In the highly competitive world of professional Dota, anything less than a championship is cause for concern, particularly when the best of the best can garner $5 million for their troubles. When your résumé includes two International championships, the pressure only magnifies.
Storied Dota house Natus Vincere have replaced team captain and drafter Artem “FNG” Barshak with Arthur “Goblak” Kostenko following a series of meager results that have seen the team win no major trophies since April. With the swap, Na’Vi hopes to capitalize on Kostenko’s demonstrated skill as a drafter and leader under the banner of Virtus.Pro Polar, a team that’s beat out several top sides in October.
Ironically, the change comes on the heels of the teams first chamionship win in months.
Barshak’s dismissal was announced on Saturday, while the team was competing in the Dota 2 Champions League in Bucharest, Romania. Only 24 hours after the announcement, Na’Vi was leaving country with their first team championship after taking down Team Tinker three games to zero in the grand final. Unfortunately for Barshak, the Belarusian put up some of his best performances of the tournament in his swan song with the team.
The swap is undoubtedly better for Na’Vi’s future. Kostenko has demonstrated his ability as a team leader and creative drafter on numerous occasions, and with Team Secret gaining strength by the week, nothing but the best will do. At the very least, Barshak can say that his stint with one of the world’s most famous Dota organizations was enough to earn the new-look team their first title.