Changes in Na'Vi roster come with big price
Photo courtesy of Epicenter
Na'Vi has replaced Nikola "LeBronDota" Popović with Russian player Fedor “velheor” Rusikhin. Not only will the move cost the Ukrainian team any chances for a TI8 direct or regional invite, but they have also withdrawn from participating in ESL One Birmingham.
While it may seem shocking to many fans and the community, the change comes after a string of unsuccessful performances and the belief that hedging on the open qualifiers with a change in the lineup would produce better results.
I would like to thank Nikola for the time and effort dedicated to the team. He is a great person and a teammate to work with. It might not be obvious to many, but he was contributing a lot to the team. However, we did not manage to get to mutual understanding between the support and core players. One could say LeBron sacrificed himself in this tough moment to save the team”
Ilya 'Lil' Ilyuk will move into the position 5 role and the newest member will assume the fourth position. With the adjustments in roles and lineup, the team will not appear at ESL One Birmingham as originally planned next week, but will instead head to bootcamp for intense training and work for the TI8 open qualifiers scheduled to start in exactly one month —June 14th.
ESL is now in the process of finalizing a replacement team and will announce soon.
It was only three months ago —on the heels of one of the most surprising roster shuffles of the season, that Na'Vi was hoping to put all the drama behind them and make a serious run for TI8 qualifying points in the second half of the season. Finalizing their roster in enough time for the locks, the CIS team added longtime Serbian player LeBronDota who became the only non-Ukrainian player on the team. LeBronDota will return back to EPG, playing alongside former teammates once again.