Natus Vincere (NAVI) are on their way to Abu Dhabi for the BLAST Premier World Final, with all eyes on the Ukrainian team to see if they can keep up their excellent track record at previous World Finals.
Expectations will be high for NAVI this month, with the Ukrainian team holding the honour of having won every World Final in BLAST Premier history, having being crowned the champions in both 2020 and 2021.
They had an arguably disappointing showing during the Fall Finals last month however, finding themselves in 5th-6th place following their defeat to Ninjas in Pyjamas during the quarterfinals.
Still, that doesn't mean they're one to be underestimated. NAVI earned their spot at this year's World Final through their victory at the BLAST Premier: Spring Finals back in June this year, where they defeated Team Vitality in the grand finals.
That's not the only thing NAVI has to brag about this year either - they made it all the way to the grand final of the PGL Major in Antwerp back in June, where they landed in second place after losing to FaZe Clan. They claimed second place once again later in the year, after again losing to FaZe Clan at the grand final of the Intel Extreme Masters XVII in Cologne.
They'll be one to watch this month, not just for their strong track record at BLAST World Finals, but because they'll be experimenting with a six-man roster for the tournament. It's an experiment they've tried before, back at the online-only 2020 BLAST Premier Fall Finals, but this marks the first time they've fielded a six-man roster at a LAN event.
NAVI's sixth man at Abu Dhabi will be academy player Andrii "npl" Kukharskyi, who will be working to prove his worth to the team amid rumours that Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev may be at risk of losing his place on the team, as HLTV has pointed out.
The Ukrainian squad's lineup heading to Abu Dhabi consists of Andrii "npl" Kukharskyi, Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, Denis "electroNic" Sharipov, Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy, Valerii "b1t" Vakhovskyi, Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev alongside coach Andrii "B1ad3" Horodenskyi.
Their first match of the tournament will be against Team Vitality, taking place at 19:00 GST on December 14.
The Ukrainian team will have to prove not only the efficiency of its six-man team, but if it's able to pull off a third World Final victory in a row. However it plays out, you'll be able to watch the action right here on Luckbox - remember to sign up for your free account and claim your 100% bonus before the tournament begins!