The legendary CIS organization has announced sweeping changes to its lineup heading into the Pro Circuit season.
Just a few short days after Fedor “velheor” Rusikhin has revealed to have left the lineup of Na’Vi, the CIS organization has announced its new roster for the new Pro Circuit season. The changes are significant for the team, as just 1 member of its previous lineup will be remaining with the organization as the roster has been almost completely overhauled. Carry player Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek has been retained by the organization, while midlaner Danil “Dendi” Ishutin, offlaner Victor “GeneRaL” Nigrini, and support player Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk have all been released to free agency. Also leaving the organization is the team’s coach and former player, Alexander “XBOCT” Dashkevich. In their place, the organization has announced that free agents Idan MagicaL Vardanyan and Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev have been added to the roster, while Evgeniy “Blizzy” Ree has been acquired from fellow CIS squad Vega Squadron. These roster moves leaves Na’Vi with a roster of 4 players, with a 5th member ostensibly set to be announced sometime in the coming days.
For the now former members of Na’Vi, there are around 2 weeks left for them to secure a new squad in time to register for the Pro Circuit season, and as of right now it is unclear if any of the players have plans to stay together moving forward. Rumors had already been circulating about GeneRaL having a new team lined up, but for the other former Na’Vi players, there appear to be no concrete plans that we know of. Dendi will have to find a new squad for the first time in his Dota 2 career, as he has only ever played for Na’Vi in his 8 years in the game. Meanwhile, Lil will be on the look out for a new squad as well after spending parts of last season with both Na’Vi and Virtus.pro. Considering the position that VP is in at the moment, it doesn’t necessarily appear that a return to his former squad is in the cards at the moment, which would most likely mean that the support player will be headed for a team like Vega Squadron or Team Empire, or will perhaps be creating his own squad to compete this season. As for XBOCT, the future is not entirely clear, as the former Na’Vi coach still has a number of options available to him. He could find another position as a coach within the CIS region, or could return to active play for a new team as well. Also a possibility for the veteran is a full transition into a broadcasting role, as he has served as a analyst and occasional caster for the Russian broadcast at a number of events.
As for the new-look Na’Vi, it’s hard to truly get a read on how well the squad could perform with its new roster. First and foremost, said roster is not yet complete, as Na’Vi still have to officially announce its final player. For now though, it appears clear the the plan is to build around Crystallize with a nucleus of young, but already somewhat experienced talent. Just as it was last season, the CIS region appears to be a case of Virtus.pro against everyone else, leaving the path to a top spot in the region open for Na’Vi if it can outperform squads like Team Empire and Winstrike Team.
The new roster of Na’Vi:
Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek (Carry)
Idan MagicaL Vardanyan (Mid)
Evgeniy “Blizzy” Ree (Offlane)
Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev (Support, Captain)