NAVI announce Road to Valorant academy project to find new players

Declan Mclaughlin
Navi Valorant graphicNAVI

NAVI have unveiled their new Road to NAVI Valorant project aimed at finding young players for the organization’s main and academy teams.

NAVI have announced an overhaul of their Valorant division, starting with the departure of three players from their main team — Denis ‘dinkzj’ Tkachev, Mikhail ‘Duno’ Fokin and Nikolai ‘zeddy’ Lapko — after an unsuccessful qualifying campaign for Champions.

The Ukrainian organization is retaining the services of Kirill ‘Cloud’ Nehozhin and Artur ‘7ssk7’ Kyurshin, who will be joined by the top prospects unearthed by the new academy program. NAVI are looking for players aged 16 to 19 who reside in Europe and are not under contract with any organization.

“Using the example of our CS:GO academy, we are confident we can equip players with qualities necessary for the club, so that they can make the main team in the future,” NAVI Head of Esports Amiran ‘ami’ Rekhviashvili said in a statement.

“The Academy will allow us to discover new talents in Eastern Europe and Ukraine. We at NAVI need to develop our own scene, which is what we are setting out to do in the near future.”

NAVI have a similar system to this new Valorant venture in CS:GO, developed by ami in 2019. The academy team in the Valve esport has been very successful, with Valerii ‘b1t’ Vakhovskyi earning a spot in the main team and Ilya ‘m0NESY’ Osipov being sold to G2 Esports.

The Ukrainian organization entered Valorant in 2021, where they have not seen the same success they have enjoyed in other esports. NAVI could not qualify for the playoffs in either stage of the 2022 VCT EMEA Challengers, with the team crashing out of the Last Chance Qualifier for Valorant Champions in 5th-6th place.