Will NAVI remove npl from the CS:GO lineup?

Will NAVI remove npl from the CS:GO lineup?

18. June 2023 by Andrew Williams

According to some reports, Ukrainian organisation Natus Vincere has decided not to keep npl on its CSGO team for the new season. Who will take his place is still unclear.

The decision would not come as a surprise as the team had a disappointing season in which NAVI did not make it past the semi-finals in any of the major events. In fact, the top team, which actually always takes all the wins, only finished 9th to 11th at the BLAST Paris Major.

npl is removed from the main team

Seventeen-year-old Andrii “npl” Kukharskyi was plucked from Natus Vincere’s Academy team late last year, initially as part of a six-man rotation with Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev, who would be released at the end of the year. NAVI had hoped to get lucky again with a promotion from the Academy lineup after Valeriy “b1t” Vakhovskiy, had become a key part of the main team.

However, everything turned out differently and npl could not meet the expectations of the organisation. npl even admitted himself at IEM Katowice that he is not satisfied with his development. So NAVI is probably parting ways with npl again, but until now it is still unclear who will take the empty spot in the CS:GO team for the new tournament season.

If npl is cut, Natus Vincere will only have these players in their CS:GO lineup:

Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
Valeriy “b1t” Vakhovskiy
Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy
Denis “electroNic” Sharipov
Andrii “npl” Kukharskyi (on the bench)
Andrey “B1ad3” Gorodenskiy (coach)

Will NAVI consider an international lineup?

There are rumours that NAVI’s CS:GO team is seriously considering going international and communicating only in English from then on. This would of course massively expand the options of players from which NAVI can choose.

Last year, NAVI had its sights set on the Kazakh player Timur “buster” Tulepov. In the end, however, they decided against a switch because it would have forced NAVI to work with the Russian organisation Virtus.pro. In February this year, NAVI CEO Yevhen Zolotarov already hinted at the possibility that more of the organisation’s teams, including the CS:GO team, would go the way of the Valorant division, where players are international and communication is in English.

Yevhen Zolotarov said they want to be an “organisation with the best Ukrainian players”. But they are also building a global brand and have therefore opened up to the idea of recruiting international players for the Academy project. Natus Vincere has just under a month to decide what the line-up will look like for the rest of the year. Her first assignment after the tournament break will be at the BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2023, which will start on 13 July in Copenhagen.