Welcome back to Dom Discusses; today I discuss NaVi, and how they are one step away from toppling Astralis and becoming the best team in the world. NaVi on paper is one step away from being the best team in the world. NaVi has historically struggled with success in Majors and being a consistent #1 team, but they’re closer than ever before to breaking that curse.
Their roster is star-studded. The best player ever to grace Counter-Strike: Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev. Russia’s teenage killing machine, Denis “electronic” Sharipov. The face of NaVi and its underappreciated leader, Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko. The consistent fragger that is Egor “flamie” Vasilyev. s1mple has made CS:GO look easy recently, running around in officials like it’s a DM server, putting up ridiculous statistics on a regular basis, even when they are losing. For example, s1mple had a 1.56 HLTV rating in the Grand Finals of StarSeries i-League S4, a tournament which he got the MVP for, where NaVi fell to Mouz 2-1. electronic has made a name for himself on the NaVi roster, having moved on from the rotting corpse that is F3. He has given s1mple some help in making plays to save the team; a kind of player NaVi have lacked since the addition of s1mple. Zeus made a surprise switch back to NaVi after winning the PGL Major Krakow with Gambit Esports, and since Zeus’s return, NaVi have stabilised and are now the 2nd best team in the world. flamie has continued, if not improved, at his consistent performances, and this almost earned him a move to SK Gaming; before the move fell through.
Then comes Edward, the support player whom failed to support anyone, despite a recent upturn in performances. That recent upturn can simply be based on his team; they’ve been winning a majority of the recent events. From 14 LAN events in 2018, Edward has achieved positive HLTV ratings in 6 of them, with all but one of those 6 coming in tournaments in which they have finished inside of the top 4. These stats prove that when the team does well, then Edward has a positive HLTV rating. For the team to do better, Edward needs to improve. Edward is 30 years old, and has hit his plateau and cannot improve past his current level. 8 months into 2018, one of NaVi’s best years of late, and he hasn’t shown that flair he used to have in his heyday. It’s time for Edward to go, as many fans have agreed on. Many fans want Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev of Gambit to replace him but honestly, I think that’s the incorrect decision because AdreN isn’t a support player and he’s 28, so it isn’t an investment for the future, which is proven to have worked with the additions of s1mple and electronic. To me, the solution is simple; Sergey “keshandr” Nikishin, formerly of Vega Squadron. Hear me out on this one.
Vega Squadron looked good at the ELEAGUE Major, being one game away from achieving Legends status. Post-Major, the team split internally, resulting in the removal of keshandr and the team’s star player Nikolay “mir” Bityukov, who eventually made his way to Gambit. Many people credit Vega’s shock results due to mir and Pavel “hutji” Lashkov, the team’s fraggers who made great plays. Fact is, those plays wouldn’t have happened without keshandr giving mir and hutji space to make the plays, or for keshandr to assist in many ways. The support player of teams is the rock behind the team that every team needs to be successful. The support player is the most important role in CS:GO because of how heavily teams rely on it. keshandr made Vega famous for being the Major upset team, and in September we will see if they will fail to make any statement at the FACEIT Major.
NaVi could use keshandr, a support player who has shown that he can be the backbone of the team, as he was in Vega Squadron. At 24, the player would improve even further playing with the likes of s1mple, along with the fact that the addition of keshandr unlocks the skill ceiling of NaVi because of his youth and room to develop. This move would make NaVi the best in the world; it needs to happen.
Thank you for reading the article. We hope you enjoyed it. If you want more ESN, we have a Discord server and a Twitter account, along with other articles, such as the most recent installment of Dom Discusses, where I talk about the rumoured new French team.
This article was written by Dom “d0m^” Phillips, and edited by Jacob “GodPancakes” Doraty.