Pedro | 23. August 2022

NaTs no longer with M3C

Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin is no longer a part of the M3 Champions Valorant roster, the player announced in a Tweet he posted earlier this week.

“Sometimes we’ve to make tough decisions. So, it’d be honest to announce that I’m not an M3C player anymore,” said nAts in his announcement of the move. “I’m deeply grateful to all my team for these years. But now it’s time for changes.”

M3 Champions roster changes 

The Russian player’s exit from the team ends a nearly two-year spell that has spanned numerous international LAN appearances, a Masters championship, a run of dominance that spanned across EMEA, one of the best Valorant regions in the world, and an immense following built on social media.

Roughly three weeks ago, the team announced they had picked up Yaroslav “Jady” Nikolaev and Semyon “purp0” Borchev as their newest players for the 2023 VCT season while simultaneously parting ways with Nikita “d3ffo” Sudakov.

The news about roster changes was a part of nAts’s Twitter statement, announcing that he and his teammates have become free agents. Being the last active roster that parted ways with their organization, Gambit Esports, this caused concerns among the CIS esports community about whether this means the end for one of the biggest Russian esports organizations.

nAts’s journey with Gambit

Starting out as a promising prospect, nAts’ big break in his Valorant career came when he joined Gambit Esports in September 2020 alongside Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov, d3ffo, and Bogdan “sheydos” Naumov. For the 2021 VCT season, soon after signing IGL Igor “Redgar” Vlasov, Gambit shone as one of the world’s best teams by winning Masters Stage 3: Berlin and finishing as runners-up in Valorant Champions, the latter of which culminated in a five-game Grand Final series with Acend.

gambit Esports at VCT BErlin 2021

Gambit Esports at VCT 2021 Stage 3 Masters Berlin. Credit: Riot Games /Colin Young-Wolff

For the 2022 season, due to the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war and Riot Games’ subsequent restrictions on Russian organizations that prohibited them from fielding teams in its respective esports ecosystem, the team dropped the Gambit name to play under the M3C banner for the remainder of the year.

Unfortunately for the team, they couldn’t muster the same success as last year as they failed to qualify for any international competition, with the latest attempt occurring in the EMEA Last Chance Qualifier where they fell to Team Liquid 1-3 in the Grand Final.

Although nAts finds himself teamless for the first time since late 2020, with his track record and individual prowess to consider, it certainly won’t take long for the 20-year-old to find his next team where he will continue his ever-stirring career. In any case, fans are looking forward to the next time they see the Russian sentinel wheeling and dealing in the server.

Header: Riot Games /Colin Young-Wolff