Natus Vincere has benched its two remaining VALORANT players Artur “7ssk7” Kyurshin and Kirill “Cloud” Nehozhin mere days after the organization secured a spot in the EMEA partnership league for 2023.
Cloud was the first player NAVI signed after it entered VALORANT in June 2021 and 7ssk7 joined the month after. Together they played in VCT EMEA Challengers One and Two, plus the EMEA Last Chance Qualifier, without finding any success. The move follows the departure of Mikhail “Duno” Fokin, Denis “dinkzj” Tkachev, and Nikolai “zeddy” Lapko earlier this month.
Both Cloud and 7ssk7 are restricted free agents but are allowed to explore their options. Cloud wants to play for an EMEA partnered team in VCT 2023, while 7ssk7 didn’t specify where he wants to play next.
With the introduction of the partnership program, there are many players looking for opportunities in free agency. M3 Champions, an all-Russian squad and one of the best CIS teams in VALORANT has recently disbanded, and notable teams like FunPlus Phoenix are reportedly looking to offload their players to other organizations.
It’s unclear at the moment whether NAVI will sign player after player to form a new squad for VCT 2023 or will pick players that were already competing together under another organization. The CIS powerhouse will compete against Team Liquid, Fnatic, Vitality, Karmine Korp, KOI, Heretics, Giants, FUT, and BBL in the EMEA partnership league.