A team that has always been in and around the top echelon of the Counter-Strike circuit, there was a time when Natus Vincere were a shoe-in to be one of the teams to be left standing towards the business end of major events.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen since. The addition of s1mple, which was to usher them into a new era of greatness, one which started with their first major title in a long while in the form of ESL One New York 2016.
Perhaps, problems started creeping in untimely and we saw Guardian leave the ship. After the paradigm shift and a few roster changes, the current Natus Vincere are a force to be reckoned with, albeit reliant too much on s1mple and electronic to produce the goods on the server.
Fans have been asking for change and there have been rumours circulating at different points in the recent past. We now attempt to build a roster that is capable of remedying the problem area, the over-reliance on s1mple and electronic.
1. Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
Obviously, the 2018 HLTV Player of the Year is a must-have if Natus Vincere wants to come anywhere near to the consistency that Astralis have shown in the past year or more. The Hybrid AWPer has shown that he can still step up more compared to his audacious record and rating in 2018, which is startling for the onlookers.
What he can do on the server is much much more than just pull his own weight and perhaps, of others as well. While there are several players who are capable of deciding a game when on song, s1mple is a player that is capable of doing so even when not in the best of forms, which makes him one of the best players in the circuit.
2. Denis “electronic” Sharipov
Nobody thought a Natus Vincere player would be able to emulate or come close to matching s1mple on the server. But, the former Flipside Tactics star has shown he can do that and more. Electronic had his jittery moments early on in his Na’Vi career. But, once settled, he found his groove and has not looked back since.
One of the raw aimers in the Circuit and perhaps, the best CIS player apart from s1mple. Natus Vincere needs to build their roster around the s1mple-electronic duo.
3. Egor “flamie” Vasilyev
Flamie struggled initially after electronic joined and especially when the former Flipside Tactics star started dominating the server. But, the Russian has since found his footing and has managed to bring his HLTV Rating to 1.06, thanks to his performances at IEM Katowice 2019 and few other events.
While s1mple and electronic are the power duo at Natus Vincere, Flamie has shown he can step up to the plate when either of the aforementioned stars are not feeling it and can be one of the carries on the server on his day. On normal days, he can still pull his own weight and is currently on an upward trajectory in terms of form.
4. Abay “Hobbit” Khasenov
A player that has been linked with a move to Natus Vincere previously as well, Hobbit is a Major winner and will command respect from s1mple. The former Gambit star has also tried his hand at being the In-game Leader and could be a vocal player within the team in terms of mid-game calls and in certain situations.
Hobbit is currently placed on the transfer list by HellRaisers and Natus Vincere could bring Hobbit in as an upgrade on Edward, who needs to be replaced.
5. Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov
While this could be a gamble, the 20-year-old’s performances at the Majors have shown he can be an Elite player in the right setting. Boombl4 could also be a refreshing change compared to Zeus, who despite being hailed as a tactical IGL, does not seem to be calling with confidence.
Once we go into the fragging side of things, it becomes an obvious choice. Boombl4 can pull his own weight and more. Also, the Winstrike star can be the secondary AWPer if needed, which would then liberate electronic, who has been purchasing the second AWP currently.
The aforementioned lineup not only packs a punch on paper but results in not a big gulf in terms of experience, with Hobbit a previous Major winner and Boombl4 having considerable experience under his belt now.
Boombl4 has proven he can build a team from scratch and can instil similar values and bring a similar playstyle on the server. The 20-year-old could be tasked with the same job at Na’Vi.