Natus Vincere is planning to celebrate its two IEM Katowice championships in a very special way.
Na`Vi’s win at IEM Katowice 2020 happened almost 10 years to the day after the last time Natus Vincere hoisted a major IEM trophy, marking its first win ever in the Spodek Arena. But today’s Na`Vi roster is very different from the one that defeated Fnatic 2-0 to win the Intel Extreme Masters Season IV World Championship all the way back in 2010. Na`Vi’s 2010 roster included some of the CIS region’s most famous names in longtime Na`Vi CSGO coach Sergey “starix” Ischuk, Arseniy “ceh9” Trynozhenko, Yegor “markeloff” Markelov, Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev and, of course, the divisive Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko.
Zeus spent more than seven years with Na`Vi before he left the roster and joined Gambit Esports. Eight short months later, Gambit won the 2017 PGL Kraków Major and gave Zeus something he never managed to bring home to Na`Vi. Some fans saw Zeus’s Major win with Gambit as a betrayal. Others couldn’t blame him. With or without him, Na’Vi has continually had up-and-down results.
It’s possible that Zeus, often blamed by fans and analysts for Na`Vi’s inconsistent performances in CSGO, was never to blame at all.
Scheduled for August 1, Natus Vincere’s Na`Vi 2010 vs. Na`Vi 2020 matchup will also mark the first time that current Na`Vi legend Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev will be in the same server with his former in-game leader since Zeus returned to Na`Vi after his Major win. Zeus spent another year with Na`Vi before retiring in September 2019, telling HLTV.org that he “missed the game, but I understand that my days are over.” The celebration was originally planned to take place at IEM Katowice. Preparations were made to have Zeus hand over Katowice’s trophy as Na`Vi demolished everyone in their path.
But Zeus never got to present Na`Vi with its IEM Katowice trophy due to the global lockdown. When asked about his feelings that Zeus wasn’t able to make it to Katowice, s1mple was visibly frustrated with Zeus in a post-event interview. He’ll get his chance to take it to his IGL in the server in August, but fans really shouldn’t give the win to Na`Vi’s current roster so easily.
Natus Vincere’s 2010 roster is one of Counter-Strike’s most successful teams of all time, only matched recently in both firepower and Major wins by Astralis. Though now a roster of retirees, tagalongs, and coaches, the 2010 roster that will face off against s1mple and company is famously the only one in CS history to have won three major CS tournaments in a single year: IEM Season IV, ESEW 2010, and WCG 2010. With CSGO’s current professional landscape unsettled, even this matchup can’t be seen as a slam dunk for the younger squad.
This will be the 2010 roster’s second showmatch after winning its debut in May against a team full of prominent CIS streamers. That game wasn’t even close, with Na`Vi 2010 winning the best-of-five series 3-1. There’s real potential that the Na`Vi of today still has something to learn from the Na`Vi of yesterday but fans will have to wait to find out exactly what that lesson might be when Na`Vi 2010 meet Na`Vi 2020 on August 1st, hosted on Natus Vincere’s official Twitch channel.