"We didn't fully understand the reasons
It’s not the first time I’m going to say “hello” to you today, but I’m going to do it anyways (no interview can be without greetings) and we will go straight to business. There have been many changes to the team. You left, Kibaken also left, two new players were brought in as replacements. All of this is part of one big reformation? Was the initial plan only for one of you to go and the other one chose to adopt the same decision?
Greetings, dear readers! Well, for starters I’d like to thank everyone one more time, I didn’t expect that so many people would support me and that my departure would really startle so many people. It was a real pleasure for me to read so many flattering comments, meaning that what I was doing didn’t leave people indifferent, to me it was a huge motivation to moving forward and conquering new heights.As to your question, I can say that this decision was made and approved by all teammates. I’m very glad that my place will be taken by such talents as GuardiaN and Edward, they are true professionals and I think that we will see them very soon in action. Why everything happened at this exact time? Most likely, because new year usually marks new beginnings for all, our organization is developing very quickly and rapidly, and the moment came, as it seems, when I had to make a decision to move forward and occupy myself with something new but still connected to eSports, but at the same time also requiring other skills and knowledge from me.Regarding Anton, he’s a great player, a good guy, of course not without some special character traits, but there are only 5 spots on the team roster. I’d like to wish him to continue self-improving and not give up CS, he will definitely catch his break, and I think that it won’t be long till he finds himself a new great team, maybe not as stable at the beginning but everything will depend on him!
As far as we know, your future career will still continue in Natus Vincere. Your future occupation is a secret for now?
Yes, for now I will probably keep it a secret, but gamers and Na’Vi fans won’t be missing me for a long time. I’ll have my chance to get back on their nerves quite soon. But, vaguely speaking, I will do a bit of everything, but my main job will be to believe relentlessly in Na’Vi and future victories of all our squads!
When was the first time you thought about changing your occupation and resigning as a professional player? Typically, such difficult decisions have a long history behind them
About six months ago when we parted with Edward and Marik. I knew that it wasn’t just two players leaving, at that moment it wasn’t just a team disbanding, it was the parting of people who knew how to find common ground till the very end, people who knew how to adapt to each other no matter how hard it was. I knew that there was no going back, but despite this we set an ambitious goal for ourselves, specifically – to be in the TOP-3 of all tournaments which the new roster would participate in. Unfortunately, this goal wasn’t achieved and there were different reasons behind it.
We trained a lot before the last DreamHack, but still couldn’t show our game, and I am almost 100% certain that the fruits of our trainings would’ve been gathered later on, but a different decision was made and already at the beginning of next year Na’Vi will be represented by a completely different battle squad.
Edward and Marik’s departure was a big blow to all Na’Vi fans, because the five of you could easily be considered the founding players of the organization. Not so long ago you were able to once more play together in a nostalgic match against Fnatic. Could you tell us how it was exactly from an emotional point of view? Were you able to feel as a single unit again despite the long break?
Oh yes, it was very fun to play together, the only gloomy moment was the fact that Edward was removed from AD the very same day and we didn't fully understand the reasons behind Marik’s inaction. But I am a 100% certain that he could’ve resolved the situation, and, possibly, Dreamhack would’ve had a different champion. Though, of course, I have nothing against kucheR and respect him as a strong player.
But, going back to the show-match, yes, it was a great feeling to play the good old CS 1.6 and I liked a lot the fact that when everything was in our hands and we could choose CS:GO as the last map game, we still went with 1.6 and proved to old-schoolers that we are the best.
If your original team remained intact till today, would you think that you would have been able to get back on the champions track? Or would your team mechanism simply become rusted without some serious changes?
I am unequivocally certain that the original Na’Vi squad would’ve become one of the leaders of the CS:GO competitive scene. We had great rapport and role distribution within the team. If you recall, at the moment of our disbandment very few teams could boast about beating NiP in a LAN tournament, only VP could beat them, and we were very close, although unstable. Despite this, we were on the right track and now Na’Vi have a great manager, a part that was missing greatly from the previous squad.
Does this mean that the team was unhappy with the previous manager?
We simply didn’t have one. As experienced players, we were given the freedom to conquer the seas on our own, but we failed.
This is really interesting, because many were under the impression that Igor (caff) carried managerial duties until recently. By the way, when you thought about what direction to take in eSports, did you consider the role of a manager at any point?
Igor is much more than just a manager, he manages all squads, and I’m talking about a personal manager/trainer/psychologist for a particular team. I’ve thought about the role of a manager but it is not time yet, moreover, Na’Vi has a great manager, I’ve still got miles and miles to go before I can be even distantly close to being compared to him, and it is a real shame that I got to work with him so little.
Tell us a bit more about Edward’s comeback. Was this possibility considered immediately after he got kicked from AD? Many fans expected a reunion after that, at least four of you together.
Of course, Vanya is a great player, however, everything depended on the success of our team and lack of results has pushed management to making such a decision.
What do you think, if you were still part of a team that was steadily amongst the top-tier teams, would you still make the decision to end your gaming career? After all, this decision surely isn’t connected to bad results exclusively. Are you sure that this is the final chapter? Or somewhere deep inside should we expect a sudden comeback from you?
I can’t answer this question with full certainty, although, most likely, of course my career would continue. But still, I’m not getting younger and moments come when you just need to make a willful decision. You just have to move forward, a professional player’s career won’t give me anything new.
On behalf of our editorial team I would like to thank you greatly. Not only for the interview, but overall for the monumental work done in the formation of Natus Vincere as an organization. I think that in the future you’ll be able to increase your contribution to eSports by many times. If you also have any final words for the readers – this is the time.
I’d like to thank my parents, my teammates and our fans.