Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács will leave Natus Vincere to join FaZe Clan, according to multiple sources close to the player and organization. Denis “seized” Kostin is also expected depart the team in the coming days, leaving two open spots on the active roster.
The most likely candidates to join Na’vi are Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow and Denis “electronic” Sharipov. Sources have indicated GuardiaN will most likely replace Aleksi “allu” Jalli on FaZe Clan, but that has not been confirmed.
At the peak of his career, GuardiaN was one of the best AWPers in the world. But he has failed to show the form seen prior to MLG Columbus 2016 after a devastating wrist injury. He admitted to Slingshot that he hadn’t given enough effort to become the player he once was and played other games too much. GuardiaN’s recent marriage and time off during the player break will allow him the opportunity to attempt to regain that form on FaZe Clan.
Seized has struggled with the heavy burden of in-game leading ever since Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev replaced Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko last summer. Na’Vi was designed with the expectation that Sergey “starix” Ischuk would lead the team as the coach, but Valve inconveniently changed the rules almost directly after the swap. That meant Seized had to become the in-game leader, which led to a tremendous drop off in production for him and the team. Although Na’Vi remained legends at the ELEAGUE Major, it failed to reach the playoffs and qualify again at the PGL Krakow Major last week. S1mple even openly tweeted that changes would be coming to the team.
A change to FaZe Clan might come as a shock to many, as the team finished top four at its last five events and even won one of them. FaZe’s only underperformance occurred at the PGL Major, which was the first group stage exit for the team since the addition of Nikola “NiKo” Kovač in February. If allu is indeed replaced, FaZe clearly feels it lacks power and consistency in the AWP role.
Natus Vincere and FaZe Clan could not initially be reached for comment.
Cover photo by Patrick Strack/ESL, eslgaming.com