Ever since Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev made his big move to Natus Vincere, Navi as a whole have been a massive disappointment. After winning ESL One New York in 2016, Navi went over a year without winning a tournament. With the level of competition at their most recent victory at DreamHack Open Winter 2017, the event was essentially a must-win. A failure at the event would have removed Navi from all relevancy outside of the play of s1mple.
After the PGL Krakow Major, Navi made the move to bring back long time in-game leader Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko who had just won the major with Gambit Esports. The idea was that bringing back Zeus would provide Navi the structure and coordination they had been lacking with Denis “seized” Kostin as the IGL. Unfortunately, seized could never turn his play around and was finally replaced with hyped up-and-comer Denis “electronic” Sharipov.
All throughout 2017 s1mple was one of the best players in the world and was arguably the best fragger in CSGO. He was putting up ridiculous numbers, all the while the rest of his team was dragging him down as Navi failed to make consistent deep runs. Egor “flamie” Vasilyev is meant to be the second star on the lineup but was underwhelming for a long portion of the year up until recently. electronic has also been underperforming since being added to the lineup. It is understandable that it would take him time to adjust to the new team and the higher level of competition, but he needs to shape up quickly if Navi is to have any shot at the major. Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev may be a legend in CS, but his play in the past few months has also been very lackluster. If someone is to be replaced on the roster it may have to be him.
s1mple truly is one of the transcendent talents in CSGO. He is capable of doing things in the server that no one else can come close to. As we have seen in the past while he was on Team Liquid, s1mple can single-handedly drag a team kick and screaming to the semifinals of a major. flamie has been finding his form again recently and we have seen that electronic has the skill to compete on this level, it just hasn’t manifested yet in the server. With so much talent on the lineup and such poor results to show for it, Navi’s story over the past year has been sad. Hopefully Navi will no longer let s1mple’s incredible carry performances go to waste. With the level of talent on Navi and an elite star like s1mple, they will always have a puncher’s chance.
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