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Published: November 1, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Ihor “⁠w0nderful⁠” Zhdanov makes the transfer from Sprout’s lineup
  • “I’m excited to join such a legendary organization as NAVI!” he said
  • His first challenge as part of NaVi’s roster will be at BLAST Premier Fall Final later this month

After star AWPer Oleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev left Natus Vincere’s lineup, the organization has brought in young prodigy w0nderful to fill the gap.

W0nderful Joins NaVi

Ihor “⁠w0nderful⁠” Zhdanov is just 18 years of age, but he already has quite an impressive portfolio in competitive Counter-Strike. The young Ukrainian has already competed as a part of Sprout’s lineup and helped the team win a couple of smaller events during 2023. However, he will not have more opportunities, as he has been transferred to Natus Vincere for an undisclosed fee.

“I’m excited to join such a legendary organization as NAVI! It was my biggest dream ever since I started playing CS. It’s obvious, right? I know that it’s hard to fully replace a player of s1mple’s caliber and fulfill everyone’s expectations, but trust me, I’ll do everything in my power,” NaVi’s announcement quoted the young player. “Shout out to all the fans and friends who support me, and huge thanks to Natus Vincere for giving me this life-changing opportunity to step onto the big stage alongside my favorite team!”

With a rating of 1.22 across 407 maps, w0nderful is a good haul on the part of NaVi. The player’s biggest achievement is arguably a victory at the FiReLEAGUE 2022 tournament with a $150,000 prize pool, as well as a 5th-8th place at the IEM Rio Major 2022.

W0nderful comes to NaVi at a moment when the Ukrainian organization had to part ways with its star AWPer Oleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev. S1mple recently announced that he is taking a break from competitive CS and there is no information on when or even if he will return to the big stage. That being said, he is still on NaVi’s inactive roster, so it is not impossible we will see him again sometime in the near future.

Meanwhile, w0nderful will go on to boot camp in Barcelona. He will have to learn to work well with the rest of NaVi’s roster, but the campo will also be the place where the team’s new performance coach, Urszula “Xirreth” Klimczak will do the same. She was brought over from ENCE earlier in October, so both professionals will have to prepare alongside NaVi for their next big challenge. That will be the BLAST Premier Fall Final, taking place on November 22-26 in Denmark, Copenhagen.

Natus Vincere’s roster currently looks like this:

  • Valeriy “⁠b1t⁠” Vakhovskiy
  • Aleksi “⁠Aleksib⁠” Virolainen
  • Justinas “⁠jL⁠” Lekavicius
  • Mihai “⁠iM⁠” Ivan
  • Ihor “⁠w0nderful⁠” Zhdanov
  • Andrey “⁠B1ad3⁠” Gorodenskiy (coach)
  • Oleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev (inactive)
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