Natus Vincere Counter-Strike: Global Offensive superstar Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev revealed his team’s plan to bring down Astralis following their impressive win at StarSeries i-league season 7 in Shanghai.
Astralis have run roughshod over the competitive CS:GO scene for a year, picking up 12 trophies from LAN events - including back-to-back Major wins, back-to-back ESL Pro League successes and consecutive victories at ECS season finals.
While some players, like Mousesports’ Finn ‘Karrigan’ Andersen, have called upon a higher power to help knock the dominant Danes down, teams are still doing their best to play catch-up and knock Astralis off their perch.
What is Na'Vi's plan?
After admitting that they didn’t practice all that much ahead of their recent IEM Katowice run, s1mple shed some light on his team’s seemingly simple plan to bring down Astralis - by going about their business with an added level of seriousness.
Since Katowice, the organization has made a switch, adding former Gambit coach Andrey ’B1ad3’ Gorodenskiy as an esports director, a move that s1mple is relishing working under.
“Now, we're trying to get a new system with B1ad3 and we'll try to get new people into our team, a dietologist and a psychologist as well,” s1mple told HLTV in Shanghai. “ We just want to see what's going to happen when we are at 100% preparation and work that we're going to put in in the next month.”
How will B1ad3 help Natus Vincere?
B1ad3, a former in-game leader and teammate of s1mple's, will be tasked with completing transfers, developing Na’Vi’s team and making sure their schedule is locked in with plenty of notice and preparation in the coming months - similar to how other organizations operate.
While it’s an overhauling move to catch and mimic Astralis, similar to how the Danes added a sports psychologist in 2017 to fix their issues, improvements will have to be made in the server to take down the Danish squad.
Moving to an increasingly professional set-up, similar to how Astralis employ physiotherapists, dieticians and make scheduling decisions of their own, will help in the long run.
We are extremely glad to announce the appointment of Andrey @B1ad3__R Gorodenskiy to the position of NAVI esports director. Please, welcome! :raised_hands:
:newspaper:: https://t.co/agvvIptwWw#NAVINATION pic.twitter.com/kMnogjlNoY
— Natus Vincere (@natusvincere) March 30, 2019
In actual fact, Astralis may have gotten a slight boost with Valve removing their perma-ban map, Cache, from the Active Duty map pool - with teams still playing catch-up on other maps.
Just which team steps up to the next level and finally challenges the Danes consistently in a final remains to be seen, but at least Na’Vi recognizes that going about things a bit more seriously is the first step they need to take.