Natus Vincere made an announcement video for being accepted into the VALORANT EMEA franchise league and leaked a potential new player for their roster.
The announcement video shows the owner of NAVI, Yevhen Zolotarov, running around the organization’s headquarters with the box that has the Spike from Riot Games that confirms their acceptance into the EMEA league. At 38 seconds into the three-minute video, Zolotarov runs into the merchandise room where a jersey is laid out in plain sight. The NAVI jersey clearly reads ‘ANGE1’ and is accompanied by a closed caption that reads ‘New 2023 samples arrived’.
Kyrylo “ANGE1” Karasov currently plays for FunPlus Phoenix, who were not accepted into the EMEA partnership program. FPX has risen to greatness throughout 2022, where the team dominated in the EMEA region and qualified for back-to-back LAN tournaments. They were also the winners of Masters: Copenhagen after taking down Paper Rex in the finals and closed out the year with a fourth-place finish at VALORANT Champions. ANGE1 is the current in-game leader for FPX and is also from Ukraine, where NAVI is based. These two factors make him the perfect player to showcase in the video should NAVI sign the entire FPX team.
While FPX was not accepted into the partnership program, none of the current VALORANT players announced their free agency after being denied. Other organizations that were also not accepted like Acend and G2 Esports released their players after the news was public. FPX players did not publicly announce that they were looking for a team because they have already signed contracts with NAVI. We saw something similar happen with XSET, who were denied acceptance into the Americas partnership league but had been in talks with signing as a core five with G2 Esports. Teams are officially allowed to start signing players on Sept. 26.