Here is a new interview with Counter-Strike 1.6 legend,
” Trynozhenko. Nowadays it is hard to imagine a tournament without him commentating. His experience, gained throughout the years of gaming career, wonderful sense of humor and soothing quality of the voice have truly made him one of the best Russian-speaking commentators of CS:GO out there.
In this interview Arseniy told us about his new role, shared his thoughts on the current CS:GO balance of power and his opinion about a number of tournaments. Arseniy also answered several other questions, for example, the one about the current state of Na`Vi Dota 2 team. Enjoy!
— Hello, Arseniy! At the end of 2013 you left Na`Vi CS:GO squad and ended your gaming career. You were then instantly drawn into commentating and you’ve been doing this for more than a year already. Did you get used to you new role? Do you ever get tired of commentating?
— It was kind of difficult at first, because sometimes I was so aware of what was going on, and I saw a lot of teams making absolute nonsense, so I wanted to shout to the viewers, “Heeeeey, what on earth are you watching?! Those guys have no idea, how to play and what to do”. However, I did realize that you can’t say it on stream, therefore I was trying to create some action out of those boring games and so I was telling stories from my gaming past. Now I almost got used to it and may not even notice when some team messes up. But, at the end of the day, there are still times when I want to turn my stream off and relax, telling my viewers that games like these are not worth watching and recommending them a decent movie.
— Besides CS:GO you occasionally stream other games, e.g. GTA, Call of Duty etc. It seems that your viewers enjoy watching you go through single player games. Do you plan to stream such popular games in the future?
— I may have given you a tip, that I’ve become not only a commentator, but a streamer as well, and this job implies commentating various games. But, frankly speaking, I’m an old-time gamer and you cannot surprise me really, that’s why streaming GTA or CoD doesn’t trigger a lot of emotions, because all of this was invented back in 90’s. Nowadays only a picture has changed, graphics are much better, but nevertheless modern games lack something entirely new.
Thus, playing DOOM 2 or an old-school Delta Force is much more exciting for me, even though it is not so exciting for my viewers, most of which did not even exist when those games came out.
— Ok, back to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In the past most of the big LAN-tournaments were won by two or three teams, but today the winner pool has increased, with Natus Vincere and Team Solomid performing better and better. What do you think on these teams’ progress? Cajunb has recently mentioned that TSM was definitely top 3 in the world. Do you agree?
— On my streams I frequently mention CS:GO “giants”, such as
Ninjas in Pyjamas,
Team EnVyUs, and
Team Solomid should be added to that list now as well. Besides, these 4 teams cannot be ranked, since any of them can win any given tournament. Surely, the “giants” are being caught up with by
Virtus.pro and 2 or 4 other teams. Thus, the competition has grown and it is practically impossible to predict the winner of the next tournament. However, I would say that the most stable team at the moment is
fnatic. On my mind, they tend to win more than others, when they are all playing together.
— What do you think about the current balance of power on the CS:GO scene? Please name your top 10 best squads. Back in CS 1.6 times, Americans were complaining they could not catch up with Europeans because of playing CS: Source for several years. What is holding them in place now? During all of the recent major events they didn’t make it past the group stage.
— Well, the first 6 places definitely go to the aforementioned teams, but starting from the seventh place, I believe, it is impossible to pick someone particular, since there is a ton of solid mid-tier squads, able to show excellent performance. The real problem of the teams below the “big 6” is, however, that they are extremely volatile. And when there is no stability, there is no rank. Or is it simply changing violently after each game.
Americans lack some good internet connection and the diversity of playstyle. USA is a huge country. Therefore sometimes a team from NY is unable to play with a team from West Coast simply because of the server location. As a result, they have to play with a 70+ ping and, having got used to it, they then cannot play well on LAN events. But that is not the main issue, which is again a variability of playstyles, found in Europe. Each country plays its own Counter Strike. USA, on the other hand, has only one style that can sometimes be victorious, but you can’t conquer the world with it.
Americans certainly need to gather their top performing players and move them to Europe for a couple of months, although it is quite challenging psychologically.
— The London tournament by Gfinity ended with a fnatic’s solid victory over Virtus.pro in the grand finals, while Natus Vincere got beaten by the Polish team in the semi-finals. What was your impression from the event, what is worth mentioning?
— Na`Vi have surprised me with their expertise on de_train, even though the Poles have already played the map several times on LAN events, and have surely trained it a lot on the internet, so I was expecting VP to be dominating on the map. Na`Vi were supposed to win on inferno and then everything would have been decided on cbble. However, our team lost both of the first games during the extra time. Still, I wouldn’t be disappointed, since there are tens of different tournaments, and you need to go on despite the loss. No one actually remembers Gfinity anymore, just like all of the other competitions. People remember only victorious series, especially ones, backed up by millions of “bucks”. Therefore, it is important to be looking forward into the future, practicing more, shooting better and being able to analyze the game during the game itself.
fnatic, they are a great team, and they will be remembered thanks to their numerous victories, but, as I’ve said, nobody will remember the tournaments they’ve won, only the roster and the team.
— New tournaments with decent prize pools are announced every now and then these days. Which ones are the most prestigious for the players, is the size of the prize the main factor? In the past everyone was dreaming of winning WCG or ESWC, but now it has faded out. Do you agree?
— Essentially, there is so much money involved, that any random company can organize their own tournament and hold the competition. And now more than ever before, we need some sort of a worldwide association that will sort out the arena. Because, as the polish saying goes “co za dużo, to nie zdrowo”, meaning “there is enough where there is not too much”. Excess of the competitions will only harm this sphere, it will lead to fans losing their interest to the game. They won’t care just like me, and they will think the same thing, “Yeah, fnatic won, so what? Next week there will be another event and another winner”.
There should be no more than one or two huge events and around 5 smaller ones. Then, teams will be preparing to those much better and their routine will not be similar to an office job. Every player is an artist and this craft requires some inspiration.
— Do you follow any other competitive e-sports, maybe Dota 2 ot League of Legends? Do you think CS:GO will be able to catch up with these MOBA’s in terms of popularity? And finally, will Natus Vincere qualify for The International 2015?
— I’m actually trying to follow Dota 2 scene, but I haven’t had much free time for that lately, it all splits between streaming, going out for a walk and sleeping. Regarding CS:GO potential, well, it has drawn level with other games actually. If we look at the steam game statistics, CS:GO is on the second place by the number of players and it loses to Dota 2 only because the latter is free to access. I don’t know whether CS:GO will catch up with Dota 2 or not, for it depends on the game developers, and it is really hard to beat a great game that is also free.
I would love
Natus Vincere to go to Seattle and compete for the main prize, but “so little paths were went through, so many mistakes were done” [refers to a quote by a Russian poet Sergei Esenin]. That phase sums up what’s been going on with the team, and it is the fault of both players and management. But you cannot bring back the past, so we need to aim at new achievements.
— Thank you for interesting answers, Arseniy! As always, you can shoutout or greet anyone you want.
— I want to say hi to all of the Na’Vi employees, to our teams and to the viewers, who watch my snoot every day. Also, I want to express gratitude to our partners