The former captain of Na’Vi will not have his contract renewed by the CIS organization.
Just two days after announcing a trade with fellow CIS organization Virtus.pro, Na’Vi are once again in the news in the Dota 2 world due to roster changes. Today, the CIS squad announced that support player and captain Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev would not have his contract renewed and is set to become a free agent on February 28. Because of this contract status, SoNNeikO will have to have his contract bought out by another team or negotiate an early release with Na’Vi in order to join another squad before Valve’s open roster period ends.
SoNNeikO has been a part of the Na’Vi squad for nearly a year, having been brought onto the roster back in April of 2017. This most recent stint with the CIS squad was not SoNNeikO’s only run with Na’Vi however, as the Russian support had also been a member for of the Na’Vi lineup from 2015 to 2016. He has served as the team’s captain for around seven months, having taking over those duties from Per Anders Olsson “Pajkatt” Lille following the Swede’s departure from the team. SoNNeikO leaves Na’Vi as a two time TI participant as well as a valuable player with both Pro Circuit experience and Qualifying Points to contribute to a squad (105 Qualifying Points).
For Na’Vi, the move clears the way for the addition of a new player to complete the team’s roster. Though the rumor mill has already gone to work, the organization itself says that its new player has already been decided on, and an announcement is due to come around February 5th near the roster lock deadline. The question of who will serve as the new captain of the squad has not been answered as of yet, with both the currently signed players and the mysterious new addition all potentially being candidates for that role. Overall, Na’Vi’s recent changes could have a significant impact on the team, but the organization has to believe that these moves will help lift Na’Vi up into that upper echelon of Pro Circuit squads and allow the CIS team to move towards securing a spot at The International 2018.
The roster of Na’Vi following the departure of SoNNeikO:
- Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek (Carry)
- Danil “Dendi” Ishutin (Mid)
- Victor “GeneRaL” Nigrini (Offlane)
- Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk (Support)