NAVI 2023: New European CS:GO Roster Announcement

It is now official! Ukrainian eSports club NAVI announced the new Counter-Strike roster, and it is quite surprising, as this is the first black-and-yellow line-up that consists of not one but three European players.


— NAVI (@natusvincere) June 30, 2023

On June 30th, NAVI posted an announcement of the new CS:GO roster on their Twitter and other social media pages.

Warm welcome to @AleksibCSGO , @iMeCSGO and @jLcsgo_
Learn more about our updated roster:

— NAVI (@natusvincere) June 30, 2023

The members of the new NAVI Counter-Strike roster are:

  • Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev
  • Valerij “b1t” Vakhovsjkyj
  • Ivan “iM” Mihai
  • Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen
  • Justinas “jL” Lekavicius

As you can see, s1mple and b1t have stayed on the roster, and three European players replaced electroNic, Perfecto, and npl.

In 2023, NAVI won Paris Major 2023: European RMR but placed only 9th-11th on the main event of the last CS:GO Major in history Also, they took 3rd-4th places at IEM Katowice, ESL Pro League 17, and IEM Rio 2023.

With electroNic and Perfecto, NAVI dominated the professional scene in 2021, winning many events and Intel Grand Slam. These tournaments include:

  • BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020
  • IEM Cologne 2021
  • ESL Pro League Season 14
  • PGL Major Stockholm 2021
  • BLAST Premier: Fall Finals 2021
  • BLAST Premier: World Final 2021
  • BLAST Premier: Spring Finals 2022

The list of their achievements goes on and on, as 2nd and 3rd-4th places are also considered worthy of note.

Let’s Meet Them Closely

According to rumors and unofficial insides, Denis “electroNic” Sharipov and Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy are about to transfer to Cloud9, while there is little to no information about npl’s future now. Follow our blog to find out where all three players will end up by the start of the season.

While Denis is not active on social media, Ilya posted a goodbye note on his Twitter account.


— Ilya Zalutskiy (@perfectocsgo) June 30, 2023

Let’s find out more about each new NAVI player, starting with Justinas “jL” Lekavicius, who is an ex-Apeks member.

jL is from Lithuania, and is currently twenty-three years old. He used to play for MAD Lions in 2021/2022, placing 3rd-4th at BLAST Premier: Fall Showdown 2021 and 3rd at DreamHack Open November 2021.

After jL joined Apex in the middle of 2022, the team successfully performed at B-Tier tournaments while also taking 3rd-4th place at Paris Major 2023, and later winning Elisa Invitational Spring 2023 and ESL Challenger League Season 45: Europe.

In the past three months, Justinas played 83 maps with an average 1.12 Rating.

On his Twitter page, the player leaked the “Contract of Surreal Commitment to NAVI” and thanked the club for giving him this opportunity, mentioning that it was time to lift trophies.

It is official, thank you for having me, time to lift some 🏆 @natusvincere

ffs navi contract got leaked.. sorry @s1mpleO

— jL (@jLcsgo_) June 30, 2023

A day before the official NAVI CS announcement, the community found out that jL applied NAVI stickers to his skins, and he had to do something to reverse the rumor damage. Here is the original tweet and Justinas’ answer:

🇱🇹 jL's Steam Inventory with @natusvincere stickers 💀

— ThourCS (@ThourCS) June 29, 2023

Now that we have learned more about Justinas “jL” Lekavicius, let’s move on to Ivan “iM” Mihai.

Who’s Next?

Ivan “iM” Mihai is a player born in Romania, and he is twenty-three years old. NAVI is his third team so far, as he has already got to show himself in Nexus Gaming and GamerLegion since the beginning of his professional career.

With GamerLegion, iM placed 2nd at the Paris Major 2023, won Elisa Invitational Winter 2023 and became runner-up in several B-Tier events. At the last CS:GO Major, he was named the second-best player of the event based on individual performance and a 1.35 rating.

In the past three months, Ivan played a total of forty-two maps with an average of 1.18 rating and a 0.77 KPR index.

Some of the first rumors about iM joining NAVI in the nearest future were caused by his tweet, in which he showed his new headset from Logitech G, which is NAVI’s partner.

Just got this new bad boy to try out for the new season. Can't wait and thanks @LogitechG for this gift

— Mihai Ivan (@iMeCSGO) June 22, 2023

One hour before the NAVI’s roster was revealed, GamerLegion announced that iM left the roster and posted a “thank you” video, which the player retweeted and added a goodbye letter to the teammates and staff.

— Mihai Ivan (@iMeCSGO) June 30, 2023

He also reposted NAVI’s announcement, saying that he is really excited to start the new journey.

Really excited to start this new journey alongside some of the best players that touched the game and can't wait to compete against the best on a daily basis.
Let's win some tournaments😈 #navination

— Mihai Ivan (@iMeCSGO) June 30, 2023

Last But Not Least

Last but not least, let’s meet Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen.

Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen is a Finnish professional player born in 1997. Since the beginning of his career in 2015, he has played in many popular teams, such as ENCE, G2 Esports, OG, and Ninjas in Pyjamas.

With ENCE, Aleksib won many tournaments, including StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 6 and BLAST Pro Series: Madrid 2019, while also placing second at the IEM Katowice Major 2019 and DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019.

However, his career did not excel in OG and G2 Esports. In these teams, he took 2nd place at Flashpoint Season 2 and IEM Katowice XVI.

Even though his average rating based on his performance in the last three months is 0.95, it is not that bad for an in-game leader, which Aleksib is. He has a 0.65 DPR and 71% KAST.

Aleksi was laconic in his tweet announcing that he joined NAVI, thanking the fans for the support.

I’ve joined @natusvincere . Can’t wait to get things fired up with this lineup. Thanks for the support 😁 #navination

— Aleksi (@AleksibCSGO) June 30, 2023

As we have mentioned before, this is the first European roster to play for NAVI on the CS:GO scene, and it means that the communication language has changed to English. Here’s the meme about it.

Now we have to learn something else besides smokes

— NAVI (@natusvincere) June 30, 2023

NAVI’s Head of Esports, Amiran Rekhviashvili, welcomed the new players with a tweet.

Welcome to #navination @iMeCSGO @jLcsgo_ @AleksibCSGO 😈

— ami 💛💙 (@NAVIami_R) June 30, 2023

Although the closest debut tournament for the new NAVI roster is BLAST Fall Groups 2023, which will start on July 10, we will see them in action against the new Vitality line-up in a sponsored show match two days prior.

So, on July 8th at 18:00 CET, tune into the English stream of the NAVI vs. Team Vitality show match on NAVI’s official Twitch channel .

⚡ Our CS:GO team will play at the Match of LeGGends organized by @ggbet_en !
We will play in an updated lineup with our regular rival, @TeamVitality , and even exchange players 😱
Watch what happens on our Twitch on 8 July at 18:00 CET!

🇺🇦 broadcast on…

— NAVI (@natusvincere) June 29, 2023

And at the nearest BLAST event, NAVI will play in Group B against Heroic, BIG, and Astralis, so check out our blog for match overviews once the tournament kicks off.

Wrapping Up!

Prepare the shields to cheer for your favorite teams once the season break ends, and explore Hellcase Blog for more content about Counter-Strike skins and other cosmetic items, in-depth game guides, and esports news. Stay tuned, gamer!