Scene: Natus Vincere have brought in Ladislav ‘GuardiaN’ Kovacs from FAZE Clan in an attempt to reinvigorate their lineup. Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev has transitioned into the ‘Assaulter’ role. Big things are expected from Na’Vi under Kirill ‘Boombl4’ Mikhailov, with Andrey ‘B1ad3’ Gorodenskiy there to lend a helping hand.
But, what was expected to be a dream lineup turned into a nightmare quickly. GuardiaN seemed like a shadow of his former self, missing simple shots and s1mple began seeping back into his old toxic days due to the frustration.
While they remained competitive, GuardiaN’s inconsistency was reflected in the team’s performance and with B1ad3 unable to bring upon an improvement in this atmosphere, a change was brought in. GuardiaN was removed from the active lineup and the search for a new fifth began.
Several names popped up, the noisiest chants coming for the then AVANGAR star Dzhami ‘Jame’ Ali. But, Natus Vincere had a serious challenge at hand; the challenge to reinvigorate s1mple. The Ukrainian still put up impressive numbers but seem to be lagging behind his competitors for the top spot since giving up the Big Green Gun. Be it a case of a shot to his confidence or out of frustration of not being able to help the team with the AWP, s1mple just wasn’t that effective without the AWP.
So, Na’Vi took the right and easy step of reinstating s1mple as the Primary AWPer. Now, onto the task of completing the active lineup. Many names were doing the rounds. There were reports of them practicing with Igor ‘Forester’ Bezotecheskiy, who currently plays for Hard Legion. Although, the Evgeny ‘FL1T’ Lebedev saga takes the cake as the most enticing event during Na’Vi’s search for fifth.
Natus Vincere and FL1T were reportedly both interested in making the move happen. But, the CIS organization had to back out after forZe quoted a ludicrous transfer price for the 19-year-old. The move did not end up happening and forZe’s statement in the aftermath was a thing of beauty.
forZe confirmed that Na’Vi had indeed enquired for FL1T but that the player was happy to stay put and honor the contract at his current team. The statement was ridiculed by esports experts and personalities on social media platforms.
Once this entire Macabre was put to a close, another name started doing the rounds, this time in the form of Ilya ‘Perfecto’ Zalutskiy. People put it as a toss-up between Forester and Perfecto. The statistics seem to prefer the former.
Na’Vi chose Perfecto and signed him from SYMAN. There were early hiccups, with ICE Challenge not really going their way and the start of BLAST Premier Spring Series 2020 was far from ideal. A 2-0 loss to Vitality and Natus Vincere were staring down the barrel of a direct elimination from BLAST Premier Spring 2020.
But, they rallied from it, beat Astralis and then went on to top their Group, exacting revenge against Vitality and then beating the surprise package, Complexity. What impressed people more was how Natus Vincere got those wins in the bag. We saw chemistry like never before. There was a development in their style of play and that reflected in the confidence they all had not just in the playbook but also in each other.
IEM Katowice though, showed just how powerful this Natus Vincere can be. On the back of just a few weeks of Bootcamp, the CIS giants outplayed teams at the event with ease, with the likes of G2 Esports and Astralis getting decimated in the semi-finals and finals respectively.
With an admirable buddy system in place and everyone on the same page, it seems that Perfecto was indeed the perfect addition to their roster. The victory on Mirage against G2 Esports was particularly pleasing and highlighted just why Perfecto was brought in.
In s1mple’s words,” I think all of our players have insane individual skill. All of our players are the same age, so we understand each other better outside and inside the game. “
Natus Vincere have two explosive players in electronic and s1mple. Boombl4 is very active on the map on the defence. flamie was the only anchor within the lineup. Perfecto’s arrival ensured stability on the other site while enabling electronic, s1mple and Boombl4 to play their game.
Perfecto is the calm to the chaos that the stars of Natus Vincere tend to revel in. B1ad3 could inculcate a structure within the play that allows the CIS giants to get the best of both worlds.
A man living his dream is dangerous because he just doesn’t want to wake up. To Perfecto, this is all a dream; to play under the tag of the biggest CIS organization in the history of the game; to play with two of the best players in the world.
When the Coronavirus outbreak cools down and the LAN events return, it will be up to Perfecto and Natus Vincere that this conglomeration has it all to maintain their #1 HlTV Ranking. The Natus Vincere era could have well begun and Perfecto’s addition will be the initiation point of it, if it does hold good.
Photos via HLTV.org & ESL