Ukrainian esports team Navi has announced that it will not leave the country despite the ongoing Russian invasion.
The esports organisation made the announcement on March 11 on its website, saying that whilst it is “not going to leave the country”, it’s actively taking “people out of the most dangerous regions and [helping] them find housing.”
This follows the invasion by Russia that began on February 24, which is forcing many Ukrainians to seek asylum in countries to the west.
Based in Kyiv, Ukraine, Navi is an abbreviation of Natus Vincere – Latin for “born to win” – and the team competes in tournaments for games like Valorant, Rainbow Six Siege and Halo Infinite, among others. The group was founded in 2009, with more than 90 per cent of its employees based in Ukraine.
“The return to the “normal” mode of operation does not mean that we will stop talking about the events in the country, pretending that everything is fine,” added Navi in the post.
“Now more than ever it is important to speak up about what is happening here and support each other. Hopefully, in March we will launch several projects in support of the population of Ukraine. We hope for your understanding and support.”
Navi also cut ties with Russian esports conglomerate ESForce on March 1, following the invasion of Ukraine (via Eurogamer).
This follows an open letter plea from the vice prime minister of Ukraine earlier in the month, which asked the entire games industry to “block all Russian accounts” and support Ukraine following the invasion. Since then, multiple companies in the industry have cut ties with Russia.