The story of Na'Vi – Part 2
Na’Vi is considered to be the greatest team to have never won a Major. A team that has attended every Major so far and has come up short every single time. Is it true that they are cursed and that's why they are not able to win it? A series of unfortunate events has plagued them on every Major so far. This is the second part of our story of Natus Vincere , so if you somehow missed the first part, check out how it all began.
Na'Vi’s Kryptonite: LDLC aka EnvyUs
The last Major of 2014 was DreamHack Winter and things looked good for this team. That was the tournament where one of the most dramatic matches happened in CS:GO history. We all remember the famous olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer Gustafsson boost on Overpass and the irregular win from fnatic against LDLC.
Team fnatic decided to forfeit that match and Na’Vi managed to avoid them in the semi-finals. Their new opponent was team LDLC.
It appeared that Na’Vi might have finally caught their lucky break, or so they thought. In the end, LDLC won that match, went to the grand finals and won that, too.
On the next Major – ESL One Katowice 2015 – team LDLC once again stopped them in the playoffs, only this time under the banner of EnvyUs.
Following their defeat, the team brought Egor "flamie" Vasilev just before the next ESL One Katowice. Na’Vi fought hard to reach the playoffs, and once again, they were head to head against the French roster of EnvyUs.
The next Major was DreamHack Cluj Napoca 2015 and Na’Vi got lucky enough to avoid EnvyUs until the very Grand Finals. That match was later remembered as a battle of the 2 best AWPers in the world – Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács versus Kenny "KennyS" Schrub. But alas, history was fated to repeat itself and EnvyUs won again.
MLG Columbus 2016 | The most dominant team collapses
MLG Columbus was probably the best Major this team ever played. Na’Vi managed to get into the Grand Finals without dropping a single map during the whole tournament. Everyone thought this is their time and they will most definitely win a Major. At the Grand Finals, they were playing against a little-known Brazilian squad called Luminosity gaming. The odds were, for the first time, on Na'Vi's side.
However, they crumbled under the pressure and they lost. That victory was the very start of Luminosity gaming’s dominance, a team that was later known as SK Gaming and MIBR.
It was later revealed that GuardiaN had a wrist injury and had to play with four times the sensitivity. He was devastated and so was the rest of the team. After the finals, he tweeted that the worst thing wasn’t losing but not being able to help your teammates.
The Golden Boy – s1mple
The Major in Cologne 2016 was something special for this team. Na'Vi didn’t have any problems during the group stage. However, in the playoffs, Na’Vi played against North American Team Liquid. Liquid had just acquired a young Ukrainian player going by Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and no one knew what he was capable of. S1mple singlehandedly defeated Na’Vi and kicked them out of the tournament.
After the drama at Cologne, Na’Vi made the smartest move they could. If you can’t beat him, just sign him over.
And there it was, s1mple was signed and Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko had to be benched. This new lineup with s1mple in it was just unstoppable.
Na'Vi had an explosive debut in ELEAGUE Major Atlanta. The group stage went very well with s1mple in the team, and they finally got their revenge and won against both EnvyUs and SK with dominating scores.
However, it was that year that Astralis came to the fore and sent them home after defeating them in the quarterfinals.
Why did Zeus leave?
The official reason for Zeus’s department was never published. However, Zeus was benched and he wanted to play. As he said, he wanted to win Major at any cost and he saw he can’t do it while playing for Na’Vi.
He went to play for Gambit. On the very next Major in Krakow, Na’Vi didn’t even go through the group stage while Zeus won that major with Gambit. What a cliché!
This five-time world champion with 16 years of career behind him even decided to write a book called “Against all odds”. The book is a classical autobiography where he talks about his time in Na’Vi and Gambit and it can be purchased on his official website.
Na’Vi during the Astralis era of dominance
As a matter of fact, Na’Vi did a great job in 2018. That was the year of Astralis’s dominance and still, the Ukrainians were ranked second, right behind Astralis. Although they had great results on many tournaments, they just performed badly on Majors. On Eleague Major Boston 2018, Na’Vi were eliminated by no one other than GuardiaN, their former teammate who was playing under the banner of FaZe Clan.
- READ MORE: The story of Astralis – Part 1
The second Major in that year was London Faceit Major and Na’Vi went there without any roster changes. As a third-placed team from a previous Major, they went directly to the New Legends stage. They lost only one map during the New Legends stage and that loss was against Astralis. No one else got even close to winning against them. In the playoffs, Na’Vi defeated BIG and MIBR, both teams without dropping a map. However, Astralis awaited for them in the Grand Finals and won again with 2-0 as the final result.
Two Majors were played in 2019 and Na’Vi lost in the playoffs both times. They are always at the top but never seem to prevail. Other teams come on go. Na’Vi are in the Top 10 since the very beginning and they are calmly waiting for their moment to shine.
Even without the Major title, their star player s1mple is still considered one of the best players in the world. He was 1st in 2018 and 2nd in 2019. If someone deserves a Major title, that is surely this player.
At the beginning of 2020, they were the first-placed team and the only team to manage to dethrone Astralis. However, Astralis are back on top looking stronger than ever. Can Na’Vi dethrone them again and take that Major? Only time will tell. That story is far from over.