Russian esports organization forZe confirmed Saturday that they will not sell starting rifler Evgeny "FL1T" Lebedev to Ukrainian squad Natus Vincere, which had expressed formal interest in acquiring the 19-year-old Russian.
Na'Vi reportedly had been looking to replace Slovakian AWPer Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovacs, 28, who has failed to meet expectations since returning to the team in August.
In a TwitLonger post, forZe clarified they had spoken with Na'Vi management regarding the transfer but that the team was "not interested in selling the player." That left Na'Vi with a buyout as their only option to acquire FL1T.
"Of course we took our time to speak with FL1T and it was clear for all of us -- he decided to stay with us, to stay in forZe eSports. So that's the whole story, guys," the team wrote in the post.
"There were no offers made and no amount discussed. There was no pressure from us or from the Na'Vi management. We are asking for speculation and conjecture to stop. The case is closed."
FL1T has been with forZe since October 2018 and was part of several title wins last year including the Copenhagen Games, DreamHack Open Winter and the ESEA Season 32: Global Challenge. FL1T also helped the team qualify for the 2019 StarLadder Berlin Major and EPICENTER 2019.
Until Na'Vi does find a new rifler, veteran Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev of Ukraine is expected to transition back as their primary AWPer, four months after he was replaced in the starting lineup by GuardiaN.
--Field Level Media