Natus Vincere may bench veteran AWPer Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács after less than four months back on the team, according to a report by French website 1pv.fr.
This is GuardiaN’s second stint with the Ukrainian organization. He returned in September 2019 to replace Na’Vi’s historical in-game leader Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko and Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov took over the in-game leadership for the Russian squad.
But unlike his first stint with Na’Vi, GuardiaN hasn’t been playing well. Since GuardiaN signed with the team, Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev transitioned to rifles so GuardiaN could play with the AWP. GuardiaN averaged a rating of 0.95 in the six events he attended with Na’Vi, according to HLTV.
These numbers are far below what he produced during his first stint with Na’Vi between 2013 and 2017 where he helped the CIS squad win major tournaments, like ESL One New York in October 2016, and finish runners-up at two CS:GO Majors, DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca in 2015 and MLG Columbus in 2016.
If this reported move is completed, s1mple would likely become the main AWPer again and Na’Vi would sign an upcoming player from the CIS region. Rodion “fear” Smyk from Na’Vi’s academy roster has been replacing GuardiaN in practice, according to 1pv.fr, but it’s unlikely that he’d join the team on a permanent basis.
Na’Vi needs to make a decision soon, however, since the team will have a busy schedule starting in February. They’re confirmed to attend the ICE Challenge, BLAST Spring Series, and IEM Katowice.