way, it is good to see the players themselves realizing that the problems they’ve had as of late may require roster changes to fix. Unfortunately, the rise of Gambit could not have come at a worse time for the once CIS powerhouse known as Natus Vincere.

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