The Ukrainian organization has announced that Oleksandr’s1mple’ Kostyliev will miss the start of NAVI’s campaign in the BLAST Premier Fall Groups due to personal reasons.
NAVI will be playing the first stage of the tournament with academy member Daniil ‘headtr1ck’ Valitov, who traveled to the team’s bootcamp location ahead of the event after s1mple’s availability had become uncertain.
On August 13, NAVI’s fans went into panic mode after s1mple posted an Instagram story that contained the following message: “Big announcement soon”.
That raised fears that s1mple could take a break from the game – something he had hinted at prior to the off-season. In that same interview, however, s1mple noted that “the most important” thing was to stop FaZe from winning the Intel Grand Slam.
NAVI have seemingly allayed such fears by stating that s1mple could return in time for the knockout stages, which begin on August 25. The Ukrainian organization will continue monitoring the player’s situation and will provide an update in due course.
Who is headtr1ck?
headtr1ck is perhaps the most exciting prospect in NAVI’s youth set-up at the moment. The Ukrainian player, 18, has been with NAVI Junior since August 2021 after being promoted from the youth lineup.
In April, he played three matches for NAVI’s main team at ESL Pro League Season 15 after Kirill ‘Boombl4’ Mikhailov returned a positive test ahead of the event. He averaged a 0.97 HLTV rating as NAVI beat AGO, Evil Geniuses and Complexity in the group stage of the tournament.
NAVI will play their first match in the BLAST Premier Fall Groups on August 20 against Complexity in the first round of Group B, which also includes G2 and Team Liquid. None of the 12 teams in attendance will be eliminated in the first stage, with their group results determining their position in one of the three single-elimination gauntlet brackets.