Ukraine is actually a famous esports country. Today, Ukrainians are always heard in esports, showing unbelievable plays in the finals of major tournaments in various disciplines. However, the Ukrainian esports community was always closely connected to the community of the Commonwealth of Independent States countries. So when did Ukrainian esports start?
The NaVi club was the beginning of Ukrainian greatness in different games. Even before that, Ukrainians had been showing decent results in various disciplines, but an organisation of this level brought Ukraine to a completely different level: from computer clubs to the big stage.
The organisation was founded in 2009, at the same time it debuted in Counter-Strike. The legendary NaVi roster of the 1.6 eras, which had no equal, holds a special place for Counter-Strike players. The following year, the all-Ukrainian team won four consecutive World Championships, making them the best team in the history of 1.6. Such nicknames as starix, Zeus, and markeloff are remembered by thousands of fans worldwide.
The club is also showing success today. NaVi is perhaps one of the most media and popular ‘tags’ in CS:GO: winners of the ‘major’ (the largest tournament in this discipline) and simply favourites of the public. Their players are always at the world’s ‘top.’ They give the whole world unforgettable matches and incredible game moments.
The very first world champions in Dota 2 were the Ukrainian tag NaVi. In Cologne, the ‘born to win’ team defeated the invincible world giants EHOME and earned $1 million. For 2011, this money was an incredible treasure for esports. They became idols for many generations of esports players around the world. Their victories laid the foundation for future champions. All the players were once fans of Dendi and his incredible game.
Their dominance continued, and they always took high places in the following championships, but over time, the line-up changed, and the tag appeared in the world’s ‘tops’ less and less often. Currently, the ‘born to win’ in Dota 2 are going through difficult times, but Ukrainian fans still believe in the ‘New Era’.
So, under the Ukrainian banner, they win in real life and a wide variety of games. And these victories are not ‘virtual’ but very real. Ukrainians and people of other nationalities play in NaVi, but the club has always played under the blue and yellow flags, representing the Ukrainian community. So let’s cheer for Ukraine together: in life and in games.