Natus Vincere has announced that CS:GO captain Kirill ‘Boombl4’ Mikhailov will not compete in the ESL Pro League Season 15’s first group stage games.
Before the team’s trip to Düsseldorf, the Russian in-game leader received a positive test and will miss the team’s first two games. Daniil ‘headtr1ck’ Valitov, an academy player who has been spotted practicing with the team ahead of their March 30 match against AGO, will take his place.
NAVI has been placed in a difficult ESL Pro League group that also includes Heroic, Astralis, Complexity, Evil Geniuses, and AGO, so Boombl4’s absence will be felt.
In the midst of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, NAVI hopes to use this tournament as a show of unity. Following IEM Katowice, the members of the team split up, with the Ukrainians staying in Poland and the Russians returning home.
NAVI CEO Yevhen Zolotarov made it clear in a March 28th interview with the Washington Post that the organization will not work with people who live in Russia and pay Russian Federation taxes.
NAVI CS: GO’s players, Boombl4 and Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov, have not stated whether they intend to relocate.
Aleksandr ‘s1mple‘ Kostyliev said in NAVI’s latest VLOG, posted on March 29, that he remains hopeful that the war will not result in roster changes.