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Published: October 3, 2022

Written by: Isabella Aslam

  • NaVi’s new owner might have acquired the organization way back in 2020
  • He already had a history with NaVi and other esports organizations before that
  • His company used to be NaVi’s main sponsor before the alleged purchase

One of the biggest CS:GO esports organizations, Natus Vincere, might have been acquired behind closed doors back in 2020, before this year’s official ownership transfer announcement. 

Was NaVi Sold in 2020?

Just like regular sports teams, esports organizations are often subject to sale and purchase by different parties. The bigger the organization, the bigger the price, and the bigger the media coverage when an ownership transfer happens. Ukrainian esports organization NaVi is certainly one that has seen a lot of growth in the past couple of years, but according to a recent report by Forbes Ukraine, an undisclosed transfer of ownership happened in 2020. 

NaVi has become one of the most recognizable organizations in CS:GO, largely due to the success of its team. It was founded by the just as legendary professional player Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev. Since its creation in 2012, the Ukrainian esports organization has won more than $18.7 million in prize money across a variety of mainly FPS titles. This success has led NaVi to expand into more games, including recently teasing an all-star VALORANT roster for next year.

All of these facts make it more bizarre to think that in 2020, the organization was allegedly sold to Ukrainian businessman Maksym Krippa without no one even noticing.

So Who Is This New Owner?

NaVi’s current owner Krippa, whose ownership was confirmed in July 2022, is quite a successful businessman. His portfolio includes the founding of several companies involving advertising, software production, rental of machinery and equipment, and trading. What’s interesting is that his background is in volcanology as he has a diploma from the Institute of Volcanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 

But Krippa’s business endeavors already include several forays into esports. He’s been associated with GG.BET and perhaps appropriately named Vulkan Bets, both of which are betting sites widely known amongst the esports community. His company GG.BET has been a well-known sponsor of NaVi from 2017 to 2020, and has continued sponsoring other CS:GO organizations. Most recently GG.BET extended its partnership with Team Vitality.

When GG.BET’s sponsorship of NaVi ended in 2020, the latter found a new sponsor in the face of 1xBet. This was later retarvetd in early 2021 when GG.BET once again became NaVi’s sponsor. Rumors have circulated that Krippa took ownership in 2020 behind closed doors, despite him officially becoming the owner of NaVi in July this year. 

It’s been said that the chop-and-change of sponsors was designed to distract from the ownership overlap between GG.Bet and NAVI. However, there have not been any concrete connections drawn yet. The issue remains if such a transfer happened two years ago, why would it be announced now.

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