Media: NAVI set to bench npl; consider going international
The 17-year-old academy graduate looks to be out of the team as the organization ponders a switch in direction.
Andrii "npl" Kukharskyi is set to depart Natus Vincere after six months in the team, according to Dexerto. The report also states that the organization is considering a move to an international roster, given their options are currently severely limited due to the war in Ukraine.
NAVI CEO Yevhen Zolotarov previously told Dexerto in February that Natus Vincere wants to house the best Ukrainian talent but that the organization is considering "international players for all disciplines."
The move comes after a lackluster season for Natus Vincere, who finished the first half of the year without a title to their name. They also failed to make the playoffs at the BLAST.tv Paris Major 2023 but have shown some consistency with top-four finishes at IEM Katowice, ESL Pro League Season 17, and IEM Rio.
Despite their relative stability, Natus Vincere failed to challenge for the number-one spot in the world. npl, who was brought in as a replacement for Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev at the start of the year, was seemingly not prepared for the jump up in competition as he averaged a 0.92 rating across his stint in NAVI. His output was by far the lowest in the team, with his nearest teammate Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy sitting at 1.02.
Natus Vincere have just under a month to decide on their roster for the remainder of the year. Their first outing after the tournament break is at BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2023, which starts on July 13 in Copenhagen.
Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy (coach)
Andrii "npl" Kukharskyi (benched)