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.


Spring split

Following the new league announcement by Riot Games our organization signed the contract with one of the most powerful team of the time Russian FederationDolphins 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 Russian Federation Kirill "Likkrit" Malofeev was replaced by Russian Federation Arthur "Skash" Ermolaev. At the same time it was decided to take Lithuanian mid laner Lithuania Saulius "Saulius" Lukošius, who had played in Spanish championship before.  


In a debut match UkraineNatus Vincere had to play against Russian FederationHard Random — the CIS champion at the time. Unfortunately, the Born to Win couldn't defeat the rival. The failure however only the team of Russian FederationIlya "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, UkraineNa`Vi underwent the crises and couldn't find their play, which resulted in three losses to Russian FederationTeam EmpireRussian FederationJust.MSI and Russian FederationVaevictis 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 UkraineNa`Vi was to play a bo-5 series against Russian FederationTeam Empire that held second place in the tournament table. In the first two games Ukraine 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 UkraineNatus Vincere Russian Federation 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 Russian FederationVega Squadron for thee Born to Win. However, the sharks defeated our team 2-0. The result was natural as after the encounter with Russian FederationTeam 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 UkraineNatus Vincere hit top 4 of CIS teams. 


MVP of spring split

The best LCL player was Lithuania 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.  



Interesting materials

Best games of Spring Split


Summer split

Before the beginning of LCL UkraineNatus Vincere decided to change toplaner. SwedenZvene was replaced by DenmarkDoxy, who had been a stand-in in Russian FederationVega Squadron. Compared to other rosters, Na`Vi passed the offseason without substantial changes. This factor was to help the team to reach the top of the tournament table.


Unfortunately, before the beginning of the first week, it was announced that UkraineNatus Vincere would spend their first matches without their captain Russian Federation Ilya "Lasagna" Melkumov, who was temporary replaced with Russian FederationAoi Haru. The fans kept hoping the team would manage to win at least one of the two games. The lack of Ilya hitting the roster's performance severely, the team lost both matches. The start wasn't catastrophic, though. The captain returned to his team. Eventually it turned out that the problems of UkraineNatus Vincere lied deeper.


On the second week the return of the fans' favourite Russian FederationLasagna was announced and the fans regained the hope. In the very first match Na`Vi defeated InternationalGambit eSports — the contender to the playoff. The victory raised spirit of both fans and players, but alas it was followed by the loss on the next day. Afterwards, UkraineNatus Vincere had a line of bad luck. We were close to not advancing to the playoff. It became obvious that the team isn't able to solve the inner problems on its own. That moment Russian FederationLasagna decided to invite Russian Federation Boris "dayruin" Scherbakov as a coach. 



The invitation of a coach had natural reason: in the mid season it became increasingly hard to secure the spot in the final. Russian Federation dayruin was the former player of Russian FederationTeam Differential he had also acted as a captain and a strategist in every team he'd played. In Na`Vi Russian Federationdayruin was to solve a number of problems that impeded the team to move on. He managed to do it. The teamplay improved significantly: the quantity of mistakes decreased and the players became more disciplined in the late game.


Boris also changed the shot caller of the team: choosing Russian FederationSkash instead of Russian FederationLasagna. This helped the captain of the team perform much better and shine brightly in the matches, as he didn't need to coordinate the actions of the players. Meanwhile Russian FederationSkash fit perfectly to new role. As a result UkraineNa`Vi took fourth place and got the spot in the playoff. In the end of the season Na`Vi managed to defeat Russian FederationAlbus NoX Luna, which was considered unbreakable in the CIS.


"Our advancement to the playoff is 90% due to Russian Federationdayruin", said Russian FederationVincent Vega in the end of the season. Trully, few people would argue he's the one of the best CIS coaches. Riot also aknowledged that and nominated Boris to the Best CIS coach. 


In the playoff our first rival was Russian FederationVega Squadron. Before the final UkraineNatus Vincere players had been practicing for several weeks at the Kyiv bootcamp, which was to help our team defeat the "sharks". Nonetheless, the match didn't go as expected. Vega defeated our team in the first 2 games, followed by a splendid comeback by Na`Vi 2-2. However, the rival managed to push to the end and win the match 3-2. Our team stopped one step away from the final. 


MVP of summer split

Most fans would say that the MVP of summer split was Russian FederationArthur "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. 



Interesting materials


Best matches



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. 


The manager of Natus Vincere League of Legends Belarus Yaroslav "NightEnd" Klochko:


"Despite the absence of titles in 2016, I don't consider the team's performance in 2 seasons of LCL to be a failure. In spring we took fourth position and in summer we took 3rd position. The scene is growing, with new teams and players emerging, the competitions increases. It seems to me that the offseason of 2016 was the hardest one for CIS rosters. Our minimum-task for 2017 is not to drop below the results we achieved in 2016. However, we aim and aspired to win and achieve the best result!".


Natus Vincere enters the season 2017 with practically new roster: with 5 players leaving the team: Russian Federation Egor "Vincent Vega" Medvedev, Russian Federation Ilya "Lasagna" Melkumov, Denmark Rafael "Doxy" Adl Zarabi, Lithuania Saulius "Saulius" Lukošius and Russian Federation Kirill "Aoi Haru" Kolupaev. It's hard to bid farewell to the players who were with UkraineNa`Vi for one year, but changes are inevitable when fighting for the top places. 


Today our team comprises of SwedenSimon "Zvene" Svensson, Russian Federation Ruslan "Gumbeq" Pozdniakov, Poland Sebastian "niQ" Robak, Ukraine Vladislav "aMiracle" Scherbina and Russian FederationArthur "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. 


AuthorEloveana Date 3 January 2017, 11:33 Views453 Comments0
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