Natus Vincere have announced changes in their Dota 2 roster: the team’s captain Akbar "SoNNeikO" Butaev has been benched. Bakyt "Zayac" Emilzhanov, who plays as position 4, will take over the captain role. The team is currently testing different position 5 players.
SoNNeikO rejoined Natus Vincere last September to build a completely new roster. Last season under SoNNeikO’s leadership the team placed 2nd at both DreamLeague Season 10 and MegaFon Winter Clash, as well as participated in The International 2019 where they finished at the 13-16th place.
This season the team acquired Pavel "9pasha" Khvastunov, who replaced Evgeniy "Blizzy" Ree. The updated roster placed pre-last in the CIS qualifiers for MDL Chengdu Major, thus failing to even advance to the minor qualifiers. The organization’s CEO Yevhen Zolotarov explained that the poor results sparked personal conflicts among players. The organization had two choices: either to change most of the players or find a new leader, and decided to choose the latter.
Among possible replacements for SoNNeikO are Mihail "Misha" Agatov and Eugeniy "Sh4dowehhh" Alekseev. Both players are from Ukraine, where the organization’s bootcamp is situated, and earlier played for the team as stand-ins. Misha is currently playing for a mix Positive Guys, while Sh4dowehhh yesterday left FlyToMoon, which he had joined just a week ago as a coach, to resume his player career.