The longstanding Dota 2 pro team Na'vi announced this morning that their current team roster is officially calling it quits and saying "GG" for the last time. And so ends the storied career of one of the longest-standing and most beloved teams in Dota 2's eSports history.
Na'vi's decision to jettison their current roster and start fresh with a new one was driven by the sharp decline in the team's competitive performance in recent years. They had a very poor showing at this year's International, the largest annual Dota 2 eSports tournament, and they didn't even qualify for the upcoming Frankfurt Major tournament set to go down in Germany next month. These two disheartening events lead many fans to assume it was going to be their last year in the game anyway.
Today Igor Sydorenko, Na'Vi's chief operating officer, confirmed this in a statement saying the team was disbanding due to "the protracted series of failures" the team had experienced recently:
After the protracted series of failures of our team, we have to take measures and with hard feelings fully disband the squad. On behalf of all the fans and Na'Vi staff I express gratitude to the guys for their work and emotions, which they have granted to us all the time. However, sooner or later, the time of old heroes passes. The fate gives us new challenges, which we need to accept and prove that Na'Vi is a team of champions.
Harsh words for one of the best Dota 2 teams in history. But every good eSports team knows to recognise that their current roster is faltering, and how to address it.
Despite their recent failures, Na'vi will be remembered fondly by Dota 2 fans for their remarkable run at the very top of the game's competitive ladder, which began with Valve's inception of The International back in 2011 and lasted until 2014. They came in first in the original International, and placed second in the next two in 2012 and 2013.
In 2012, Na'vi pulled off "The Play," which, as its name suggests, is widely considered to be the best Dota 2 play ever — or at least the best documented one, in eSports history:
While the current five-man Na'vi roster — Dendi, XBOCT, Funn1k, SoNNeikO and PSM — is disbanding, the team itself will technically carry on. Today's announcement said that Na'vi's already building a new roster and will reveal more details about it next week.
Lead image via Na'vi Gaming