Credit: Michael Konkol, BLAST

Will we see a huge CIS shuffle?

The summer of 2023 could be the time for some of the biggest organizations to rethink their projects.

The player break has opened up for a new season in Counter-Strike. Silly Season. Here practically all teams are subject to speculations of the CS:GO fans and media, who are trying to predict what will happen for the new season and the new CS2 game.

The CIS region is one of the most debated because of two things:

1) Lack of success in 2023: The big teams such as NAVI, Cloud9, and have all seen little to no success in the big events of the year. NAVI has been good enough to reach the playoffs at most of the bigger tournaments, but in Paris at the Major, NAVI crashed out in humiliating fashion to their Ukrainian counterpart from Monte. Cloud9 came close in ESL Pro League Season 17 but also shares a similar fate. The huge talents of sh1ro and Ax1Le have not won a tournament since IEM Dallas 2022. has won smaller ESL Challenger tournaments but failed to qualify for Paris Major as the defending champions. The team first kicked David "n0rb3r7" Daniyelyan out of the squad after winning the Major in Rio, but since then n0rb3r7 has found his way back into the lineup.

2) The War in Ukraine: NAVI is a Ukrainian organization that does not shy away from condemning the war. At the same time, the team fields two Russian-born players in Denis "electroNic" Sharipov and Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy. It can not be an easy situation for either the organization or the two players who obviously has got nothing to do with the war. Rumors are flying around about NAVI shifting away from speaking Russian in-game to being an international team. This could open up a whole new world of opportunities. The war in Ukraine also means that the situation for all Russian players is difficult in regard to travel. In countries with big Counter-Strike tournaments such as Germany, Poland, and Denmark, all Russians are required a visa before entering the country, while Ukrainians can travel freely. As seen multiple times in the past year, teams have been forced to withdraw from tournaments due to visa issues. There are currently 74 countries that require visas from Russians, while the number is 51 for Ukrainians.

The Rumors:

While the two Ukrainians Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyljev and Valerij "b1t" Vakhovsjkyj seems locked in, the rest of the NAVI roster has been rumored away. Dexerto reports that Andrii ‘npl’ Kukharskyi could be axed from the team after an underwhelming 2023. Another media reports that Perfecto and electroNic could be on the move from NAVI to join Cloud9.

Escorenews also writes that Cloud9 is supposedly axing both Abai "HObbit" Hasenov and Timur "buster" Tulepov.

OG's Abdulkhalik "degster" Gasanov has also been rumored away from OG.


Artem "⁠RAiLWAY⁠" Gradovich, Kirill "⁠Magnojez⁠" Rodnov, and Aleksei "⁠El1an⁠" Gusev have all been removed from the K23 roster. Aleksei "⁠El1an⁠" Gusev has previously been performing at a very high level at Entropiq back in 2021, but since then his performances have dwindled.

ForZe just announced that they have listed in-game leader Andrey "Jerry" Mekhryakov and their AWP'er Aleksandr "zorte" Zagodyrenko for transfer.

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