Staff Profile #1: Andi


UkraineNatus Vincere organization is constantly growing and developing. The players change and new squads appear. Fans all over the world know their names. You comment their game, visit the tournaments to meet them in real life.

However, you shouldn’t forget that Na`Vi is more than players. We have designers, moviemakers, SMM managers, writers and many others. All of them work hard for the benefit of the project, contributing their time and efforts. That’s why we create a new column “Staff Profile” with an article published once per 2 weeks. The article will contain an interview with a number of questions mostly concerning Natus Vincere. It will be most interesting for those of you, who wish to become a part of Na`Vi organization.
Our first “guest” is the man, whose reports you can regularly read in the main page of navi.gg. Many users used his articles in order to learn how to play CS:GO, while experienced players used them to improve their knowledge of the game. As you might have guessed, we speak about Andrew “Andi” Prohorov – the author of articles and CS:GO analytics.
 
Hi! Notwithstanding that you’ve been in organization for a couple of years know, people know little about you. Tell us about yourself and the work you do for the project.
Hi, Kirill. Hello, dear readers. I’m 28, I live in Kyiv.
I went to a local school that specialized in profound teaching German language. I know little about its current level of teaching. However, in the times I studied there, its students could choose any University of Germany since their level of German was very high and the diploma provided such possibility. I remember we had 11 lessons of German per week and our teacher didn’t know Russian, since he came from Berlin. My ancestors were the Germans, that’s why my parents chose such school. I’ve visited Germany many times since I was 12 years old. My parents still have many friends in different states of Germany, mostly in Thuringia and Bavaria. By the way, later my parents went to the Germany 5 years ago. They live in Karlsruhe near the French border.
I began playing football (soccer in USA – translator’s note) when I was 10 years old. First, it was only a hobby, but I did very well, so I was invited to join junior team of “Dynamo” (one of the most popular football clubs in Ukraine – translator’s note). I played for 5-6 years in Dynamo, as was a captain of a junior team. I didn’t like the level of the game and the attitude to it in my country, so I decided I would play abroad. Germany was an ideal option. I went to an audition to Karlsruher Sport Club – the team of the First Bundesliga. That was the time I first experience the meaning of “wrong time” and “wrong place”. The audition went wrong, so I came back to Ukraine being totally demotivated due to the loss of such big chance. Later I had an injury of an ankle, which became chronic. That was the end of my sport career.
Later I graduated from the University (Law faculty) and started working as a lawyer in an advertising agency. I worked there for 3 years. I don’t want to get into details, but each time I encountered the state agencies or participated in a trial, I understood that it is impossible to both be an idealist and work as a lawyer. That’s why I resigned and decided to work in the sphere I liked much and knew very well.
I write articles about CS:GO for the TWOP section of navi.gg.
 
How long have you been doing this? Did you work in any eSports portals before, or Na`Vi website became your first one?
Na`Vi website became my first working experience in eSports.
 
Can you recall your first publication? What was it about? What was its purpose? Was it the participation in some kind of contest or something like that?
I never participated in any contest. I am not a creative person, though I have to go creative all the time.
My first publication was an article “From 1.6 to CS:GO” . I didn’t have any particular purpose and I didn’t have any notion of neither what should be included in the article nor how it should be designed. It was general subject. I kind of trained and got my lessons. My first article was a trial in order to find out if I can go on writing.
 
Now, I’d like to ask a question, which is one of the most interesting for our readers: How did you get to Natus Vincere organization?
As I mentioned before, I wanted to do what I like, so I chose 2 spheres: football and eSports. It was almost impossible to get a coach’s diploma or agent’s license in football without money or connections. So I soon abandoned the idea of sticking to my past. I tried many times to get to the most successful eSports organization Natus Vincere: I sent CVs, but unsuccessfully. That’s why I had to work in other spheres: got part time jobs to make a living and pay for the apartment, where I’d lived alone ever since my parents had gone away. The organization’s office was close to my home. I passed it every day as I went to the subway. I looked at the upper floors where the office was located and thought it was the place I belonged, it was the job I craved. When it got really hard to keep on working at part-time jobs, I decided to join Na`Vi team whatever it takes.
I began my way by contacting UkraineOleg “prb” Bulavko. I’d met him at many LAN tournaments in Kyiv and played together in a team. I asked Oleg to give me any job. I was ready for a temporary position without salary. I wasn’t interested in money, though I needed it much. Oleg talked to the management and invited me to job interview.
 
Do you remember your interview? How did it go? Did you worry much?
When I was invited I didn’t know whom I would communicate with: our CEO UkraineAlexander “ZeroGravity” Kohanovsky or Executive director – UkraineIgor “Caff” Sidorenko. Oleg met me in the office and invited to a small conference hall. We talked for about 30 minutes. He proposed to work at website’s forum and execute small tasks. As to say I had to make some useful things. I agreed. I worried before the interview, because I wanted to work at Na`Vi so much and I’d taken a long pass to come here. I didn’t have any hesitations in my own abilities. You don’t have to be shy of worrying – it’s natural.
 
How long have you been in the project? Share your impressions of your work. Have they changed over the time?
I started working over a year ago. I first executed small tasks. As I acquired more trust, I got more important tasks. Though my first trial article was written about CS:GO, I got to the Dota 2 team. UkraineSasha “DKPhobos” Kucheria was in charge of it. We started working on and developing Dota 2 TWOP. I studied Dota and Dota 2: watched streams of tournaments and players. I also played to become more experienced. I played Dota 2 for about 3000 hours. I studied fast and I got profound notion of the game. At least I thought so, before Sasha started often mentioning things I never heard about. When he said he wanted to return into professional eSport, I was sure he’d make it. I am very proud of the work we’ve done, since the articles about Dota 2 mechanics was very good. Unfortunately, as per moment we don’t have a person for Dota 2 TWOP, who would rewrite articles so that they would fit current patch and also write new articles. I am sure that it’s just a matter of time. And soon all Dota fans will obtain opportunity to read new articles about their favorite game in TWOP.
In June 2014 I started writing articles in TWOP CS:GO (they will be soon available in English).
As concerns my impressions, they’re changing. I watch new professional joining the projects. We lurch from one extreme to another less and we make decisions that are more effective. Better environment for the employees was created. For instance, new office with a studio and a training base for the teams. 17 December 2014 our organization had its 5th anniversary – this is the age, when the young becomes stronger and more confident. We know what to work at and we work to satisfy our fans.
 
Describe your relations with the management. Are you happy with your current job conditions?
We have friendly working relations. Whatever you do, people will respect you if you do it good. That’s why I try to follow this principle.
As concerns the conditions. It is the experience, that makes you truly understand things. Before joining Na`Vi I used to work in such places, I wish I never ever visit again. This is what makes me different: I appreciate what I have, as I know what’s bad from my own experience. To be more precise, surely Natus Vincere provided great conditions that enable me to focus on my work.
 
There are many articles in TWOP section covering new gaming mechanics. In order to write such kind of analytics one needs to play at high level. How many years have you played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive? What is your ladder rankings?
I’ve been following CS:GO since it was issued in 2012. I started playing in 2013, I had played CS:1.6 before that.
Marcus Aurelius in his book Meditations wrote: “Since it is possible that thou mayest depart from life this very moment, regulate every act and thought accordingly”. I think it is the key to distinguish among others.
As concerns ranking.
As per moment I do not have one, since if you do not play in CS:GO for a long time, the rank is cancelled. My last rank was Legendary Eagle Master, but I could easily get a higher rank if I wished. I play with my friends and people I’ve known for a long time. The most important thing for me about the game is fun, my individual level of thinking in clutch-situations, not the quality of shooting and reflexes. I wish to laugh. I don’t want to achieve false rank tops. I haven’t played much for the last 6 months. My work is most important for me. However sometimes I can spend dozens of hours testing some things.
 
You need to watch all the matches of Natus Vincere. What is your opinion about their performance lately? Can you name the most dangerous rivals for them?
Notwithstanding the discussions and statements made in respect of the squad, such squad has its right to live, regardless the result of their performance at the next grand tournament ESL One Katowice 2015.
Analyzing the grand tournaments, we’ve never been in top 4 teams of the planet as at DreamHack Winter 2014. We need to take it into account. However, last online-plays leave much to be desired – not in terms of the result but in terms of the content.
The main rival of Na`Vi is Na`Vi. The first step in the way of solving the problem is admitting it. I think that the review of the values is the only option for the squad to survive. I do not support carrot and stick approach as it results in dismal followed by a constant fear to make mistake. I’ve always been a captain in the teams I played, and I know from my own experience that cheering and sharing inspiration impact greatly. It is important to explain it to the team. That’s why in order to achieve results with such squad, the following should be done:
  • The players need to understand how lucky they are to do what they do and to make a living of it. They also need to understand what they are going to do in the future.
  • They need to return their self-confidence. It is important for a sportsman, eSportsman too, to enter the battle, knowing that he is the best, that he will overcome, since he’s been training purposefully a lot. Self-confidence is one of key factors influencing the result. It is necessary to make players understand they are needed. It is necessary to inspire them each time possible. Any spoken word is noticed. If compare kind words with offenses addressed to the player, it becomes obvious, how horrible the situation is.
  • It is necessary to listen each other and people related to the squad. This will help to broaden the ken, understand the possible reasons of what’s going on and to determine the priorities correctly.
  • There’s a necessity to change gaming style. It is necessary to determine the roles in the team for each player regardless the strategy chosen for a round, could do what he performs best and what he likes most. It is necessary to play more aggressively, to work out more tactics and develop particular strategies for particular tournaments.

Imagine musicians after their great hit is forgotten. What keeps successful performers to remain on top? It is the ability to adapt to new conditions in the ever changing world and more commitment. Those who live by the achievements of the past, remain in history. They do not shape it.

CS:GO is a young game. It’s only 3 years old. There’s been little time for the teams to learn how to play. They are still searching for the gaming style, new tactics and things they can impress with. Top teams can change after any tournament. Only those will remain who continue working after achieving the result.
 
As far as we know you have your own group in VKontakte (the CIS popular social network, pretty similar to Facebook – translator’s note). What kind of group is that? What do you do in that group?
I do have one. I created it after the games at CS:GO tournament for the employees of the organization. It was organized by the team Russian FederationVirtus.pro. We took third place, though we never prepared for the game due to the working overload. I think we made our best. UkraineArseniy “ceh9” Trinojenko streamed our game. We received many positive reviews, which is a very rare thing. People liked the way we talk to each other, our attitude to the rivals and fair performance from time to time : )
After this tournament, I decided to create a group where I can communicate with the like-minded persons, laugh at funny CS:GO moments, which I find on the Internet. On the whole, it is a good community with much fun and no obligations. Unfortunately I am too involved in my work to develop the group. However, I think it will become more interesting in the future, as I am planning to stream.
 
Do you visit StarLadder LAN-finals? Do you support the guys in real life?
I was once at the finals of the Eleventh season, but I had to chose between my work and the desire to support the guys, so I abandoned the idea.
 
Do you follow the games of other squads? Are you interested in World of Tanks or Dota 2?
I follow them all the time. I am interested in the games, in which Na`Vi has squads. I follow Dota 2 from those times when the squad contained “Artstyle”, “Axypa” and “Globak”. It’s most likely I haven’t missed a single grand tournament of our team. I’ve been following tanks ever since I went to Minsk to the finals of Golden League Second season. I got acquainted with all the players there.
I try to cheer all the players I have in my contacts and to congratulate them on the victories. Most often I communicate with Dmitry “SL1DE” Frishman. I have friendly relations with him. Apart from game, we discuss other subjects.
 
The interview is almost over. It was very interesting to speak to you. To finalize it, give a couple of advice to the aspiring journalists wishing to cooperate with Na`Vi.
I wouldn’t dare taking a responsibility to make advice to young journalists, since journalist is an outstanding profession, requiring high level of morality, high command of facts and in-time coverage of an event. What we see today in Mass Media of any country today is an example of what the journalist shouldn’t be. The key features of any individual are virtue, diligence and keenness on his or her work.
 
Blitz-questions:
Favorite movie?
The Pursuit of Happiness
 
Favorite book?
“Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius
 
Favorite band?
Coldplay
 
What are you proud of?
I am proud of the work I’ve done and my aspiration to become better and correct my drawbacks
 
What is your favorite episode of staying at Na`Vi?
I got an SMS congratulating me upon 5th anniversary of the organization. It was the most pleasant corporate mailing of all I’d ever received. It was the evidence that I chose the right direction.
 
To finalize: any shout-outs, if you wish.
Thank you for your time and for this interview. I wish to express my gratitude to the management for the chance to become a part of such team, in which one wishes to develop and to become more accomplished. Shout-outs to all the co-workers and people related to our common deed.
I also wish to thank the fans of Na`Vi for their support of the players and their faith in the best.
 
AuthorRusseD Date20 February 2015, 15:47 Views3345 Comments0
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