Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov has emerged as a strong candidate to take the reins of NAVI’s CS:GO team as they prepare for life without Kirill ‘Boombl4’ Mikhailov, Dexerto has confirmed.
NAVI COO Alexey ‘xaoc’ Kucherov has told Dexerto that the team is seriously considering the possibility of electroNic taking over as in-game leader in the wake of Boombl4’s removal from the starting lineup on May 28.
This would free up a heavy-fragging role in NAVI, with electroNic having established himself as a second star next to Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev since joining the team from FlipSid3 Tactics in November 2017.
Virtus.pro star Mareks ‘YEKINDAR’ Gaļinskis, who was relegated to the bench after PGL Major Antwerp, has been strongly linked with NAVI, but xaoc moved on May 30 to dismiss such rumors. “I deny that we are in talks for YEKINDAR,” the NAVI COO wrote on Twitter.
Instead, xaoc told Dexerto, NAVI are keeping a close eye on the situation of YEKINDAR’s teammate Timur ‘buster’ Tulepov, who was also benched after the Major. But any potential move for the Kazakhstani player is contingent on him being released from his contract with Virtus.pro as NAVI are unwilling to conduct business with the Russian organization.
It is unclear at this point if Virtus.pro are open to the possibility of letting buster leave for free. In a May 23 Instagram post, the player expressed his desire to begin “a new chapter” in his career. “I want a change, something new,” he wrote. “I’m energized to work.”
In a statement to Dexerto, Virtus.pro rejected the possibility of releasing buster from his contract. “All of our CS:GO players have long-term contracts. None of them can leave unless a proper fee is paid”.
Russian players’ situation
NAVI are open to offers for Boombl4, who has been on the organization’s books since May 2019. He took up the in-game leader role months later following Danylo ‘Zeus’ Teslenko’s retirement and led the team to multiple international titles, including the PGL Major Stockholm trophy in 2021.
Prior to his removal from the team, Boombl4 had come under criticism for social media posts made by his wife in which she appeared to show support for the war.
In their statement, NAVI cited “high reputational risks for the club” as the reason to remove Boombl4, stressing that the decision was not related to the captain’s in-game performances.
The news of electroNic being in the pipeline to replace Boombl4 as in-game leader will certainly appease NAVI’s fans, who had become increasingly worried about the four-time HLTV Top 20 player’s uncertain situation amid the war.
NAVI are slated to compete at the BLAST Premier Spring Final, which will take place between June 15-19 in Lisbon.