The phrase “Na’Vi is back” is often thrown around whenever the once absolutely amazing organization finds an inkling of form but then, like they did after The International 2013, they fade away again. But, this time it’s different – this time Natus Vincere have shown strength and determination. This time it’s TI.
Making it to The International 2019 was definitely no easy feat for any team but Na’Vi had to battle the treacherous waters of the CIS qualifiers – where teams that had proven themselves through the Dota 2 Pro Circuit were ready to shut them down. The group stages of the qualifier did not go perfectly for the CiS giants, but they managed to squeeze themselves into the playoffs – where it continued to look like it would be Vega Squadron who would take the spoils as them pushed Na’Vi into the lower bracket. But that is where we saw them come to life as they powered through – even beating Vega in the lower bracket finals before destroying WInstrike in the grand finals to conquer the CiS qualifier and head to The International 2019.
- Vladislav ‘Crystallize’ Krystanek
- Idan ‘MagicaL’ Vardanian
- Evgeniy ‘Blizzy’ Ree
- Bakyt ‘Zayac’ Emilzhanov
- Akbar ‘SoNNeikO’ Butaev
For four of the five players on the Na’Vi squad, this would be their first time entering the epic battlefield to fight for the coveted Aegis of Champions and even without Danil ‘Dendi’ Ishutin, this team is looking amazing.
Vladislav ‘Crystallize’ Krystanek
After many years alongside Na’Vi, a squad that suffered the true highs and lows of Dota 2, Crystallize can finally add TI to the list of events that he has attended. Having played in tournaments such as DreamLeague Season 8, The Bucharest Major and even EPICENTER XL, the player has definitely become somewhat of a household name among the teams faithful. During qualifiers, Crystallize was noted for his high tier Sven play, which he has always been known for – but he also impressed on the likes of Naga Siren and Wraith King too.
Idan ‘MagicaL’ Vardanian
When joining Na’Vi you know that you are about to become part of an amazing squad filled with history – for MagicaL, he had some massive shoes to fill when he was announced as the replacement to Dendi late last year. Almost instantly he was the talk of the community as he helped Na’Vi through the CIS open qualifier for the Kuala Lumpur Major and while they did not make it, he would go on to rally with the squad for an extremely admirable 2nd place at DreamLeague Season 10. While it has been a tough year, it is definitely clear that his first TI will be… MagicaL.
Evgeniy ‘Blizzy’ Ree
Another player that joined late in 2018 in the Na’Vi re-structuring was Blizzy, who also had massive shoes to fill in the off-lane position – taking the spot of Victor ‘GeneRaL’ Nigrini. Blizzy was already well-known in the CIS community, having played for Vega Squadron before joining the Na’Vi ranks. Since coming in, he has definitely shown his skills countless times and now the biggest stage of them all awaits him for the first time.
Bakyt ‘Zayac’ Emilzhanov
The most recent addition to the squad has been Zayac, having only entered in April of this year and also bringing in his past experience at Vega Squadron to the table. The young support performed amazingly through qualifiers and we’re sure to see him continue that at his first ever TI.
These four might be at their first ever TI, but they have the experience and brilliance of their captain and well-known Na’Vi stalwart, Akbar ‘SoNNeikO’ Butaev to guide them through the treacherous waters of an epic event. Is Na’Vi really back? We’ll only know for sure when The International 2019 kicks off in just under a month from Shanghai, China.
Don’t forget that you can find a ton of information on both the upcoming TI and previous TI events on our TI9 Hub – including a tracker for the prize pool that has already exceeded expectations. Alongside this we also have our ongoing competition for all of our readers – more information below.