Prior to the grand finals of BLAST Moscow, the tournament participants and crowd came together to deliver a fond goodbye to the retiring Na’Vi in-game leader Danylo ‘Zeus’ Teslenko.
While his in-game career unfortunately ended on the wrong side of a knife via NiP’s Christopher 'GeT_RiGhT' Alesund, Zeus got to deliver a beautiful goodbye speech in his native language to close out the BLAST showmatch on September 14.
"All I can say - chase your goal, your dream. And never give up. I love you, thank you so much," he tweeted.
It was a thorny path, rich on different emotions during these 20 years, but u always were near, keep supporting and love me. And i'm eternally grateful, my friends. All i can say - chase your goal, your dream. And never give up. I love you, thank you so much#navination @ZeusCSGO pic.twitter.com/d5HdBD9Tcd
— Natus Vincere (@natusvincere) September 14, 2019
For Zeus, the 31-year-old heads off to green pastures. But Na'Vi now has to answer some big questions, and the pressure is on to make the right decisions, as indicated by their star player s1mple on Twitter.
"Time to rethink everything and make the right decision," he said.
Time to rethink everything and make the right decision
— Sasha (@s1mpleO) September 14, 2019
This BLAST event in Moscow was not the beautiful ride off into the sunset that the team expected for Zeus. After a rough start on day one with a loss to MiBR and a tie against ENCE, they followed up a bad day with an abysmal one, losing all three maps on the second day to AVANGAR, forZe, and Ninjas in Pyjamas. They lost the showmatch to NiP as well.
Na’Vi have been going slightly downhill since the FACEIT London Major. They lost in the grand final in London, lost in the semis in Katowice, then lost in the quarterfinals in Berlin.
Their record at BLAST events has gotten worse too: In 2018 they got 1st at Copenhagen and 2nd in Lisbon. This year they finished 5th in Madrid, 4th in Miami, and now dead last in Moscow.
While local fans were disapoointed not to see Na’Vi in the grand finals, they got a more-than-acceptable consolation prize in an all-CIS final, as both forZe and AVANGAR each picked up three wins to make it to the final.
These teams were originally slated to face each other in a Play-In just to make it to this event, but Team Vitality pulling out allowed both squad to attend the event in Moscow.
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To a world class player such as s1mple, it has to be frustrating to see your team get worse and worse results. It hasn’t been all bad; they won StarSeries Season 7 in April, and they still have their Legends spot at the next major.
But it’s possible that Na’Vi has to attend that next major without their star player, if he’s unhappy with the direction of the team.
Right now the competitive CS:GO scene is standing on the edge of a diving board, waiting to dive into one of the largest available player pools that’s ever been seen after a major.
Some teams are looking to make a couple swaps, some teams are starting over fresh, but the two weeks between the end of BLAST Moscow and the start of ESL One NY are guaranteed to have some massive changes.