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Na’Vi’s New Roster – Growing Pains

September 21, 2016 - Esports

When a new player joins an established team which did things a certain way for a long time, some changes are to be expected in order to gel properly and be able to play together to the updated roster’s utmost potential. Some players might have to give up their previous role to the newbie if that’s what’s best for the team, some old-timers might have to step into the big shoes of the player who got replaced. That seems to be what Natus Vincere, the best Ukrainian CS:GO team in the world, is going through after their roster change, where Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev stepped up to replace Daniil “Zeus” Teslenko.

After the Captain of Na’Vi, Zeus, left the team to make room for s1mple, the position of Captain was left open. This matter was made more serious when Valve decreed that they don’t like coaches playing the role of in-game leader in matches, banning the practice in Major Tournaments. Na’Vi was one of the teams most hurt by this decision, because their coach, Sergey “starix” Ischuk was known to fill that role in Ukrainian’s games previously. Trying to do figure out the best way to deal with this problem, Na’Vi leadership and players decided that the best person to take over as the Captain is Denis “seized” Kostin. It remains to be seen if it’s the correct decision, however, the team certainly seems to think so.

Another matter Na’Vi faced in their process of growing together as a team, was that s1mple proved to be a great AWPer during his time on Team Liquid. This wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that s1mple expressed his desire to have the AWP in his hands as much as possible, when the role of main AWPer belongs to Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács, with seized playing second fiddle when a second AWPer is required. Starting with the match against Ninjas in Pyjamas in ESL Pro League Season 4, Na’Vi introduced the second big change their made. S1mple played 2nd AWP in that match.

The two big changes discussed above will make for a hard transition for the Competitive CS:GO staple from Ukraine. The team will have to retrain themselves to function with s1mple as the second AWP, while following calls from seized instead of Zeus. The two players might have different ideas about the game, leading to different tactics to be learned in time for important matches. That’s not an easy thing to be sure, however, the only way available to the best CIS team is forwards. With s1mple on the roster, they don’t have an excuse to lose in their fans’ eyes, I suspect.