Na'Vi vs. Empire - now in distance duel

General Christoph “malnor” Helbig

Empire vs. Na'Vi - the repetitive duel ever since October. Now we're running into another duel between Russia and Ukraine in GosuLeague, but this time, it's in a distance duel.

The favorites for GosuLeague Season 5 are set: Na'Vi and Empire both sit on 8 points after five matches. They won three times, tied against one other team, and shared points in the direct match on playday 1.

With two playdays still to go, there are no competitors for first place left. Both Kaipi and mousesports are left with just 5 points, meaning their chances are only theoretical.

GosuLeague Season 5 Div 1 Standings - Top 4
1Ukraine Na'Vi58-2
2Russia Empire58-2
3Europe Kaipi55-5
4Germany mousesports55-5

It's a distance showdown in GosuLeague, as the two favorites already played against each other. In two matches the two Eastern European teams have played with full rosters and shared points eventually.

Apart from the direct match, Na'Vi has also shared points with German team mousesports, while Empire lost a single map against Swedish team Pulse. Now both teams only have two matches left: Four maps, they need to win at least the same amount of maps as the other team in order to maintain a chance for the first place.

Team dd from Denmark plays a critical role in this race for the top: Both teams have to face dd, former MYM, in the remaining playdays. Additionally, Na'Vi will face Shz, also from Sweden, and Empire will play against mousesports.

dd, mouz and Shz decide on GosuLeague winner

For all three opposing teams dd, mouz and Shz, there's still a lot to gain from giving the favorites Empire and Na'Vi a tough time: dd and Shz are currently in 7th and 8th position, though with less matches than the other teams in Division 1. With this outcome, they would be downgraded to Division 2 in the next GosuLeague season. mousesports still has a chance to reach Top 3, if they top Kaipi, against which they also shared points.

A podium position in GosuLeague Division 1 means $1,000 prize money, and for mousesports also a continuation of their podium streak: in Seasons 2, 3 and 4 the team has reached second, first and third place respectively.

GosuLeague Season 5 Div 1 Standings - Bottom 4
5Kazakhstan NEXT.kz54-6
6Sweden Pulse64-8
7Denmark dd32-4
8Sweden Shz42-6

Na'Vi against Empire, this has been a competition frequently seen in the past months since the International. It was StarSeries Season 3 when team Empire, with Scandal and Blowyourbrain, made their breakthrough and topped the regular phase of that season. In the finals of SLTV in October however, Na'Vi fought back and defeated Empire first in group phase 2-0 and later on in the grand final 3-1. For Na'Vi, that was the third StarLadder offline first place in a row. And Empire at the same time, got denied their first big victory.

At DreamHack Winter Corsair Vengeance Cup, both teams got seeded into different groups, but both teams got knocked out of the tournament by later finalist teams: Na'Vi in quarter finals by Evil Geniuses and Empire in semi finals by NoTidehunter. In Thor Open, both Na'Vi and Empire teams did not participate. In the currently running fourth Season of StarSeries, both teams are among the top 4 again and will, for sure in case of NaVi, most likely in case of Empire, participate in the offline finals in Kiev 20-23 December.

Recent tournament results Na'Vi and Empire
EventUkraine Na'ViRussia EmpireDirect results
GosuLeague Season 41st1st (Div 2B)DNP
SLTV Season 31st2nd0-1, 2-0, 3-1
DreamHack Winter5th-8th3rd-4thDNP
SLTV Season 4TBD (curr. 1st)TBD (curr. 3rd)1-0, TBD
The Premier LeagueDNPTBD (curr. 1st)DNP

DNP = Did Not Play, TBD = To Be Determined

The fact that Empire is fighting now for first place and $2,500 prize money in GosuLeague Season 5 also shows how fast you can progress in GosuLeague: After getting invited into Season 3 Division 2B, the team scored a second place behind Kaipi in their personal premier Season in GosuLeague. After that they won Season 4's Division 2B and are now fighting for the overall victory already.

Na'Vi, which were invited to Division 2 at the same time as Empire, made it even faster, already winning GosuLeague Division 1 in October and now trying to defend the title. If both teams Empire and Na'Vi remain on equal amount of points until the end of the season, a diciding extra best-of-three will be needed to determine the overall winner. The same counts for mousesports and Kaipi in their respective race for place three in the season.

Christoph “malnor” Helbig
Malnor is former Editor-in-chief of, now a guest editor for Dota 2 and general eSports topics.