flamie to sit out DreamHack Masters, first RMR tournament
NAVI transition to a five-man lineup as they focus on Major qualification.
Valeriy "B1T" Vakhovskiy will play Natus Vincere's first Regional Major Ranking (RMR) event of the year, the Ukrainian organization has announced, as they move away from the six-man approach in order to conform to Valve's ruleset, which punishes player changes during RMR events.
The addition of the former NAVI Junior player to the main squad comes at the expense of Egor "flamie" Vasilyev, who will also miss the team's next event, DreamHack Masters Spring. "This will give the team enough time to prepare every map before the start of the RMR tournament," the organization said in its announcement.
Natus Vincere will prepare for their upcoming challenges at a bootcamp in Kyiv, Ukraine, from April 11-24. DreamHack Masters Spring, which will be held between April 29 and May 9, will be used to figure out B1T's ideal positions and roles. "Despite this, DreamHack is still an important tournament for NAVI," the organisation noted.
The as-yet-unannounced CIS RMR tournament is expected to take place in May, around the same time as the European and the North American tournaments, which will be hosted by Flashpoint and Beyond the Summit, respectively.
Whether Natus Vincere plan to return to a six-man lineup after the RMR event remains to be seen. flamie, who has been with NAVI since April 2015, is averaging a 0.97 rating this year. While initially restricted to Inferno action, B1T was given more playing opportunities in ESL Pro League 13, in which he played all of the team's Mirage (four) and Overpass (two) games.
Natus Vincere will utilize the following lineup at the next two tournaments:
Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy (coach)