NAVI point their ship West

Harry Richards
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Illustration by Crash_ Source: PGL& Midjourney

It is always a sad day when one of the game’s great rosters breaks up.

And so it was, when NAVI announced the departure of electroNic and Perfecto, ending the core of the team that broke their Major drought without even dropping a map. Oh, and npl got benched too. We’re shocked!

Why they let those two players go is hard to know exactly, with the (unreliable) harumi suggesting it was a decision that did not come from the management.

However it happened, it left NAVI at a crossroads. They could not turn East to Russia for replacements for obvious reasons, so they had to turn West, to Europe and an English-speaking lineup.

Romanian Rifler iM, the reason GamerLegion got to the Major final, was a good start. Then came jL from Apeks, a good character even if he’s less of a marquee signing.

The last piece was the IGL. And they plucked for….. Aleksib! Yes, really. Cue the “failed upwards” Twitter comments.

But let’s play devil’s advocate. NIP and OG never had anywhere near the firepower to compete for titles, and G2 went wrong for plenty of reasons that weren’t blonde and Finnish.

Any IGL that b1ad3 and s1mple rate must know something about the game. So let’s give Aleksib one more chance, shall we?

NAVI going international has felt inevitable since the War in Ukraine began, and so it has proved. They now have a clear runway to the Copenhagen Major, a good few months to get b1t’s English up to scratch and ramp up to become a properly dangerous prospect.

electroNic and Perfecto, meanwhile, should be aiming for success on a far shorter time frame.

That’s because they are reportedly joining Cloud9, with buster and nafany (mauisnake rejoice!) making way.

Make no mistake, this is a Russian superteam. sh1ro and Ax1Le are joined by the region’s best player of the last six years in electroNic and its best support player in Perfecto.

If Cloud9 can’t win with this roster, we’re not sure they ever will…

NAVI’s new roster:

  • 🇺🇦 s1mple
  • 🇺🇦 b1t
  • 🇫🇮 AleksiB (IGL)
  • 🇱🇹 jL
  • 🇷🇴 iM

Cloud9‘s rumoured roster:

  • 🇷🇺 Ax1Le
  • 🇷🇺 sh1ro
  • 🇷🇺 nafany (IGL)
  • 🇷🇺 electroNic
  • 🇷🇺 Perfecto
July 9, 2023

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