One year path: Na`Vi.HotS
Natus Vincere's Heroes of the Storm team has been active for about nine months now. Over this time, the Born to Win have undergone reshuffles, triumphs and failures, crowned by the first place in Europe and the world's top 4.
Speaking of 2015 in the history of our line-up, we can't help mentioning the year in the history of the discipline. Indeed, Heroes of the Storm has undergone a long way from closed beta-testing to the full-scale esports title for the past twelve months. Along with the official release of the game on 2 June, the first World Championship was held. The format of the event was quite unusual, for each region had unique system, though passing the qualifiers was required to get to the championship.
Along with Heroes of the Storm establishment as eSports title, Natus Vincere's team was growing and developing. Now, on the eve of New Year, it's time to recall the way, the Born to Win have passed this year.
The first Heroes of the Storm line-up of Natus Vincere was announced on 3 April 2015, before the official release of the game. It was team tomorrow big, which became Na`Vi. It consisted of Lachezar "cilium" Kochev, Aleksandar "ethernal" Milanov, Pontus "Breez" Sjogren, Lyubomir "Splendour" Kozlovski and Simon "scHwimpi" Svensson. The team had been remarkable for regular victories at the weekly championships of Go4Heroes Europe Cup and ZOTAC Heroes of the Storm Cup.
New Na`Vi.HotS began very well. It took third place at the very first tournament they participated in, namely Enter The Storm first season. The loss was duly analyzed, and the team began working twice as hard to prepare to the upcoming DreamHack Tours 2015. Meanwhile the Born to Win continued participating in tournaments and won second place twice. Both time our team was defeated by Team Liquid, which was unsurpassable then.
The performance at DreamHack Tours 2015 became the turning point in the history of the team. Natus Vincere won at the grand tournament for the first time and so to say claimed to be as one of the best teams in Europe. Anyway, it was the first French DreamHack, when the team understood the necessity to change, which resulted in the first reshuffle.
Wind of change
Lachezar "cilium" Kochev was the first to leave the team. He was replaced by Jerom "JayPL" Trinh, who had been playing in MadCorps Gaming before. The renewed Na`Vi.HotS showed themselves at Enter The Storm, though managed to take only fourth place, having been defeated in the lower brackets by their principle rival Team Liquid. Next was summer Turtle Beach DreamHack All-Stars, held in Jönköping, Sweden. Again, Natus Vincere stopped two steps from the victory, having been defeated by Polish team G2 in the final of the lower brackets. It became clear that our team lacked time to reach the top of its shape.
During the next month the team was actively training and practicing. Natus Vincere passed the qualifiers of DreamHack Valencia great, got to top3 at MatchArena Open #3 and won StormGrounds July Invitational, having at last defeated Team Liquid. DreamHack Valencia became true trial for our team. Notwithstanding few teams participating, the battle was really epic. Four participants of the event was top5 in Europe according to gosugamers. The Born to Win proved their high level of performance, having won second place. The achievement was very good indeed.
Notwithstanding good results in Valencia, the team underwent reshuffles once again. This time, Pontus "Breez" Sjorgen left the team. The team was in a hard situation due to his decision and decided to take a risk. The Swedish player was replaced by Alexander "AlexTheProG" Grumstrup, who wasn't as renown then. Though the decision seemed arguable then, turned out to begin a new page in the history of our team. In about a week, Natus Vincere vanished all the rival at July qualifiers of HWC 2015.
Unfortunately, the guys didn't manage to keep this kind of performance. After successful group stage of WCA European qualifiers, Natus Vincere lost two matches in a row in playoff and left the tournament, not having achieved the slot in Chinese tournament. Next was fourth place at 2015 HWC — August Europe Open and two weak performances at StormGrounds September Invitational and Enter The Storm — Europe Cup #3. The results of the team seemed quite terrifying. In less than 2 month before the European Championship, the team failed to perform well. Furthermore, the Born to Win took a month and a half break and didn't participate in any tournaments.
Back to the top
After a short vacation, Natus Vincere gathered for the bootcamp in Kyiv, training on the daily basis and attempting to fix the communication in the team. By the end of the training season, the team was in good mood. Their main goal was the victory at 2015 HWC — Europe Championship. However, it was hard to say how the bootcamp influenced the level of performance.
Our team got back on stage in Prague, at the European tournament. The Born to Win weren't considered to be the favourites, as opposed to Team Liquid, which was still powerful rival and claimed the first place. However, what happened in Prague on 2-4 October will long be remembered by all the fans of Heroes of the Storm. Our guys practically eliminated all the rivals with the victory in four matches, the series of ten maps without defeats and impressive new tactics. Our team went to California as the favourite of the tournament, many analysts and fans predicting the Born to Win would become World Champion.
New Year — new enforcement
Notwithstanding fair result at the event, the team failed to retain stability. It was decided to reshuffle once again. As a result, Natus Vincere left the professional scene for about a month and a half. The return was bright. The Born to Win took first place at the fourth qualifying stage of Enter The Storm #4 and won second place at Heroes Battle Arena. As per moment, our line-up is searching for an optimal roster and preparing to the upcoming major tournament. That's the recapitulation of 2015 for our Heroes of the Storm team. Now it's time for some figures.