Following a shaky few months for the once-feared CIS team, Na’Vi has kicked the coach and two of their most prolific Dota 2 players in an effort to rebuild the roster – once again, from scratch.
It has not been a good couple of months for Na’Vi’s Dota 2 ventures, as the organization has seen their somewhat decent status in the first season of the DPC reduced to tatters slowly and surely. All of this culminated in one of their most disappointing performances in the CIS TI10 qualifiers, where the team and the organization as a whole were dumpstered by some of the lower division teams that were not expected to do so well in the first place.
As a direct reaction to that blunder, Na’Vi announced the benching of their whole Dota 2 roster a few weeks ago. Before the benching itself, hard support Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev already announced his departure, and it was seen by many fans of the organization as something that was to be expected. What is less expected, however, was the kicking of two prominent players within the squad, announced just a few days ago.
RAMZES666, RodjER and Mag kicked
First noted in Na’Vi’s official site, off-laner Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev and soft support Vladimir “RodjER” Nikogosyan has been kicked from the organization’s Dota 2 roster. Along with the kicking of the two, Na’Vi also announced their parting with the roster’s coach, Andrii “Mag” Chipenko. Aleksey “xaoc” Kucherov’ Natus Vincere’s COO, also released a statement with regards to the players’ kicking.
“Due to the shift in TI10 dates, we have plenty of time until the start of the next season. We are considering various options for the future of NAVI in the discipline while forming a new roster.
Our paths with Mag, RodjER and RAMZES666 diverge from now on. We are grateful to the guys for their performance in NAVI and wish them the best of luck in their future teams.”– Na’Vi COO Aleksey “xaoc” Kucherov on the kicking of RAMZES666, RodjER and Mag.
Was kicking RAMZES666 a mistake?
Despite his somewhat bad reputation as a toxic and arrogant player, there should be no doubt when it comes to RAMZES666’s abilities in Dota 2. At his peak as a position 1 for Virtus.pro, he helped his team achieve a stunning streak of five Major wins in a single year. He was also instrumental for the team’s fifth to sixth place finishes at TI7 and TI8.
His kicking from Na’Vi was one of the biggest points of contention from within the community. There are some who agreed that he brings too much drama for a CIS team that he ends up being more of a liability, while some say that his performance far outweighs his personal attitude and that should be reason enough to try and keep him. Like everything else for CIS Dota 2, the true answer always manages to be somewhere in between.
While playing for Na’Vi, RAMZES666 took the role of off-laner as opposed to position 1, as Alik “V-Tune” Vorobey currently was playing for the team’s Dota 2 roster. Some have seen this as a mismatch; RAMZES666 played very much like a carry during his stint in the team, which in the end may have made an impact on V-Tune’s own game to go online as position 1. At the same time, kicking V-Tune or making him play off lane instead made very little sense; he was one of the best standouts from the FlyToMoon roster which Na’Vi signed, and there was a time during the same period when he held the highest MMR ranking for the whole EU region.
In the end, Na’Vi’s pick-up of RAMZES666 may have ended up being one of their greediest moves with very little pay-off. Signing him up to play as an off-laner when he was at his best as position 1 makes very little sense, unless we’re to go by the sayings and rumors that his friend and teammate RodjER wanted to relive the old Virtus.pro guard by bringing in its former players. Focusing on the fact that Na’Vi kicked RAMZES666 may be the wrong angle in the first place; we should be asking why they picked him up only to make him play his subpar role of off laner instead.
The future of Na’Vi Dota 2 and the roster moving forward
The next question on everyone’s minds at the moment is what will happen to Na’Vi’s Dota 2 roster going to the next TI season. As it stands, the organization has a lot of leeway for potential players as the CIS region is still brimming with new talent. Several organizations within the region have found amazing success signing relatively unknown or new players; both Team Spirit and Virtus.pro, two teams which will fly the CIS banner at TI10, are great examples of this.
Besides this, it’s also important to look at the moment before Na’Vi imploded on itself. This can be traced back to before the transfer of Viktor “GeneRaL” Nigrini to the inactive roster, being replaced by RAMZES666 in the off lane. Bringing GeneRaL back could bring some semblance of stability to the team once again, and he is currently recognized by many as one of the best off-laners in the CIS region today.
Na’Vi is also known for their ‘poaching’ of promising players, which can play a heavy role for the organization’s future signings. A quick look at the Dota 2 Liquipedia and the CIS rosters will let one know the votility of the teams; most of them have loaned players, or have been playing with stand-ins, and a ton of players are currently languishing as inactive. Players hopping from one team to the next is the nature of CIS Dota, and the ball is within Na’Vi’s ballpark in terms of the decisions on who they will fill the roster with.
In any case, it will be interesting to see how Na’Vi moves forward as a Dota 2 team in the future. As noted by xaoc, the organization has a lot of time to scout and decide on their players; even the two remaining inactive players, V-Tune and mid-laner Volodomyr “No[o]ne” Minenko may not be safe from axings themselves. All of that said, it’s very clear that their legacy as one of the region’s best is on the line with their next signings, as it could make or break the team and the organization’s hopes for one more Aegis.