The Curse of Na’Vi Remains
Superstar players s1mple and electronic are held back by their new teammate
Following a semi-final exit at the ESL Pro League Season 10 semifinals, it has become clear that Russian CSGO giant Na’Vi has a glaring weakness. That weakness is the teams AWPer, GuardiaN. The play of GuardiaN has limited the success of s1mple, electronic, flamie, and boombl4, who make up an amazing young core that could win many championships in years to come. But with GuardiaN at the helm, things may play out much different.
S1mple is a generational talent. He may end up going down as the greatest player to ever play the game. But he has a habit of consistently getting himself into situations where his teammates can’t lift their weight within the team, which has prevented s1mple from getting the accolades he deserves. For the majority of his time on Na’Vi, s1mple had to play alongside Zeus and Edward, two very old players on the verge of retirement. Edward consistently lost positions he was trusted with, and Zeus had extremely bad mechanical play, getting below 10 kills in more than a few games. Having two below-average teammates dragged s1mple down quite a bit, as he had never won a Major he attended with the team.
This changed when the team announced the additions of GuardiaN and boombl4. Boombl4 was a young IGL in training and had been studying underneath Zeus for quite a bit of time. GuardiaN was coming off a two-year tenure with FaZe, where after reaching a major final, proceeded to kick the IGL that gave them their identity. GuardiaN was a veteran and had a very high skill ceiling under the right conditions. He has struggled with motivation issues in the past, which was the reason he was originally kicked from Na’Vi in 2016. This change was meant as a means of bringing the CIS Region back to the top. Each player was mechanically skilled at their roles, and all had played in a Major. When the new iteration of Na’Vi began to play, things began to quickly change for the team.
GuardiaN has regressed quite a bit, averaging less than a 1.02 rating in the last three events he has attended. The fact that he is putting up support player numbers as a carry threat is nerve-wracking, as the team loses an entire aspect of the game. Na’Vi is unable to play around their sniper, as he consistently misses easy shots. Along with this, s1mple had more success with the AWP during the teams run at ESL Pro League Season 10. S1mple has a much higher skill ceiling with the weapon and was moved off of the AWP to accommodate for GuardiaN, which has turned out to be a mistake.
With their recent loss to Fnatic, the team should look at either putting s1mple back on the AWP or switching GuardiaN for another CIS AWPer. Na’Vi is limiting themselves from success and could suffer greatly as a result.