NAVI launched their first Dota 2 academy team2022-08-02 13:06:00
NAVI assembled a Dota 2 academy roster with Ivan "Artstyle" Antonov as the head coach. The team consists of three players from Eastern Europe, varying from 15 to 17 years old. The official announcement appeared on the organization's website.
Artstyle was in charge of a three-month talent selection, and the project was curated by NAVI sports director Amiran "ami" Rekhviashvili, who was responsible for the club's CS:GO academy success.
Young players in Dota 2 have always been on the radar, but no one wanted to commit to their development professionally. It is well known that the change of generations within the pro-scene can happen quickly.
Together with NAVI, we realized that it is important to think long-term, so we started searching for players. It has always been my dream to develop young talents and to share my knowledge with them. I'm glad that I have the opportunity to take part in making this story come true.
We were looking for candidates for nearly three months. The final roster was made up of five 15-17 year olds, each of them is at top 300 global ranking. They have no experience on the pro-level, but they're mechanically gifted. I like that the guys don't have fixed patterns in their game. They want to play and develop their skills, always open to new ideas. Cheer for NAVI Junior!
With this move, NAVI are supposedly trying to recreate their CS:GO achievements. Even though NAVI Junior didn't do too well in terms of team achievements, their player Valeriy "B1T" Vakhovskiy became one of the most decorated rookies in CS:GO after moving to the main squad. Another player, Ilya "m0NESY" Osipov, was transferred to G2 for a rumored record-breaking $600k.
NAVI Junior lineup
- Taras "gotthejuice" Linnikov (Ukraine, 17 yo)
- Richard "Ri4man" Kalninʹsh (Latvia, 15 yo)
- Yuri "pma" Prots (Ukraine, 16 yo)
- Tamir "daze" Tokpanov (Kazakhstan, 16 yo)
- Stanislav "Riddys" Mitroshkin (Ukraine, 16 yo)