Just days before roster lock, CIS support players RodjER and Lil trade teams.

The CIS region’s top 2 teams, Natus Vincere and Virtus.Pro, announced an unexpected roster move earlier today, which saw each team’s roaming support players swapped out – Vladimir “RodjER” Nikogosyan will now be playing under Virtus.Pro, and Ilya “Lil” Illyuk will now be playing for Natus Vincere.

Natus Vincere’s official statement claims that it was VP’s management who initiated the transfer for RodjER, saying that VP has been interested in him for a while now. RodjER himself also said he chose to part with his former team, while the Na’Vi management meanwhile negotiated to transfer VP’s Lil into their team as his replacement, stating that they hope Lil’s vast experience will be an asset to their team.

Virtus.Pro’s official statement meanwhile, also mentions RodjER’s recent stint in the WESG under team AntiHype, wherein he represented Russia with some of VP’s players – their captain, Alexei “Solo” Berezin, carry Roman “Ramzes666” Kushnarev, and offlaner Pavel “9Pasha” Hvastunov.

The move seems unprecedented, as VP has comfortably been in the DPC ranking’s top 3 for a while now, and Na’Vi has been on the upswing as of late. On paper however, it seems like quite an equal trade. Both Lil and RodjER have shown exemplary play in the 4th position support, and share similar hero pools in Chen, Enchantress, Nightstalker, Sand King and Earth Spirit. Both teams also tend to run similar laning-phase-centric pushing strategies. Perhaps the roster change was meant to affect each team’s support duo dynamic – VP’s 5th position and captain, Solo, is the epitome of a sacrificial-style support, planting deep wards, tanking ganks for his team and establishing them for a team fight, while on Na’Vi, Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev is a greedier flexible 4th/5th position, with the team occasionally running dual-roaming supports for a more active laning stage.

Only time and tournament results will tell if the change will result in a net positive for either team.

Another effect of the roster swap is Lil’s 900 Dota 2 Pro Circuit points transferring over to Na’Vi – bringing their Top 3 player sum to 1110 points, taking them to 5th place in the rankings and edging out OG from the top 8.

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