Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin is revolutionizing VALORANT. In his first LAN event, the 19-year-old Russian prodigy was outwitting experienced veterans, out-aiming the world’s best duelists and fragging at a level that just shouldn’t be happening on the agents he plays. NAts has propelled himself to VALORANT stardom and the exciting part is that he’s only just getting started.
This is the Rise of nAts.
Who is nAts?
The stories of VALORANT’s biggest stars often begin with an arc we’re all too familiar with; a long and storied Counter-Strike career. But with nAts, that’s not the case. His time in CS was only the most minor of prologues in his competitive story, having played only a handful of open qualifiers and small Russian events. Instead, nAts is more of a VALORANT pure breed, and among those leading a wave of young talent who have exploded onto the scene. And he did this all while furthering his education. But, before he was lifting trophies and lighting up the stage, nAts’ start in VALORANT came with Fishka, an all Russian unsigned roster in May of 2020.
Although you’d call him a star player, nAts wasn’t a marauding head-shot machine duelist. He was a lurker. The cunning player flanking behind enemy lines, waiting to backstab opponents and get into their heads. With nAts’ help, Fishka became one of the stronger unsigned teams in Europe and the CIS. So, when they temporarily disbanded in September of 2020, it was the opportune moment for major teams to come knocking. And Russian powerhouse Gambit Esports did just that.
Just two months after his 18th birthday, nAts found himself in the big leagues; a pivotal weapon in Gambit’s masterplan to take over VALORANT.
The team won plenty of minor events but, at First Strike in Dec., where all the top orgs from the region came together, they were comfortably eliminated by Team Singularity in the semifinals. Gambit responded to the disappointment by signing fellow up-and-coming Russian pro Igor “Redgar” Vlasov as their new in-game leader. And, with this addition, Gambit seemed to truly unlocked their hidden potential.
Experience The Rise of nAts by watching the video above or heading to Upcomer’s YouTube channel.