It's the end of an era. Natus Vincere, at one point the most universally-loved team in professional Dota 2, are no more. The current squad—Dendi, XBOCT, Funn1k, SoNNeikO and PSM—failed to qualify for the upcoming Frankfurt Major having also posted disappointing results at The International 2015.
Igor Sydorenko, Na'Vi COO, had this to say in the official announcement:
"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've 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."
Despite their recent run of poor results, it's doubtful that any other team has done more to bring new viewers to Dota 2 than Na'Vi. Legendary midlaner Dendi is one of the most creative and entertaining players in the scene and one of professional Dota's most recognisable faces. Na'Vi were the winners of the first-ever International and came second in both 2012 and 2013, being an integral part of some of the greatest moments in the history of the game.
It was Na'Vi, in their International 2012 match against IG, that pulled off The Play.
It was Na'Vi in 2013 who gave the world the best-ever International grand final, a five-game clash against Alliance that became Dota's El Classico.
Perhaps the fate of the team was sealed when that definitive lineup broke up last year, but this is upsetting news for fans regardless. Whoever wears the Na'Vi shirt after today will have a lot to live up to. There's one sound I associate with Dota 2 LANs above all others, and it's this:
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