Starix No Longer Coach of Na'VI CSGO, ANDI Steps In

by Steven Cropley

In a post to the organization's website, it has been revealed that the now former coach of No. 4 Natus Vincere, Sergey “starix” Ishchuk has stepped down from the role with the team.

Although it was stated in the announcement that starix's contract with the squad was still intact while future plans were discussed. The post states starix could move forward as a coach with another organization or return to the server in a different role as a player.

starix had been the man behind the team since March 2015 after being a part of the roster for several years. Na'Vi has seen very high peaks and low valleys over the past year from winning ESL One New York to failing to make it out of groups. The team was most recently seen at IEM Katowice where it was eliminated in the quarterfinals by the No. 1 team in the WWG CSGO Team Rankings, Astralis.

NaVi Coach
(Photo: Natus Vincere)

Andrey “ANDI” Prokhoro will be moving from his role as analyst to that of coach as well. According to the release, "he’s been occupying the position of Na`Vi’s CS:GO analyst, and he has been inventing interesting tricks which our team used at the previous LANs for quite some time now."

Na`Vi.G2A's CEO, Yevhen Zolotarev shared the following statement as part of the announcement.

"It’s no secret that recently our team has been going through some rough times and that we needed to make some changes. Both me and Eugene Yerofeev are generally against any measures affecting staff, but in this particular case we were all aware of the fact that inconsistent practice and imperfect training process in general have caused, along with some other issues, the recent unsatisfactory results of the team.

 Sergey has been working in tough conditions right from the beginning, as he had to depart from the teammate’s position and take on a completely new role, which required keeping distance, working individually with each player and being fair and objective at all times. He was doing well as an in-game leader, but as the coaching restriction came, the team entered a slump. After the Katowice event, we all had a talk and decided to give Sergey some time to recharge his batteries. Andi is the one who has taken over the coaching responsibilities due to his unusual and at the same time very systematic game approach, while starix has taken a pause to decide on his next step. His contract remains in place and we are waiting for him to make a decision in order to start talking about what to do next and hopefully, continue to work together. 

Another thing which I would like to say, not as the organization’s representative, but as a person who has known Sergey for 12 years and even played with him on one team, is that he showed great courage by taking responsibility for the team’s underperforming. Sergey, you are an epoch maker here at Na`Vi! I am sure that this pause will prove beneficial to you and see you come back even stronger, wiser and more certain about your future than ever. And no matter what path you will choose to follow, the most important thing is pursuing your goals!

We are waiting for you to return! :)))))

Aside from that, I’d like to wish good luck to Andrey. We believe in you and your ideas and promise to provide you with all necessary support. GL&HF.

Concluding, I will quote one famous player who always says, “Let's go get it!”.

Eugene "ugin" Yerofeev, the team manager followed it up with a statement of his own.

"After analyzing the work we have done over the half-year period and then looking at the results we have achieved, we concluded that something needed to change, and decided to try Andrey out as a coach.

In the traditional sports, if a promising team is not able to unleash its potential and fails to deliver results, the coach is replaced. Athletes are trained since their earliest childhood, they are taught to follow instructions with no questions asked. In order to become a coach there, you have to work hard. In our case the issues are a bit more complicated, at least that is how I see it. Basically, most cyber athletes are self-made. There are many teams that show decent performance without a coach, if we do not consider that some players perform the role of a coach-player.

The guys simply play the game they like, look for other players to create their own teams and go on to become professionals. They are self-taught, amateurs. And when a coach arrives to control what they do, obviously some conflicts and misunderstandings may arise. We can observe constant coaching changes in some teams, there are people who can’t decide between the role of a coach and that of a player. The task of a coach is extremely difficult. The players have to improve their own skills only, whereas the coach has to work both on himself and every player individually, as well as teach them to work in a team and win. This job is not easy, it's very stressful. Of course, it's hard to compare coaches in traditional sport and here, and it is clear that in most cases the problem is not centered around a single person – it usually depends on the entire team. But being in a situation we are in today, we cannot leave things unchanged.

I believe that our players will benefit from trying a new approach to the game, they need a breath of fresh air. And our coach needs to rest and recharge. That is why we decided to hire Andrey as a coach. I hope Sergey will weigh all the pros and cons reasonably, consider his options and put together his forces. The players, on the other hand, have to be aware of the fact that a new coach won't instantly change the situation for the better and continue moving forward. I wish patience and inspiration to Andrey to make his plans a reality. With Starladder right around the corner, we’ll soon be able to see what outcomes this change will bring. May the force be with us!"