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Published: May 31, 2024

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • NaVi gave its $125,000 share of the Copenhagen Major prize pool to its home country
  • The org has donated money to support Ukraine on multiple occasions in the past
  • NaVi urged people to donate to the cause of defending freedom and security

Citing the recent escalation of the fighting in Ukraine, NaVi donated its winning from the Copenhagen Major to support its country.

NaVi Donates Prize Money

Natus Vincere is one of the biggest and most popular Ukrainian esports organizations. It has multiple titles under its belt and has been prominent in the competitive Counter-Strike scene for years. During that time it has won a lot of money. Taking all of this into account, it shouldn’t be surprising that the organization has been very active in monetarily helping its home country while it is struggling in the ongoing war. The latest such act sees NaVi donate $125,000 to unmanned robotic complexes in Ukraine.

The money comes from the organization’s victory in the first-ever CS2 Major, held in Copenhagen this March. The donation has been made with the aid of charitable organization MK Foundation. This is part of NAVI’s ongoing support towards Ukraine with the organization making various donations and hosting fundraisers for United24.

According to NaVi, a chief motivation for the move is the recent escalation of the fighting on the frontlines as Russia is attempting a new offensive against Kharkiv, the second-largest city in the country. “As the war persists, the need for support remains crucial. Every contribution, large or small, is vital in sustaining Ukraine’s stability and strength,” NaVi further wrote. “We urge everyone to continue donating to our collective fight for freedom and security.”

How Has the War Affected Esports?

More than two years have passed since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, and the ramifications of the conflict have resonated globally. For the two countries, the war has cost the lives of, by some estimates, hundreds of thousands of people. The economies of both states have also suffered as a result of the strains of war.

NaVi has supported its home country’s efforts in various ways since the beginning. In March of 2022, the esports org ceased all affiliations with any Russian companies. Later, it also removed all of the Russian staff and players it hosted. Since then, NaVi has been donating money for the war effort and has continually urged other organizations to do the same.

Russian esports have also been affected by the war as numerous restrictions were laid since the start of the conflict and remain until now. It has often happened that Russian players had to play under neutral flags or else they could be banned from participating in some tournaments. Such was the case with Virtus.Pro’s roster which had to play as Outsiders at the BLAST Premier World Finals in 2022.

While VP and other teams have been reintegrated into the respective esports scenes last year, other organizations remain banned in one way or another. Furthermore, to this day many Ukrainian and Russian players have difficulties traveling abroad for esports tournaments. The former often cannot leave the country due to Ukraine’s war mobilization laws, while the latter are often banned from participating in events, due to the possibility of having ties to the Russian government.

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