NAVI Removes All Russian CS:GO Players From NAVI Junior and NAVI Youth
The Ukrainian organization has made changes to multiple CS:GO lineups.
One of the biggest esports organizations in the world, Natus Vincere (NAVI) has been vocal about supporting its home country Ukraine in the ongoing conflict with Russia. Though its operations were initially affected, following a short downtime NAVI has resumed its work once again.
Recently, Yevhen Zolotarov - CEO of NAVI made the following statement in regards to the future of the organization, "We (NAVI) are not going to work with people who live in Russia and who pay taxes to the Russian Federation".
This was followed by NAVI's star player Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev commenting on the future of the main CS:GO roster, "I think there will not be (any roster changes). I guess it will be okay, I hope it will be okay".
More information has now surfaced via the latest NAVI Junior interview where the host Yana Dichenko reveals that "All Russian players have been removed from the NAVI Junior and NAVI Youth".
All Russian CS:GO players from NAVI Junior and NAVI Youth have been removed by the Ukrainian organization
NAVI has taken a firm stance internally following Russia's invasion, with its CEO stating that they will not be working with anyone who lives in Russia and pays taxes to the Russian government.
Following up on this, the Ukranian organization has let go of all the Russian players that were a part of its academy team (NAVI Junior) and CS:GO development program for young upcoming talent (NAVI Youth).
Information about this change was initially announced by Yana Diachenko while hosting an interview with some NAVI Junior players, followed by an official statement by the organization as they bid farewell to the following CS:GO players from Russia,
Vladislav "latt1kk" Vydrin - NAVI Junior
Dmitry "fe2nk" Gladskikh - NAVI Junior
Vladislav "xiELO-" Lysov - NAVI Youth
In order to resume practice and continue competing so that other players on the respective teams are not affected, Rodion "fear" Smyk has returned to the NAVI Junior lineup while Artem "kensizor" Kapran has been selected to complete the NAVI Youth roster.
Commenting on these changes, NAVI Junior's coach Amiran "ami" Rekhviashvili has gone on to state that "Our doors have always been open to talented young players from our region, regardless of nationality, or political views. For me, only gaming skills and human qualities have always been of substance. There has been a belief that esports stays out of politics - yes, it does, but esports cannot stay out of war".
He further said that every player was offered relocation to another country in order for them to continue playing under NAVI. However, due to the young age of the academy players this was a big problem, so for now NAVI will focus on working with only Ukrainian players.
The current NAVI Junior team is as follows,
Rodion "fear" Smyk
Daniil "headtr1ck" Valitov
Andrey "nipl" Kukharsk
Mark "UNBR0KEN" Warakuta
The current NAVI Youth team is as follows,
Dmitry "dem0N" Miroshnichenko
Adam "froz1k" Nagorny
Artyom "kensizor" Kapran