Ivan “iM” Mihai might leave Natus Vincere, according to reports
Harumi, a renowned Counter-Strike insider, has revealed that Ivan “iM” Mihai might leave Natus Vincere soon. He has an extensive track record of providing insightful updates and recently broke the news of Torbjørn “mithR” Nyborg becoming the new Apeks head coach.
According to this trusted source, there are growing speculations surrounding the future of Romanian rifler Mihai “iM” Ivan within the Natus Vincere (NAVI) organization. The potential departure of iM from the team is believed to be linked to his recent underwhelming individual performances, raising concerns within the NAVI camp.
Photo Credit: Esportschimp
iM is a fresh recruit at Natus Vincere, having joined the club this summer following an impressive Paris Major run with GamerLegion.
The rifler’s journey with GamerLegion was nothing short of remarkable. Throughout his tenure with the organization, he consistently maintained a commendable 1.14 rating, proving his worth as the highest-rated player on the roster. It was in 2023, however,that iM's form took a monumental upswing, elevating him to the status of a true CSGO star.
The 24-year-old finished the year with an impressive average rating of 1.19. His remarkable contributions were particularly evident during their memorable run to the Major final, where iM emerged as the driving force behind GamerLegion's success.
He delivered a jaw-dropping rating of 1.35 at the competition and was in contention for the MVP title.
While iM's MVP aspirations were ultimately thwarted in the final, his incredible showing earned him something perhaps even more valuable: a significant boost in his reputation. His name was on everyone's lips, and his talents were finally getting the recognition they deserved. This surge in reputation and his outstanding track record throughout the year ultimately led to a great opportunity—a call-up to join the prestigious ranks of Natus Vincere.
iM Has Had A Difficult Start To His Natus Vincere Career
iM has had a hard time adapting to NAVI from GamerLegion, with whom the Romanian impressed at the Paris Major
— HLTV.org (@HLTVorg) September 13, 2023
Regrettably, iM has encountered difficulties in maintaining the exceptional form he exhibited earlier this year with his new team. His recent performances fell below expectations during the BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2023, IEM Cologne 2023, and Gamers8 2023 tournaments. In each of these competitions with the Yellow and Black, he struggled to achieve an average rating of more than 0.99.
There was a noticeable improvement in iM's performance during ESL Pro League Season 18, where he achieved a commendable average rating of 1.10. His contributions played a crucial role in NAVI's journey to the Grand Final of the tournament. Despite their remarkable run, nonetheless, iM's team was once again denied the ultimate glory, suffering a 3-0 defeat at the hands of an inexperienced MOUZ side in the final showdown.
In his own words, iM acknowledged feeling significantly more at ease within the NAVI roster following his praiseworthy performance at ESL Pro League.
“We need time, because for example, when we started, I was the guy going to die because we are missing something. We had a lot of situations where we were missing smokes, forgetting a flash, a play, a hole or something, and I was the guy who took a lot of damage because of that,” the former GamerLegion man said.
“As you can see I feel a bit more comfortable now, I might go a bit quiet sometimes because I am a shy guy, if there are some arguments I might go quiet. I still play my own game, but I will be quiet, I am not that guy who is going to scream and shout.”
Will Natus Vincere Replace iM At IEM Sydney?
The next major event on NAVI's calendar is IEM Sydney 2023, where they will face off against Apeks in their first match. This exciting tournament is slated to run from October 16th to the 22nd, featuring an enticing prize pool of $250,000.
It appears that Natus Vincere are unlikely to immediately replace iM, especially after his improved performance in Malta. The organization, nevertheless, might consider preparing a contingency plan by identifying a potential replacement in case iM struggles to retain form at IEM Sydney.