One year with NAVI Junior

16 Sep 2020 130
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One year has passed!

It has been a year since ua NAVI Junior was born. We have come a long way: from the NAVI Esports Camp project to the ua NAVI Youth foundation. And there are many new discoveries, achievements, and new heights ahead of us!

Let's recall how we came to the idea of creating an academy, who formed the team, and what are the results after 12 months of fruitful work.

The launch of NAVI Esports Camp

 

In spring 2019, ua Natus Vincere esports club set out to create a CS:GO junior team. The organization was looking for young talents, the best of the best, who would later be able to defend the colors of ua NAVI with honor. This is where the idea of the academy was born.

The club began to take the first applications on May 6th, and the tough job of scouting of applicants were directed by ua Andrii "B1ad3" Gorodenskyi, who held the post of esports director at that time, and ua Amiran "ami" Rekhviashvili — future coach of the team.

Also, ua Yana «BlackBunny» Dychenko was invited to the Born to Win camp, and to this day she covers the activities of the youth squads! 

On June 14th the names of 10  NAVI Esports Camp were announced.

ua Aleksey «Topa» Topchienko
ua Rodion «fear» Smyk
ua Andrey «Whitesmith» Saribekyan
ua Ivan «kapacho» Koplenko
ua Valeriy «B1t» Vakhovskiy
ru Kirill «Gospadarov» Gospadarov
ru Kirill «poka» Starovoytov
ru Vyacheslav «Art1st» Lyadnov 
ru Daniil «Porya» Poryadin
ru Eugene «Aunkere» Karyat

The young players awaited a flight to Kyiv and intensive work on themselves. In an instant, the guys were under the scrutiny of several thousand fans, who were very interested in how the events would unfold. After all, the training sessions were going to be lengthy — two and a half months.

Summer camp: what was it like

 

The work began immediately upon the arrival of the players to the training camp. From the very first day, the exercises with a psychologist, sports coach, physical training coach, and a nutritionist have started. Our media team with the help of vlogs introduced fans to the participants of the academy.

After a while, you could already make the first conclusions about the game and communication skills of the participants. ua B1ad3 and ua ami identified the weaknesses of players and started to work on them, while also passing on valuable knowledge. The guys were discovering themselves from different angles. In their free time from practices, some of them cooked in the kitchen, some of them were doing personal vlogs, and others went to LAN tournaments with teammates.

At this rate, the summer flew by. ua NAVI made every effort to pass on the professional experience to future represents of esports and to unlock their potential. The time has come to sum things up, to pack up their suitcases and, of course, to make a difficult choice: whom to keep and to whom to say goodbye. The choice was really difficult: in the camp, all guys, without exception, have grown individually and become a better understanding of teammates. 

Ten days of tedious reflections and the results were finally here. Three participants of the NAVI Esports Camp received an invitation to the ua NAVI Junior, and another four were given a trial period until the end of the year.

Invited to NAVI Junior

ru Kirill «Gospadarov» Gospadarov
ua Valeriy «B1t» Vakhovskiy
ua Ivan «kapacho» Koplenko

On trial

ru Evgeniy «Aunkere» Karyat
ua Andrew «Whitesmith» Saribekyan
ua Rodion «fear» Smyk
ua Alexey «Topa» Topchienko

The reasons behind these decisions were explained on our YouTube channel. 

Setting stones of the junior team their first results

 

The start was difficult. Due to the fact that some players were on trial, the lineup changed from tournament to tournament. The first official matches were hard, but ua NAVI Junior did not give up. Numerous boot camps, the continuous work on themselves, and the desire to win, slowly pushed them forward.

In November, the Junior team was able to pass the EPICENTER 2019 open qualifiers, and in January 2020, the ua Natus Vincere esports club had a new addition. The organization invited 14-year-old ru Ilya "m0NESY" Osipov, who at that time had an excellent performance. Together with the newcomer, the junior team performed well at the CMD368 Championship and took the third place. After the tournament, the ua NAVI Junior was joined by ua Topa.

The development of the team was rapid. In March, the trial period ended for ru Aunkere and he joined the Junior squad, and in April ua Daniil "headtr1ck" Valitov joined the team. Due to his age, just like ru m0NESY, he moved to the reserve and began to practice hard. 

Another big milestone happened in spring: ru m0NESY got a place in FPL. It should be noted that Ilya became one of the youngest players of the FACEIT Pro League.

Around the same time, the ua NAVI Youth was formed. It included ru m0NESY and ua headtr1ck, as well as ua fear, ua synyX and ru ketsuo. The last two players were on trial. The team took part in CS:GO Fight Night and #HomeSweetHome: Week 4.

Already in May, ua NAVI Junior fought on equal terms with such teams as kz Winstrike, ru Hard Legion and ru ESPADA. Heavy training continued online because of COVID-19, but this did not prevent the guys to show good results.

How did you get into NAVI Esports Camp? Tell us your story: what made you apply, who contacted you, and how was the process of getting to know the coaches and players? 
ruKirill «Gospadarov» Gospadarov

Our coach Amiran wrote to me and offered to take a test. I agreed. Two days later he told me that I got invited to the top ten.

About the acquaintance: I already knew some players and met with some guys and coaches at the camp.

What was your main weakness in CSGO before the camp and did you manage to overcome it after NAVI Esports Sports Camp? 
ruKirill «Gospadarov» Gospadarov

The main problem before the camp was an unstable performance. Unfortunately, after the camp, it still remains. However, I found the problem, the results have recently become much better. Soon you will see it for yourself! 

Share what you learned during the year and what experience have you gained? Do you feel that you have improved your communication skills?
ruKirill «Gospadarov» Gospadarov

Of course, I feel that the skill has gone up, but in some respects, I've gotten worse than I was before the camp. A year ago I became a captain, it was a novelty for me. It is the most difficult role in the game that I continue to study. It is important to be able to find an approach to each player, to know the meta better than the others, to be able to picture the opponents' and teammates' positions, and to make quick decisions. At the same time, you have to control your own game, think over your AWP waypoints, the decisions that you are going to make in the future with your rifle. Sniper and captain can be key elements in this game, and when it is given to one person, it is not quite easy. It is almost impossible.

How are things now

 

In August, ua fear got into FPL. In an interview with Alexey Kostyliev, he said that he not only continues to train hard but also helps ua ami with the recruitment of players.

Amiran himself shared his memories of NAVI Esports Camp and told about the plans of juniors. 

You came to us for the position of NAVI Esports Camp coach, and subsequently the ua NAVI Junior coach. How was it? How do you evaluate the progress of the academy in a year?
uaAmiran «ami» Rekhviashvili
NAVI Junior coach

I was invited by ua Andrii B1ad3, back then he was still an esports director. ua NAVI offered me an interesting project on youth development. It made me interested. I wanted to pass on the experience to the guys, to teach them how to look at the game and life, and of course, to open the path to the professional esports scene.

I think that everything turned out to be great and the project proved to be 100% successful. We have created a strong junior team, which will serve as a reserve for the main team, and we won't have to enter the market to find players. We are also looking for youth and have already assembled a third squad with younger guys playing in it. They will serve as a reinforcement of the Junior team in the future

What are the main difficulties in working with young players? How do you resolve issues?
uaAmiran «ami» Rekhviashvili
NAVI Junior coach

The main problem is the lack of knowledge and experience. The task is just to educate players who will be prepared for everything: both in the game and in life. I don't think our problems are different from the problems of other teams. We play a lot and devote a lot of time to the analysis of mistakes, we focus on different aspects of the game to make the players universal. The guys are doing a good job, this year they have grown very strong both in-game and as an individual.

What are the plans for the young teams?
uaAmiran «ami» Rekhviashvili
NAVI Junior coach

The Junior team will continue to grow and will play in all tournaments. Right now I must assemble the youth team so that the guys can also take part in the championships. We have very talented young people, we must give them a chance.

We are also keeping an eye on young guys in the CIS, looking for new talents that can strengthen ua NAVI in the future. Everyone has a chance, the most important thing is to work hard.

ua NAVI isn't just going to stop here: after the borders have been opened, the players of our squad are starting to gather for boot camps again, to take apart mistakes and learn new things. The search for talents is going well: in September, a 16-year-old ua Daniil "SynyX" Mazur has finished his trial period and joined the ua NAVI Youth team. 

uaYevhen Zolotarov
CEO Natus Vincere

I am personally proud of this project. It turned out to be successful both in terms of media and in terms of creating a cadre of players for the main team. Our long-term goal is to introduce full rotation and competition in the ua NAVI main roster, and this rapid personal and professional growth of juniors brings us closer to this goal. I would like to say a huge thank you to all ua NAVI staff and players involved in the academy who makes us proud. Special thanks to ua B1ad3, who helped us a lot with the project, and of course to ua ami, who carries it all on his own shoulders. Happy anniversary, younglings!

Looking back, we realize that everything was not for nothing. The idea of the academy, the forming of the teams, and the long work - all this gave us invaluable experience and gave impetus to the development of teams and players who want to get into the professional CS:GO scene.

Stay tuned and cheer for ua Natus Vincere! #navination

The participants

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