10 years with NAVI: Counter-Strike

CS2 / News / 17 December 2019 — 14:27

10 years — Natus Vincere!

In this article, we recall of establishing the ua NAVI Counter-Strike line-up, the incredible achievements of 2010, the difficulties with the transition to a new version of the game, the search for new ways for the development of the team, and much more.

Establishing an organization

The Counter-Strike team's journey should begin with the history of the ua Natus Vincere organization. After all, it was CS players who were at the origin of the Born to Win team. We know that the idea of creating ua NAVI belonged to Murat Zhumashevich, better known by his nickname Arbalet, who turned to ua starix for help in finding players. Here's what Sergey said about that time and situation:

uaSergey "starix" Ischuk

“Our team lost the competition, we also did not differ in anything and wandered in disappointed feelings. After the championship, a man came up to me who organized it, gave me the phone and said that the boss wants to talk to me. I picked up the phone and heard the Arbalet's voice: "Hello, ua starix, I want to invite you to create a Ukrainian team with Ukrainian players." I was a little lost in space and did not really understand what was happening. He was telling me a lot of things, but I didn't hear anything. "

Arbalet promised the guys good salaries, travel financing, and all current expenses. At first, the team was called ua ArbaletUA, but after a while, the guys decided to change the name and asked the fans to help them with this. One of the Portuguese fans suggested “Natus Vincere”, which in Latin means “born to win”. And so began the path of the legendary five, which then conquered the whole world in 2010 ...

Treble of 2010

For the first time, the world saw the Born to Win on January 30–31, at Arbalet Asia 2010, where the players began their long journey under the ua NAVI banner. The new team did not need much time to start rolling - already at Arbalet Asia, the team took first place.

However, at the tournament in Kazakhstan, there was not an elite line-up of participants. The first serious test for ua Natus Vincere was Intel Extreme Masters IV, held in March 2010. It was there that the guys won their first victory at the World Championship, defeating se fnatic in the final. This is where the triumphal path of the Born to Win began.

Later on, ua Natus Vincere five has added two Major Tournaments titles to their track record ESWC and WCG. This achievement was recorded in the Guinness World Records. By the end of 2010, four players made it to the top 20 of ua markeloff (1), ua starix (4), ua Edward (5) and ua Zeus (18).

Over the next few months, the guys took part in 16 tournaments, earned over $ 200,000 in prize money, and also won the Arbalet Ukraine, Arbalet Dallas, and DreamHack Winter championships.

In the second half of 2011 early 2012, the number of tournaments in CS 1.6 began to decline. This development of events influenced the number of championship titles for ua NAVI in this period. Then our team awaited a hard transition to the new version of the game — CS:GO.

Transition to CS:GO

As you know, the Born to Win were dragging out with the transition to the new version of the game and believed in CS 1.6 to the very last minute. However, the circumstances were stronger and at the end of 2012, the team began to adapt to the new Valve's project  CS:GO. For the first six months, the five of ua NAVI experienced serious difficulties, occupying the last places in almost all the championships in which they took part.

Of course, a series of failures couldn't help but affect the once-best team in the world. The lack of victories over time and the loss to the eu Nostalgie at the Prague Challenge did their job — after three years of playing together, ua Edward and ua Markeloff decided to leave ua Natus Vincere. Both joined the former three players of ru (ua Ange1, kz AdreN and ru Dosia) to form kz Astana Dragons  a team of the most powerful CIS players in CS:GO at that time.

Initially, ua Natus Vincere chose ru seized and ru kibaken as a replacement for the departed players. That roster was not able to find a common language, so after a disastrous performance at the first Major-tournament ua ceh9 and ru kibaken left the team. After a short stay in kz Astana Dragons, ua Edward returned to his esports origins, and sk GuardiaN was invited to the sniper position, who in this role was given preference over fr kennyS.

A rocky start was ahead of the team and they again failed to overcome the group stage of the major. Doubts began to creep into the heads of the former players, but the guys coped with the difficulties and after some time they won the first champion title in CS:GO  StarLadder StarSeries IX.

After the StarSeries, the team continued to participate in various qualifying competitions. The main one of them was the qualifying stage of ESL One Cologne 2014, where our guys successfully got and finally ended the unsuccessful series of performances at the Majors and advanced from the group stage, taking 5th-8th places.

After finding the desired style of play, the guys were able to gain a foothold in the top echelon of the teams. However, the Born to Win had no desire to be in the middle of the list of tier-1 teams , so the team made major structural changes in the game  ua starix became the in-game leader for ua Natus Vincere.

Not immediately, but over time, the transition was made and the team began to show positive results. The first significant achievement was the entrance to the final of DreamHack Cluj-Napoca Major 2015. Despite the defeat in that match, the team understood the effectiveness of the chosen path of development and was not going to stop there.

In the first half of 2016, the Born to Win were rightfully considered one of the strongest teams in the world and fought for the first place in the HLTV ranking with the Brazilians from br Luminosity / SK Gaming. Unfortunately, that ua NAVI squad failed to make the last step to claim the title of the best team in the world.

In almost a year of playing under the leadership of ua starix guys won three tournaments and were six times runner-ups, and the winnings totaled about $ 650,000. Unfortunately, before the start of the new 2016 season, Valve seriously limited the coaches' abilities and thus completely destroyed the new structure of ua Natus Vincere. As a result, our team was expecting another restructuring.

S1mple's transfer. The departure and comeback of Zeus

Being in the dark about what Valve is going to do, ua NAVI players decided to replace ua Zeus with ua s1mple. Initially, the decision seemed to be fully justified, given that ua s1mple was already an experienced player and ua starix felt confident as captain. However, Valve's novelty has negated all the ideas and plans of ua Natus Vincere.

The way out of this situation was the assignment of the ru seized as in-game leader of the team, which, however, did not lead to the desired results. Although the first tournament in the new line-up ended in failure, a few weeks later the guys won ESL One New York 2016. The first triumph of ua NAVI in championships with a prize pool of $ 250,000 and above!

This result was encouraging, but the lack of experience with ru seized in the IGL position soon became apparent. Over the next nine months, the guys have been in the top eight of the tournament's strongest teams with varying success and have been in the top 10 of the HLTV ranking, but nothing more. The last straw was the failure at PGL Major Krakow  ua NAVI did not get into the playoffs and lost the status of "Legends".

The unsatisfactory result in Krakow led to the fact that sk GuardiaN and ua starix left the team. Despite winning the major, due to disagreements within the team, ua Zeus decided to leave kz Gambit and joined ua NAVI with ua Kane. The sniper position was taken by ua s1mple.

For three months, the team tried to build the game along with ru seized, but failed. Another important and crucial decision was made the acquisition of ru electroNic. After Denis joined the team, ua Natus Vincere's game significantly changed, which immediately affected the results: victory at DreamHack Open Winter 2017 and 3rd-4th places at ELEAGUE Boston Major.

However, then came the difficult times the progress of the team stopped. After reviewing their own game, the team went on to the positional changes, which led to the fact that Denis got more desirable role. As a result, the team managed to achieve a streak of eleven tournaments of at least 3rd-4th places, win three tournaments in a row and get into the finals of the third major.

Everyone, however, understood that the time for change was approaching. At the end of 2018, ua Zeus announced that he plans to finish his professional career. Furthermore, everyone was aware that the ua Edward's time in ua NAVI was also coming to an end. So, after the unsuccessful performance in Madrid, the decision was made to replace ua Edward with ru Boombl4. Edward's last tournament was also the BLAST Pro Series, but this time held in Moscow.

It's a shame that neither Vanya nor Danya managed to achieve one of their cherished goals to win the Major tournament together with Natus Vincere. Now, the responsibility for the success of ua NAVI in the world stage of CS lies with the young guys. We believe that the guys will reach the highest level of team play and become the best team in the world in the coming years! #navination