A new report from 1pv indicates that Natus Vincere veteran AWPer Ladislav ‘GuardiaN’ Kovács could be on his way out of the active CSGO roster, with star player Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev considering taking on the sniper role, himself.
It appears that GuardiaN’s reunion with tour with Natus Vincere is going to be short-lived, following some less than stellar results. The Slovakian veteran re-joined with Na’Vi in September 2019 after his two-year stint with FaZe Clan.
According to information provided to CSGO news site 1pv, GuardiaN is on the verge of “being pushed out of Natus Vincere,” and is not taking part in team practices. The report also alleges that s1mple is considering a return to the primary AWPing role, meaning the team would seek out a new rifler instead of a new sniper.
Rodion "fear" Smyk, from the Natus Vincere Junior roster, has allegedly been filling in for GuardiaN during practices - but there has been no indication whether or not he is being considered for permanent replacement. The report indicates that it “does not appear” that fear will be the permanent addition, but this has not been confirmed.
1pv also states that Na’Vi will be looking for a “young rifler from the CIS scene.”
GuardiaN officially re-joined Natus Vincere in September, after a playoffs elimination at the Berlin major and a disappointing fifth-place finish at in-game leader Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko’s final event, BLAST Moscow. The 5th/8th place finish at Berlin marked a slide in performance at majors for Na’Vi, who made the grand finals of FACEIT London and the semifinals of IEM Katowice before StarLadder.
Unfortunately for the iconic CIS team, the return of GuardiaN didn’t produce the desired results, as they are in the midst of a trophy drought that has lasted since April 2019, when they won StarSeries Season 7. This current drought is the team’s longest since their horrendous 2017 campaign, which led to GuardiaN’s first departure from the team.
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Upon his first exit from Na’Vi, the Slovkian AWPer found instant success with his new teammates at FaZe, winning the ELEAGUE CSGO Premier and ESL One NY in his first month there, closing out the year with an ECS Season 4 victory.
While the Na’Vi duo of s1mple and Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov has continued to thrive, the fall off of GuardiaN’s performance since returning of the team has limited its success at events.
While s1mple is only 22, Na’Vi don’t appear interested in squandering any more of his prime, and the right addition to this roster could propel the team from fringe contenders to consistent tournament favorites.