Natus Vincere Takes Top Spot at CIS Qualifier, Makes A Return To Dota 2 The International 2019

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Na'Vi secures spot at TI9.
Na'Vi secures spot at TI9. Valve

Natus Vincere looks to be back to form as it claimed the top spot at the Dota 2 CIS Qualifier of The International 2019. In order to reach this, Na'Vi had to go through some of the region's best teams.

The roster of Na'Vi is currently composed of Vladislav "Crystallize" Krystanek, Idan "MagicaL" Vardanian, Evgeniy "Blizzy" Ree, Bakyt "Zayac" Emilzhanov, and Akbar "SoNNeikO" Butaev.

Fan-favorite Danil "Dendi" Ishutin remains on with inactive status and has been loaned to The Pango.

Going back to the CIS Qualifier, if that was a preview of what we can expect from the region for TI9, then we are truly in for a treat. There were a number of surprises and highlights.

For one, Gambit Esports was eliminated from the qualifier despite being one of the clear favorties to get the spot. So far, the team had a good showing throughout the 2018-2019 DPC season. However, it appears that this was not the time for Gambit. It did not help that midlaner Andrey "Afoninje" Afonin rage quit in a match on day two.

One surprise was Vega Squadron, which despite having a relatively new team, took the top spot during the Group Stage. The team had been having trouble qualifying for any DPC events, so it was indeed a surprise to many when the group showed initial strong performance. This Cinderella story appeared to move forward as Vega beat Na'Vi in the first round of the Playoffs.

Vega then met Winstrike Team in the next round. After a hard-fought battle, Vega took the win in the first game. However, Vega found it difficult to find an answer to Winstrike's picks and ended up losing the match to drop to the Lower Bracket.

In the Lower Bracket, Vega played against Na'Vi again after Na'Vi beat Team Empire. While Vega beat Na'Vi in the Group Stage and first round of the Playoffs, it was not the case this time. Vega against had trouble and eventually succumbed to Na'Vi.

For the Finals, the initial expectation was that it would be an even match. Na'Vi instead trounced Winstrike and dominated the match, leading to a 3-0 win.

This marks the return of Na’Vi to The International after the team’s early exit back in 2016.

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