Bakyt “Zayac” Emilzhanov has made a sudden departure from Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) to join rivals Virtus.pro (VP) just four months after he became Na’Vi’s captain.
Aside from adding Zayac, VP has also removed Vitalie “Save-” Melnic and Egor “epileptick1d” Grigorenko from their active roster. Zaur “Cooman” Shakhmurzaev will stand-in for the team for the upcoming qualifier for the ESL One Los Angeles Major.
“The Leipzig Major showed us that the former roster’s effectiveness was insufficient to reach the goals set before the team. If we want to be successful in this season, we have to adapt no matter the effort. I am excited to welcome Bakyt and Zaur under the Virtus.pro tag. Their experience and skills will help the club reclaim its lost standings,” said VP general manager Sergey Gramazda in a statement.
With Zayac’s sudden departure, Na’Vi has tapped Semion “CemaTheSlayer” Krivulya as a stand-in for the LA Major qualifier.
Zayac’s move to VP was first made known to the public after Na’Vi released a video where their CEO, Yevhen “HarisPilton” Zolotarov, revealed the details surrounding their team captain’s departure.
In the video, Zolotarov revealed that Zayac apparently first made his intentions to leave the team known after The International 2019, citing a desire to play with Alexey “Solo” Berezin and Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko in VP. Na’Vi convinced Zayac to extend his contract through 2020 by giving him a pay increase and making him the team’s captain following the benching of Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev in October last year.
After Na’Vi’s early exit from DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig Major, Zayac once again requested a transfer to VP. Zolotarov said that in the midst of transfer negotiations with VP, Zayac sent him a message where he declared his contract with Na’Vi null and void, citing “legal context.”
Zolotarov claims that a mistake made by team manager Igor “Caff” Sydorenko meant that the new terms the team used to convince Zayac to stay last October were never included in the player’s new contract. Zayac allegedly used this error as the basis of his departure from Na’Vi.
“[The omission of terms in Zayac’s renewed contract is a] serious enough screw-up and that there have to be consequences for our employees, including our legal counsel who overlooked it,” said Zolotarov.
With that said, Na’Vi’s CEO said that losing their manager of eight years over the mistake with Zayac’s contract was a consequence that the organization couldn’t face.
Zolotarov concluded the video by urging CIS organizations to meet and discuss how to make player transfers in the region smoother, referencing the 2018 transfer of Vladimir “RodjER” Nikogosyan to VP which he called “the most expensive transfer of all time.”
Time will tell if this latest bout of player transfers between Na’Vi and VP will end up being fruitful for both squads, though their new rosters are set to see action very soon in the CIS qualifiers for the Los Angeles Major on February 9-12.