Neslyn A. April 12, 2019
Natus Vincere captain Akbar "SoNNeikO" Butae will be benched temporarily.
For the team’s upcoming tournaments, Na ‘Vi tapped Mikhail “Misha” Agatov to stand in for the side. Misha will be playing for Na ‘Vi in two tournaments outside of the Dota Pro Circuit: ESL One Mumbai and the GG.BET Birmingham Invitational.
The reason behind this decision was revealed to be an ongoing health issue a recent press release.
“During the next three weeks, the team will play with a stand-in, as Akbar needs this time to solve the health issues. Note that this decision was made before the qualifiers, and is not connected with anything other than health,” said Na ‘Vi manager Igor "caff" Sydorenko.
Natus Vincere lost to Gambit Esports in the OGA Dota PIT Minor CIS Qualifier. Gambit advanced to the minor tournament where they will aim to take the last spot at the next Dota 2 major.
Na‘Vi started its Dota Pro Circuit run slowly. After a few roster shakeups, the team began to show promise even as it was now considered to be an underdog team.
With Virtus.pro dominating the CIS region, the second spot in the list of CIS teams is still a point of contention between several promising CIS sides. Virtus.pro tops not just the CIS region but also the current overall DPC rankings.
DPC minor tournaments have provided the biggest limelight for other CIS teams thus far. Na ‘Vi fought for another such opportunity but the results were lacking. The team has been more aggressive in recognizing its flaws and trying more actively to solve such problems through practice, preparation, and roster changes.
Gambit Esports has been a constant threat to Na‘Vi in DPC play and qualification. Currently, Gambit ranks 15th in the DPC rankings while Na‘Vi is ranked 16th. 12 teams will be directly invited to The International 2019 in Shanghai.
SoNNeikO will rejoin Na ‘Vi after ESL One Mumbai. As he is the team’s captain, this break could make a huge difference in the team’s direction and future results.