Drama: Zayac's problematic departure from Na'Vi

posted by Smyke,
Roster changes with drama: Support player Bakyt 'w_Zayac' Emilzhanov left Natus Vincere after nearly 10 months and joined Virtus.pro. Apparently, the transfer did not proceed without issues. CEO of Na'Vi, Yevhen "HarisPilton" Zolotarov made a video statement past Sunday. He addressed how the problematic transfer occured, that there are no regulations from Valve concerning these roster changes and in what way Na'Vi would have wanted the issue to be handled.

Note: Please be aware that so far, there only is information from Na'Vi. Neither Zayac, nor Virtus.Pro made an official statement regarding the situation.

A summary:

  • Zayac calls the CEO HarisPilton to announce he wants to leave Na'Vi to join VP since he wants to play with Aleksey 'Solo' Berezin and Vladimir 'No[o]ne' Minenko.
  • HarisPilton explains that he does not want to make hasty decisions and the negotiations should happen between the organisation, not between him and Zayac only.
  • HarisPilton gets a call from VP's new CEO. HarisPilton explains they cannot let a player go to a rival team two weeks before the qualifiers.
  • Zayac already wanted to leave after The International 2019 but he got convinced to stay. Na'Vi made him captain, raised his salary, hired a psychologist, removed his media responsibilites.
  • Na'Vi wants to bench Zayac and look for a replacement. They receive a message from Zayac that did not seem to be written by himself since it was a legal text. The text implies there was a legal loophole and that Zayac did not give Na'Vi a written notice to extend his contract, therefore he considers himself a free agent. If Na'Vi had any issues with that, they could go to court.
  • Na'Vi also receive a letter from VP that states Zayac's contract has grey areas that can be interpreted ambiguously.
  • HarisPilton admits they messed up, since they incluced a clause in Zayac's contract where he had to notifiy them in writing about his decision to extend the contract by the end of November. The extra clause was added since he originally wanted to leave Na'Vi after TI9 to join AS Monaco Gambit, but then got convinced to stay.
  • Zayac declares he wanted to stay after qualifying for DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig Major, but Na'Vi made a mistake and the written notice was accidently omitted by the manager.
  • They understand how this mistake occured since they never had such a clause before. They do no want to punish or even fire the manager.
  • They also will not take Zayac to court, leaving him to VP.
  • Na'Vi will now play the qualifiers with Krivulya 'Cema' Semion.

Transfers in Dota get overvalued

HarisPilton then proceeds to talk about transfers in Dota in general. Usually, transfers are not as lucrative in the financial perspective. The most expensive one they had was Vladimir 'RodjER' Nikogosyan, whose fee was $150,000. Most of the time, transfer fees range from $20,000$-30,000. Even the deal for superstar Roman 'RAMZEs' Kushnarev was below $100,000.

He concludes his message by revealing that the CEOs from several CIS organisations want to meet and discuss rules regarding transfers, since Valve does not provide any regulations.

A different situation than with Rodjer

HarisPilton also declares that the situation differs from Rodjer's case. He made it clear he wanted to join VP before signing his contract with Na'Vi. There has also been a different qualifier system, because teams received direct invites and they did not have to compete against each other. The negotiations were also not handled by VP directly contracting Rodjer, but run between the organisations and was properly handled.

A strong kickoff at the Leipzig Major

Na'Vi had a quite solid performance at the recent DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig Major. They advanced convincingly through the CIS Qualifiers where they even defeated AS Monaco Gambit. The team with the red star currently counts as strongest squad from CIS, even leading in DPC points.

DreamLeague's main event started just as successful for them: They dominated the group stage and came out on top with a 4-1 score. But they were not able to keep up their pace in the playoffs. After losing to Alliance and Team Liquid, they got eliminated and ended their journey on rank 12.

Photo credit: DreamHack Adela Sznajder