Na’Vi changes Dota 2 roster ahead of ESL One Birmingham online

Steven Rondina • May 23, 02:27

Natus Vincere is pinning its hopes on a former Vega Squadron captain. But not the one they’ve been playing with for the last few months.

The organization announced the signing of Vitaliy “so bad” Oshmankevich to a trial contract with the team. He replaces Semion “CemaTheSlayer” Krivulya after just two months on Na’Vi’s roster.

Though CemaTheSlayer has performed well, logistical difficulties and an inability to properly boot camp were pointed to as the reasons for his departure.

“First, we want to thank Semion for his response to the call for help…during this period we were unable to set up effective communication in the current roster, which is by far more difficult to do online with no bootcamps…The date shift of The International and the tournament ecosystem gives a perfect opportunity to test new players and the synergy amongst them,” Na’Vi COO Aleksey Kucherov said in a statement.

New addition so bad doesn’t have the pedigree of CemaTheSlayer, but he is still an interesting pick for Natus Vincere. The Belarusian popped up on the European and CIS tier-three scene in 2017 with The Brestomans, winning a number of online leagues. 

He took a big step forward last year by signing with Vega Squadron, after which the team nearly qualified for The International 2019. He left during the ensuing roster shuffle and landed at Team Unique, which then underwent a number of further roster changes. so bad continued to be a force in the regional Dota 2 scene with Team Unique, but performed poorly against more credible competition. He left on April 1, and has been without a team since.

so bad faces huge test with new team Natus Vincere

so bad is set to face a massive jump in quality of competition. With much of his career spent competing against journeymen in qualifiers, he is instead on pace to fight former The International champions and other established elites.

That’s a big question mark when it comes to Na’Vi’s prospects in upcoming events, but it was quite clear that the current arrangement wasn’t working. 

CemaTheSlayer helped Na’Vi earn a spot in ESL One Los Angeles when the event was still a Dota 2 major. The months since haven’t been kind to the popular Dota 2 team, with Na’Vi consistently struggling to find wins in online events.

so bad’s debut with the team won’t be an easy one, as he will face Team Nigma in the ESL One Birmingham league.

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