Ahead of the release of Dota 2, Ukrainian Counter-Strike organization Natus Vincere decided to step into the MOBA genre. Though the roster started as entirely Ukrainian, it changed several times in the months that followed. When Dota 2 finally arrived, Na`Vi would quickly establish itself as the best team in the game.
Making its Dota 2 debut at The International 2011, the team managed to defeat some of the top teams from China and southeast Asia to become the first winners of Dota 2’s premier event. What followed was three of the most successful years in the history of the game.
With a core consisting of Danil “Dendi” Ishutin, Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, and Alexander "XBOCT" Dashkevich, Na`Vi were the favorites for almost every event they competed in over these years. By winning many of the largest tournaments and leagues of Dota 2’s early history and reaching the grand finals of The International in both 2012 and 2013, the organization cemented itself as a Dota 2 dynasty.
Cracks started to show within the team ahead of The International 2014, and when the team finished in a disappointing eighth place, it led to the departure of Puppey after four strong seasons. That sparked an ugly and prolonged decline for Na`Vi.
While Puppey would quickly find his footing with Team Secret, Na`Vi endured a disastrous season defined by frequent roster changes, a quick elimination from The International 2015, and the retirement of XBOCT shortly after. This left Dendi as the only remaining member of the TI1-winning roster as the team unsuccessfully sought to rebuild around him.
A number of solid players were brought in to play with Dendi over the coming years, but no combination resulted in sustained success for the team. Though Na`Vi won a few notable events in the years that followed, the team was a far cry from what it had been in its heyday. The team finished last at TI6 and failed to qualify for either TI7 or TI8.
The failure to qualify for TI8 was the last straw for Na`Vi, as the team decided to remove Dendi from its active roster. Though the decision was understandably met with mixed reactions from fans, this did spark a bit of a resurgence from Natus Vincere.
The team performed well in a number of tournaments and qualified for The International 2019. This was followed by the official release of Dendi and a last-place finish at that event.
Despite returning to the upper echelons of Dota 2, another significant roster shakeup followed TI9 as the team deactivated captain Akbar "SoNNeikO" Butaev due to infighting among members of the team. The new roster is talented, and could be positioned for an upswing.