What’s the current Na’Vi roster look like? A player listed amongst the top 10 in the world, a major winning in-game leader, a very promising up and coming star and two experienced players .
Sound good, doesn’t it?
This is the exact same roster that just lost to Gambit who had a stand-in and North with two new players, showing the inconsistency that Zeus brought to Na’Vi since he joined the team in mid 2017. The fact is that there’s a problem within Natus Vincere since 2016 which remains unsolved even after changing their in-game leader but the exchange created yet another problem.
Before analyzing the current Natus Vincere lineup, let me provide you with a little background on the current squad.
Zeus and Electronic – The Promised Ones
After winning PGL Krakow 2017, Zeus decided to join his friend and actual coach of Na’Vi ‘kane’ and move from Gambit to a struggling Natus Vincere replacing the awper ‘GuardiaN’ who was sold to FaZe Clan. Zeus coming back to Na’Vi lifted fans expectations, finally having a reliable in-game leader that could finally solve problems because back then ‘seized’ wasn’t fit for the role.
The Disaster Rollercoster
Na’Vi couldn’t qualify for the EPICENTER 2017 neither the ESL Pro League – an online tournament where teams fight for a good placement to get in the finals and secure their spot in the upcoming season. Na’Vi ended up at the relegation series of the online league and finally signed Electronic which again received with lots of hype from fans. At the first Electronic tournament, the team lost the qualification match for WCA 2017 however that was expected as a new player in the team can take some time to adapt.
Natus Vincere attended Dreamhack Open Winter – one that featured Mousesports and Gambit as favorites to win. The team won the tournament losing a total of two maps for Gambit and Heroic respectively and this surely made ‘electronic’ their promised star.
After Dreamhack Open Winter, Na’Vi managed to win their relegation matches and go to ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018, where they finished in 3rd – 4th place, an extremely good placing. But then, two weeks later, the same team lost to Gambit and North. At this point, fans were right to question the team performances.
Who’s to Blame?
- The main star ‘s1mple’ is listed as one of the top 10 player in the HLTV Rankings, often mentioned with the likes of NiKo and Coldzera.
- ‘Flamie’? Who’s been with Na’Vi since 2015 and consequently major finalist two times also has been slowing returning to form after a rough past year under seized leadership.
- The rookie ‘electronic’ and the experienced player ‘Edward’ both decent players – ‘Edward’ may have been a bit underwhelming, but nonetheless he does his bit as a support player.
- ‘Zeus’ known for his tactical knowledge and IGL power. One has to question what happen to his talents under NaVi roster?
Technically we can blame Edward to some extent as he most of times is a quiet support player, but NaVi has enough firepower within S1mple, Electronic and Flamie although their tactical side is lacking.
What’s the problem with Zeus?
Zeus enjoyed some short lived stardom while with Gambit where we brought a lot of tactics and strategies to his team. Returning to Na’Vi, he tried to apply his play-style within the team to no success. As it stands the team must rely entirely on individual performances. For some reason Zeus is consistently bottom fragging and the team cannot solely rely on ‘s1mple’ to have top tier performance.
What this means is that the strategies that Zeus got famous for aren’t compatible with Na’Vi and him not being able to be an impactful player are damaging. Not enough? Edward being a support player most of time can barely get a neutral K/D rating (Kills/Deaths). This put the team at a disadvantage from at the start of every matches – but again ‘Edward’ is their support and he do his role well.
Bringing Zeus back fixed Na’Vi’s lack a proper IGL but caused a problem of an incompatible IGL – the team simply don’t work with his style.
Solving The Problem
Now that we’ve identified the biggest problem surrounding Natus Vincere, let move to the solutions.
When Na’Vi were in search of an in-game leader, one name often quoted alongside ‘Zeus’ was Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow (current leader for HellRaisers). The Ukrainian player had been rumoured to join the team last year, but it seems that the organization decided to go with his Gambit counterpart. The main difference between Zeus and Ange1 is that the last can be a very impactful player as he has shown in the last months as for example, he was the player with the biggest K/D ratio in their match against North in Cobblestone during the IEM Katowice EU Close Qualifier. Plus ANGE1 also has experience with ‘s1mple’ and ‘flamie’, which indeed makes him a viable candidate for the role of the next leader with Natus Vincere.
Likewise, we’d like to consider AdreN from Gambit as he has shown a pretty decent tactical prowess it’s completely possible that his style wouldn’t be compatible with s1mple & co.
Or lastly, replace Edward but who are the candidates to replace him?
Adding More Firepower
What Na’Vi need to develier consistent good results is firepower. What are the options here?
If the team decides that they need to have another player capable of putting great numbers in-game then it’s time to free ‘Edward’- they should be looking mostly towards the current Gambit roster. Gambit’s ‘AdreN’, ‘hObbit’ and ‘Dosia’ are all decent players, especially AdreN who was picked as the 17th best player of 2017 by HLTV and ‘hObbit’ who was the 11th. Dosia on the other hand can add a lot of experience as a support to Zeus. The biggest problems is that we don’t know if those players have any grudge with Zeus and they very probably aren’t interested in playing under ‘kane’ coaching again.
Bringing bondik as a replacement for Edward
‘Bondik’ loaded time with TyLoo has ended. A solid player who would be an upgrade compared to Edward at this point. The fact hat he has been loaned once could mean that the organized is probably open to offers for his buyout. The advantage of having the Ukrainian player Bondik is that he can play the same spots as Edward and his stats are pretty decent – a current rating of 1.23 in HLTV compared to the 1.03 from Edward. When playing against the likes of Mousesports and Fnatic he maintains numbers above the average and was a key factor going into those matches, even with his team not keeping with him.
Na’Vi won’t be making roster changes for the upcoming months unless something drastic happens but it’s very probably that after the next major we will see new player entering if the results keep being so inconsistent.