Sources: NAVI set to remove npl from CSGO roster
NAVI have decided against keeping npl on their CSGO team for the new season, sources have told Dexerto.
The decision comes in the aftermath of a disappointing season in which NAVI couldn’t go beyond the semi-finals of any elite-level tournaments and that culminated in a 9th-11th place finish at the BLAST.tv Paris Major.
Andrii ‘npl’ Kukharskyi was promoted from NAVI’s academy team in December 2022, initially as part of a six-man rotation with Viktor ‘sdy’ Orudzhev, who would end up being released at the end of the year. NAVI hoped to strike gold again on the recruiting front after watching Valeriy ‘b1t’ Vakhovskiy, another academy graduate, become a key part of the team.
However, npl’s performances have been somewhat underwhelming, raising questions about his readiness to compete at the highest level. The 17-year-old has averaged a team-low 0.92 HLTV rating and 0.83 Impact, even admitting while at IEM Katowice that he wasn’t happy with his progression.
With NAVI moving on from npl, it remains unclear at this point who will be filling the vacant spot on the roster for the new tournament season.
A new direction for NAVI?
Sources told Dexerto that NAVI’s CS:GO team is seriously considering going international and switching to an English communication system. This would expand the pool of players that NAVI can pick from, which has been very restricted since the start of the war in Ukraine.
Last year, NAVI had their sights on Kazakhstani player Timur ‘buster’ Tulepov. In the end, however, they decided against making a move as it would force them to conduct business with Russian organization Virtus.pro.
In February of this year, NAVI CEO Yevhen Zolotarov already alluded to the possibility that more of the organization’s teams, including the CS:GO squad, would go down the route of their Valorant division, which has players from four different countries and uses English to communicate.
“We want to be a club where the best Ukrainian players are going to play,” Zolotarov told Dexerto. “At the same time, we are building a global brand, so there is a chance that we will consider international players for all disciplines. Our academy projects may become international relatively soon.”
NAVI’s first tournament of the new season, the BLAST Premier Fall Groups, is scheduled to start on July 13. Later that month, the team will attend IEM Cologne.