A one-year path: Na`Vi.LoL in 2016
In early 2016 the CIS League of Legends welcomed the creation of a new regional League by Riot Games. The Continental League brought new life to the CIS scene: with new teams emerging, veterans gaining new stimulus and the region's big organizations getting interested in the discipline. Natus Vincere was one of the first big players to acquire LoL team, which subsequently become fourth best in CIS.
Following the new league announcement by Riot Games our organization signed the contract with one of the most powerful team of the time Dolphins of Wall Street. Dolphins were the champions of SLTV StarSeries Season III, and the runner-up of SLTV StarSeries Summer Split 2015 Finals.
Nonetheless, the team underwent changes as the support Kirill "Likkrit" Malofeev was replaced by Arthur "Skash" Ermolaev. At the same time it was decided to take Lithuanian mid laner Saulius "Saulius" Lukošius, who had played in Spanish championship before.
In a debut match Natus Vincere had to play against Hard Random — the CIS champion at the time. Unfortunately, the Born to Win couldn't defeat the rival. The failure however only the team of Ilya "Lasagna" Melkumov and it subsequently make a substantial win streak of 5 victories and made it to the top lines of the tournament table.
Afterwards, Na`Vi underwent the crises and couldn't find their play, which resulted in three losses to Team Empire, Just.MSI and Vaevictis eSports. Nevertheless, the team soon solved its inner problems and pleased everyone with new successes: four victories and only one loss. This enabled us to take third place in tournament table and provided the slot in the Continental League.
In the playoff Na`Vi was to play a bo-5 series against Team Empire that held second place in the tournament table. In the first two games Natus Vincere managed to defeat easily his rival, but then were defeated in 3 games. And Empire goes to the final.
The former captain of Natus Vincere Ilya "Lasagna" Melkumov comments the game:
"Recalling the game, I can say that we couldn't win due to a number of factors. We relaxed. As we led 2-0 we were absolutely sure, that we'll advance to the grand final. This influenced us. After 2 losses, Team Empire managed to find the "key" to our strategy while we couldn't rebuild quickly and change it. In the decide game we tried to fix it, but it was too late. We didn't ban Maokai, the toplaner of Team Empire was good at. It was the only hero the rival player was really good at. But we decided to base on the ban of other champions, which turned out to be a mistake".
The next day the Born to Win were to fight against Vega Squadron for thee Born to Win. However, the sharks defeated our team 2-0. The result was natural as after the encounter with Team Empire the players had lost their heart, which influenced the performance. The spring split ended on a low note, but the season hadn't been unsuccessful since Natus Vincere hit top 4 of CIS teams.
MVP of spring split
The best LCL player was Saulius "Saulius" Lukošius. The talented player Saulius made major contribution to the victory of the team over the various rivals. He made numerous risky moves, which most often resulted in beautiful frags.
- Saulius: "I am the best CIS midlaner"
- INFOGRAPHICS: Na`Vi at LCL
- 10 pieces of advice from Pro: Playing on top lane
Best games of Spring Split
MVP of summer split
Most fans would say that the MVP of summer split was Arthur "Skash" Ermolaev who had demonstrated incredible progress as a player and a shot caller. It was Arthur, who could create a moment for the team attack out of nothing, which enabled our team to cope with the most dangerous rivals.
Our team had two tense splits that every fan of the Born to Win will remember. Nonetheless, there's new season ahead, which promises to be even hotter than the previous one.
Natus Vincere enters the season 2017 with practically new roster: with 5 players leaving the team: Egor "Vincent Vega" Medvedev, Ilya "Lasagna" Melkumov, Rafael "Doxy" Adl Zarabi, Saulius "Saulius" Lukošius and Kirill "Aoi Haru" Kolupaev. It's hard to bid farewell to the players who were with Na`Vi for one year, but changes are inevitable when fighting for the top places.
Today our team comprises of Simon "Zvene" Svensson, Ruslan "Gumbeq" Pozdniakov, Sebastian "niQ" Robak, Vladislav "aMiracle" Scherbina and Arthur "Skash" Ermolaev. The roster will have to do significant job, earn the golden medals of the Continental League. Taking into account our past experience, the task doesn't seem to be unachievable.