posted by Olucaron,
Following on from last week’s talk with support player Ilya 'Lil' Ilyuk and in the wake of rumours of a big roster shake-up, Natus Vincere sat down with offlaner Viktor 'GeneRaL' Nigrini to get his thoughts. With The International 2018 just around the corner, one team will be conspicuous by their absence. For the second year in a row we won’t see the famous yellow-and-black take to the stage. The Ukrainian org has rendered its entire roster inactive, with a decision to be taken on the direction of the squad before the new season begins post-TI.

On the subject of roster changes, GeneRaL doesn’t think that their spring change of Nikola 'LeBronDota' Popovic for Fedor 'velheor' Rusihin was something that could yield tangible results. The roster were unhappy with the Serbian position 5 player in the run up to EPICENTER XL, and had wanted to replace him. However, they left it up to fate to decide:

We raised the issue and decided we would keep the roster if we earn DPC points in the tournament. Nevertheless, the stars did not align as needed – or just an unlucky day for us – and we lost to Newbee and paiN Gaming.

The first event with their replacement saw Na’Vi take on the China Dota 2 Supermajor, and GeneRaL says that in joining when he did, velheor was perhaps a ‘hostage of the situation.’ He goes on to state that while he thinks velheor was ready to join the side, he perhaps wasn’t quite ready to show what he could do.

Of course, Na’Vi’s failure at the Supermajor is well documented. They finished bottom of their group without winning a single game, and then were dumped out by Vici Gaming in the first round of the Lower Bracket. According to GeneRaL, this severely affected the mood of the team:

Before the Supermajor, in training matches, we beat most of the teams, and in different situations. I saw how bad people were at the last major of the season, but when we could not do anything even then, faith in our team was dwindling.

It’s also touched upon in the interview that there was a lack of mutual understanding between the team, which could have also influenced Akbar 'SoNNeikO' Butaev’s decision to leave earlier in the year. GeneRaL states that this was because the position 5 player didn’t want to play alongside himself and Danil 'Dendi' Ishutin, but that there were no open conflicts.

He states that in the end, results were entirely what they deserved, and that the fault was squarely on the players. For now, he is just focused on playing, with Dotabuff revealing that he is currently putting serious hours into the game, as well as playing for Akatsuki Clan in Tier 2 events. In the interview it’s mentioned that he has been playing midlane – could we see a switch for the new season?

In my opinion, PSG.LGD has the most chances.

GeneRaL was also asked about the other CIS teams’ chances at TI8. He is unsure of the chances of Winstrike, the Russian org that appeared out of nowhere to qualify under the banner of FlyToMoon. He believes there is a big difference in the way the orgs approach things, calling it a ‘completely different burden of responsibility.’

He thinks that although it depends on many factors, could make the Grand Finals, but that they could just as easily not make top 6. For Winstrike, he predicts a top-12, or perhaps top-8, finish. And the winners? His bet is PSG.LGD.

What do you think of the current Na’Vi turmoil? Do they need a roster shake-up?

Header image © Epicenter Official Photobank

  • Olucaron


    David W. Duffy
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