Former Team Empire position 4 support player Vladimir ‘RodjER’ Nikogosyan and unproven talent Vladislav ‘Crystallize’ Krystanek round out the new Navi lineup for the 2017-18 season.
Vladimir ‘RodjER’ Nikogosyan
RodjER is a well-tenured support player who first started playing professionally with Cleave Gaming back in 2014. He then bounced from one unsuccessful team to another, even going as far as to play for 5 different teams in the first half of 2017, without really winning or even qualifying for anything of significance.
His big break would only finally come in May 2017 after Team Empire picked him up for the TI stretch run.
Team Empire has mostly had positive results since picking up the support player. Their first event together went rather well; Team Empire took down the odds-on favourites Vega Squadron at the Lootbet Invitational to earn a spot at The Summit 7.
Unfortunately, RodjER and the rest of Team Empire, had a rather lackluster showing at their first premier event together at The Summit 7, finishing in 7th-8th place. However, they would get their revenge against Team NP, the team who eliminated them, soon enough.
At the main event of The International 7, Team Empire found themselves fighting for their very tournament lives against Cloud9 in the lower brackets. With their backs against the wall, Team Empire, who were playing with stand-in Roman ‘Resolut1on’ Fominok, defied the odds and eliminated Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy’ Mao’s squad.
From there, Team Empire rode the high of winning, taking down the heavy favourites Evil Geniuses 2-0 before hitting a brick wall against the eventual champions Team Liquid.
Team Empire’s performance at TI7 was good enough for a 7th-8th place finish, which is the CIS organisation’s highest placement at a TI to date.
Vladislav ‘Crystallize’ Krystanek
Crystallize is an unproven and raw commodity who gained prominence after guiding Double Dimension through The Kiev Major open qualifiers. He has yet to make an official appearance in any LAN event.
Introducing The New Navi Lineup
- Vladislav ‘Crystallize’ Krystanek
- Danil ‘Dendi’ Ishutin
- Victor ‘GeneRaL’ Nigrini
- Vladimir ‘RodjER’ Nokogosyan
- Akbar ‘SoNNeikO’ Butaev
- Alexandar ‘XBOCT’ Dashkevich (Coach)
After bombing out at The International 6, the once-illustrious organisation qualified for only one LAN event throughout the entire year. They appeared in two LAN tournaments in total, having won a spot at EPICENTER 2017 via public vote.
In both tournaments, Natus Vincere fizzled out and made early exits. More importantly, they failed to qualify for The International 7 – the first time in history they failed to qualify for a TI – via the CIS qualifiers.
It’s safe to say then that Natus Vincere has had a rather disappointing 2016-17 season.
For the 2017-18 season, Natus Vincere brought their former carry player XBOCT back to the organisation. However, instead of leading the team in-game, he will now do so outside of it as their new coach.
While the new Navi lineup lacks the star power that most have come to expect from the organisation, it does hold some promise. Crystallize could prove to be the next young talent to break out. Meanwhile, RodjER has nowhere to go but up after his brief stint with Team Empire.
The new Navi lineup will have a lot of chances to show what they’re capable of with at least 22 confirmed Minors and Majors for the upcoming season.
What do you think of the new Navi lineup? Do you believe it has a chance to go a long way? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.