Former Natus Vincere Counter-Strike: Global Offensive coach Sergey “Starix” Ischuk has been recruited by Team Spirit as captain of the rising CIS region team.
Starix has hidden in the shadows ever since his willful departure from Na`Vi in March. Since then, he has been evaluating his next career path after receiving several offers from major organizations.
“[Team Spirit] is the team and organization with which I want to continue my career in esports,” Ischuk said in the organization’s press release. “Despite the long break in practice, I am quickly regaining shape and very soon will be able to prove it in official matches.”
Starix led Na`Vi to two championship titles in 2015 and 2016 during his tenure as coach. His extremely slow and methodical style of play-calling has essentially evolved what is now the Counter-Strike meta in the professional scene. Several teams such as SK Gaming and Astralis have implemented this style into their own gameplay. Before he became a coach, Starix secured eight titles with the CIS-region powerhouse.
Since Valve’s coaching ruling in August 2016, Na`Vi has struggled to maintain consistent form due to Starix’s limited strategic influence. Valve restricted coaches to only being used during tactical timeouts, in contrast to being able to talk throughout the match. Starix eventually stepped down from his coaching position and away from Na`Vi shortly after. His signing with Team Spirit officially ends his seven year career with Na`Vi.
“We like his way of training and he has the same thoughts about the future of our team… he knows what is needed for victory. We believe we can change our way of playing and become better,” said Ruslan Bugrino, Team Spirit’s content manager.
Team Spirit’s lineup now consists of the following players.
- Sergey “Starix” Ischuk
- Pavel “COLDY” Veklenko
- Vadim “DavCost” Vasilyev
- Dmitriy “Dima” Bandurka
- Dmirtry “S0tF1k” Forostyanko
The roster will compete in the online qualifier for the Krakow Major CIS Minor on May 16.