The popular organization suffered a viral outbreak in its Dota 2 team, forcing Andrii “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko and Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko off the roster for the event. As a result, the organization has tapped Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev and Andrey “Mag” Chipenko to stand in for the tournament. This means that Na`Vi will compete with the following lineup for the Singapore Major:
The substitutions are awkward for a number of reasons.
RAMZES666 is one of the CIS region’s most credentialed players, winning five majors with Virtus.pro with many of those feats coming alongside RodjER. His most recent gig came with Just Error alongside a number of his former Virtus.pro teammates.
Though there’s no question that RAMZES666 remains a highly skilled player, he steps into a less than ideal circumstance. He will be playing as the mid laner for the team, a position he has minimal experience with after spending the bulk of his career as a carry and his last proper pro season as an offlaner. He has very little time to adjust, as Na`Vi will start competing in the Singapore Major in just nine days, with a good chunk of that time being dedicated to traveling out to Singapore.
Mag is at least more familiar with the team, but he may also be a tough fit. The Ukrainian has been serving as Na`Vi’s coach since 2018 and hasn’t played professionally during that time save for a pair of stand-in gigs. He’s familiar with the team and helped them look very strong in the ESL One CIS League, but Mag will have little time to shake off any rust from nearly a year without a pro game.
Even if Na`Vi was coming in at full strength, the ONE Esports Singapore Major would be a very stiff challenge for the team. Only the top eight teams are going to receive Dota Pro Circuit points towards a spot in The International 10 and making that mark will require Natus Vincere to survive a group stage that will include the following teams:
The field will be rounded out by two teams from the wildcard stage, which includes the likes of Team Nigma, Vici Gaming, PSG.LGD, and Team Liquid. There won’t be any easy outs in this high-stakes tournament, and this roster trouble seriously hinders Na`Vi’s abilities to advance deep into the tournament.
The Singapore Major starts on March 27 with the wildcard stage, a round-robin series involving teams that placed third and fourth in certain Dota Pro Circuit leagues with two teams advancing. The event will continue on March 29 with the group stage, which will involve the second-place finishers from each DPC league and will see six teams advance. The final stage is the playoffs, which begins on March 30 and includes all the first-place finishers from each DPC league.