This is not a critical or downplaying article about the Na’Vi Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team because… Why write something like that now?
This should be an encouragement article; this is about what is and what could be, but maybe on a bigger scale than any player on the Na’Vi CS:GO roster realizes.
The “Burden” of Na’Vi, in the simplest terms and on top spot of everyone’s mind, is the question of whether they will ever win a CS:GO major. They don’t seem to realize how much they are looked-up to and how many supporters they actually have. Or, maybe that’s the actual cause of this burden?
Na’Vi are, at least recently, the most famous CIS team in CS:GO; not to downplay the merits of Gambit Gaming, HellRaisers or FlipSid3, but none of these teams have S1mple currently playing for them or have made so many top-four at CS:GO LAN events as Na’Vi.
What is so interesting about this team, on a very basic level, is that they are young, talented and not from the same country, making them an ideal representation of the former USSR sphere of influence and countries. They are, at least from my Romanian point of view, the closest thing Romania ever will have as a team in the top-10 of any CS:GO classification.
And why is this a burden?
Different countries means different cultures and languages, but, in the case of former USSR and CIS countries, this is not that big of an issue. Just a temporary discomfort easily to overcome, which leaves only the second underlying idea of the description to be discussed: the diversity which they represent in their minds, possibly, and in the view of the public and supporters.
I’ve watched most of their games because they have a very interesting style of innovation and courage and that feel of “Hulk mode” when they face clutches, in which you can almost feel a destructive rage emanating from that one player who clutches 1v3 or even 1v4 situations, bringing in a mind of chaos that ensued the fall of the Communist bloc.
Despite that, in many of the games that kept them away from winning a title or reaching the final, I’ve often got the feeling from their body language that the so called choke they experience comes from two stress factors: they even feel alone and unsupported by enough people, or, consciously or not, feel the hopes of too many regions and people on them and the fear of disappointing so many makes them vulnerable.
There were situations (StarLadder LANs come to mind) when they were indeed undermined, if you will, by the lack of support from the spectators; various factors, from political unrest to bad weather can be blamed for that, but I feel that a lack of communication with on-line community and supporters is also to blame. Granted, very few of us speak Russian and there are so many tweets of Na’Vi players (except S1mple, maybe, which still has some Liquid influence in that regard on him) in Russian compared with those in English which create a virtual barrier for supporters from other countries to interact with them. I guess the guilt can be distributed here, but what Na’Vi shouldn’t forget is that there are as many supporters for you outside CIS as there are in your countries.
That brings us to the second part of the argument: you don’t need to feel responsible for disappointing any of us and you owe nothing to nobody. You’ve already represented the hopes and dreams of our little corner of Europe more than any single-country team from this parts can ever achieve. Let’s face it: you’re the best Eastern Europe has and that is enough for your supporters.
Way too often, I’ve seen situations in which players cringed, faded away and made silver errors, if you will, that seemed to derive from the fear of not disappointing other people, outside of the team, people that are not the ones that press on that mouse and keyboard. The only people one can disappoint is himself and Seized, Guardian, Edward, Flamie, Zeus, S1mple and Starix; you’re already legends. You’ve accomplished more than any other non-pro and most pro-players from this area will ever achieve, so throw out from your mind the idea of “not living up to expectations” and re-start enjoying the game. S1mple does, so why not follow that rule?
Jump, scream, rage, wave and sing, smash the desks with your fists (not you, Guardian) and pass the stress onto us, the ones watching and supporting you. Given the fact that we’re so many, we can carry the burden, leaving you to be what your name says: Natus Vincere.
What do you think about Na’Vi’s recent performances since the acquisition of S1mple? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.