NAVI CEO allows for entering international market in search for players in all disciplines

NAVI Chief Executive Officer Evhen Zolotarov, spoke in an interview with a Dexerto journalist about the current state of the club and the prospects for the development of squads in various disciplines. Among other things, he considered the possibility that the organization could enter the international market when seeking new players.

To be honest, [potential buster signings] it’s a difficult topic but I don’t see how we could buy a player from a Russian club, even if they are covering themselves with Armenian flags. Long term, of course we want to focus on Ukrainian talent, and this is shown with our academy project, which is currently made up of Ukrainian players only. But such changes take time. We know we can’t put 16-year-olds on the main roster. They need to spend a couple of years inside the system to know the expectations, the rules, etc.

We want to be a club where the best Ukrainian players are going to play. At the same time, we are building a global brand, so there is a chance that we will consider international players for all disciplines. Our academy projects may become international relatively soon.

CEO of the Black-and-Yellow also revealed some information about the club’s main sources of income. According to him, NAVI has become less dependent on sponsors in recent years.

There is a huge part that comes from league revenue. We are a partner in BLAST and in ESL. We have a partnership program in Rainbow Six, PUBG, Brawl Stars, etc. We are partnering with publishers in almost all games we are in and having revenue share sources. We are not that sponsorship dependent, and our business model is much more balanced than before. <...> We have been profitable since 2020, when we had a six-figure profit. 2021 was a record-breaking year by all accounts, and we increased our profit tenfold compared to 2020. Last year was not that successful but we were able to maintain a seven-digit profit, and we’re projecting the same for 2023. We are more than alive, I would say.

To conclude the topic of NAVI's finances, the head of the club added that previously sponsorship payments accounted for 80-90% of the income, while now this share decreased to about 50%.