A FLASHBACK INTO THE PAST
Let’s stop for a moment and go back all the way to the last International. In one of the biggest events of eSports of all time, Na’Vi managed to enter the main event with an invite. However, unable to adapt to the short game deathball meta, Na’Vi was only able to secure 8th position before being eliminated, making it the only International in which they didn’t make it to the Grand Finals.
As Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov and Kuro ‘KuroKy’ Salehi left the squad, some people were calling it the end of an era… but was it? Maybe it was the beginning of a new one, that Na’Vi was hoping for.
After Ti4, Na’Vi started facing some difficulties as their stable roster was no more. They lost their balance for a short bit as team synergy couldn’t be established within the players. Although they performed well in Excellent Moscow Cup Season 2 as well as Dota 2 Champions League Season 4, something surely felt a bit off. Na’Vi went out on the hunt for pro players, recruiting VANSKOR and fng in the process. A few more shuffles took place here and there, which included Goblak and DkPhobos. Problems in the roster became more apparent when Gleb ‘Funn1k’ Lipatnikov left the team.
NEW ROSTER AND ROAD TO TI5
As a wise man once said, “Never let a stumble in the road, be the end of the journey”. With this in mind, Na’Vi put their limits to the test, focusing more on training and polishing the player roster, which in turn improved their synergy and provided the team with a much needed proper and experienced captain and drafter. In the end, this turned out to be their line-up for ‘The International 2015’:
Alexander «XBOCT» Dashkevich Danil «Dendi» Ishutin
Gleb «Funn1k» Lipatnikov
Akbar «SoNNeikO» Butaev
Ivan «ArtStyle» Antonov
This new roster proved themselves to be diligent when they got second place at the ASUS ROG DreamLeague Season 3 only a month later. This also marked the return of former players Funn1k, and ArtStyle, who was one of the original members of the Dota 2 squad during its creation, taking on the position of the captain. SoNNeikO was also recruited as a support player. This placed VANSKOR in a reserve slot, as he was facing a long term illness and was unable to compete.