Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov, Natus Vincere’s CS:GO captain, has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of his team’s debut in ESL Pro League season 15, and will miss the start of action in Group D, the organization announced today.
In Boombl4’s absence, the CIS powerhouse will turn to Daniil “headtr1ck” Valitov, a 17-year-old from NAVI Junior. According to NAVI, the Ukrainian youngster had to catch a last-minute flight to Düsseldorf, Germany, where the competition is being held, and will play the matches apart from his teammates as a result of the travel.
The loss of Boombl4 is a setback for NAVI. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the PGL Stockholm Major champions have been through a lot. The team consists of three Russians, three Ukrainians, and a Ukrainian coach. They were eliminated by G2 in the semifinals of the IEM Katowice on February 26 and have not played an official match since.
Boombl4 has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time in less than two months. Because of the positive outcome, the Russian in-game leader was forced to play some IEM Katowice group stage matches alone from his teammates. He is unable to do so in the ESL Pro League because he tested positive prior to his flight to Germany.
NAVI will face AGO in the ESL Pro League season 15 Group D opener tomorrow at 5:30 a.m. CT. Heroic, Astralis, Evil Geniuses, and Complexity make up the rest of the group.