New Liquid and NAVI: Royal flush or straight bust?

Gijs Verhoeff
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Illustration by NovaH. Source : NAVI (jL and iM)

Sometimes you gotta work with the cards you’ve been dealt. Sometimes, however, you get to shuffle the deck before you pick up your hand.

How has the last shuffle worked out for the teams that got dealt a new hand? It’s a bit early to know for sure, but we like to do some pseudo-science (in CS, that is).

Let’s start with NAVI shall we?

The Ukrainian org broke tradition for the first time in their history by going international and acquiring Aleksib, jL, and iM. iM and s1mple on the same roster? Yes please.

Their first real match was against the equally revamped Astralis for BLAST Premier Fall Groups. Three maps is what it took for the new NAVI roster to beat the Danes, admittedly not bad for a fresh roster.

NAVI then fell to Heroic in a 2-0 loss, which is… Well, y’know fair, given it’s Heroic. Those guys are just really good. What worries us more is that Aleksib is managing good stats, and iM isn’t. Again, it is only five maps we’re basing this on, but while watching the games you cannot help but notice Aleksib is flashing iM in, instead of being his bait. Let’s hope Aleksi and b1ad3 fix that.

Next we go across the pond to Liquid - who actually aren’t across the pond anymore. Having set up shop in their Utrecht HQ in the Netherlands, the team is now officially majority EU with Rainwaker and Patsi joining YEKINDAR’s squad.

For Liquid there’s even less to look at, as they only played the illustrious yet trophy-less G2. NiKo and m0nesy weren’t strong enough as Liquid took them down 2-1, although the last two maps had a score margin smaller than 3 rounds. Talk about close.

Things look pretty good for the new mix, with everyone managing good ratings so far. Only Rainwaker is falling behind, but that might just be his role as support player.

Either way, we’re hoping to see exciting CS from these teams. Both teams are sure to get their chance to show it as well, as they have plenty matches lined up during the BLAST Premier Fall Groups this week.

We’re also going to keep an eye on other roster refreshes like OG and Astralis.

But, just remember, in the end the house always wins.

July 16, 2023

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