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NAVI turns into international roster after 3 massive signings

After several weeks of speculation, Natus Vincere has officially signed Finnish in-game leader Aleksib, Romanian rifler iM, and Lithuanian flex jL on June 22nd. The 3 players will play alongside superstar s1mple and rising star b1t ahead of Counter Strike 2’s release. ElectroNic, Perfect, and youngster npl are the sacrifices for the previous 3 to enter the NAVI main active roster.

This roster shuffle marks a massive change in NAVI’s Counter Strike history, as the Ukrainian organization has always built a fully native roster until now. S1mple and b1t will be the only Ukrainian players present in the new roster, making the squad an international one going into future events.

NAVI turns into international roster after 3 massive signings

NAVI’s recent struggles are the reasoning behind the roster changes, as the previous fully Ukrainian lineup was not able to perform to expectations. The squad also suffered around the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine around the end of February 2022, and soon after was also impacted by Boombl4’s controversy in May of 2022

Lacking an IGL in the roster, ElectroNic attempted to take the leading role however sadly it didn’t work out. NAVI managed to win the 2022 BLAST Premier Spring Final with him at the helm, but all other tournaments showcased a plethora of inconsistencies. In January of 2023, npl was promoted from their academy roster, however results did not improve.

NAVI managed to accrue funds after the transfer of m0NESY to G2 back in 2022, with a total of $600,000 according to HLTV reports. These funds were used to sign Aleksib from Ninjas in Pyjamas, iM from GamerLegion, and jL from Apeks.

All 3 signings were rather unexpected, however, the most surprising one is iM. The Romanian played extremely well at the BLAST Paris Major in May, being a key piece of the GamerLegion’s roster that pushed into the grand finals of the event. IM finished as the second highest rated player of the tournament with only ZywOo finishing above him.

As for jL, he has been rising the ranks since the start of the year, ultimately earning the chance to play for NAVI. The only true question mark is Aleksib’s ability to lead this squad, as the Finnish IGL has not found much success since leaving ENCE in 2019. Brief stints at G2 and NiP were not enough to win a single trophy between July 2022 and June 2023.

On paper the roster is a massive improvement, and it will have a chance to showcase its potential in a match against Team Vitality on July 8th. The showmatch will feature both rosters in a rather relaxed yet competitive environment to try out their rosters before the next tournament.

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