In a statement, the team pointed to persistent struggles, including a fourth-place finish at the Major All-Stars, as reason for the decision. With the dismissal, Na’Vi, a regular fixture in The International’s final rounds, now finds itself under the gun with qualifiers fast approaching.
With the support player’s dismissal, Na’Vi loses out on one of the most experienced players in CIS Dota. Kostenko’s career has seen stints with Empire, Virtus Pro, and RoX.KiS bringing innovative drafts and veteran composure to each side along the way.
Na’Vi, obviously feeling the pressure of impending qualifiers for the year’s main event, clearly felt that whatever Kostenko brought to the table, it wasn’t the right fit for the squad going forward.
Not surprisingly, the team is tapping recent Power Rangers departure Akbar “Sonneiko” Butaev for the support role. Butaev’s stock has risen sharply as he’s proven himself a potent weapon at what is still a very early point in his career.
Going forward, Na’Vi will focus its attention on navigating a challenging European bracket in hopes of booking a ticket in Seattle in August. Even with the addition of Butaev, the CIS squad will need to work quickly to catch up to the likes of Ninjas in Pajamas and a streaking Alliance.