Staff Profile #4: Rostislav Grubi
A couple of months ago, Rostislav "Andersen" Grubi joined our organization in the capacity of the website's new Editor-in-Chief. Previously Rostislav had worked in such large gaming web-portals as "Igromania" (popular magazine about games) and Virtus.pro. The website's design has changed, the new functions have been introduced and the volume of content has grown substantially since our editorial office acquired new boss. We began covering not only the events of Natus Vincere and its teams, but also the global news of the gaming world. Additionally we welcomed many new employees.
We never made an official announcement of the new Editor-in-Chief. Therefore, many of our visitors know nothing about him. It's time to introduce Rostislav Grubi. The new episode of Staff Profile is about him. Trust us, he's got much to tell us, including further changes to be introduced on our website.
— Hello! You've been working at Na`Vi for a couple of months now, but there's little information about you, apart from the data, provided by prb in his blog. Tell the readers about yourself.
— Hello. I don't even know what to begin with... I'm 27. I was born and lived in Uzhhorod (Ukrainian pronunciation: [ˈuʒɦoˌrɔd]), the town, located in the west of Ukraine. As concerns gaming, I played Counter-Strike 1.6 for about 10 years at semiprofessional level. Well, I don't have any serious achievement and regalia. Our maximal achievement is participation in regional tournaments and qualifiers of World Cyber Games, which still was conducted at the time, in the neighbour city of Lviv (the cultural center of Western Ukraine). I like travelling, playing basketball and poker, only as sports, with my friends.
— Before Natus Vincere you were working at Virtus.pro for a long time. What was your position? Was it your first job in eSports? How did you get involved in eSports?
— Before joining Na`Vi I was working over 3 years in Virtus.pro project: first I was an ordinary newsmaker/columnist at the old website, and later the deputy Editor-in-Chief at the current website of Virtus.pro. The very first eSports job I had was wesgg website, which exists no more, I wrote a couple of ordinary news for it. I got to Virtus.pro from Igromania website. I was an eSports columnist there for about three-four years. I wrote articles about Counter-Strike, Dota 2, World of Tanks and other major eSports titles. Being an author at Igromania, I visited the first eSports championships abroad as a reporter-on-the-site. I gained cool and valuable experience! I replied earlier how I got engaged in eSports. I'd say that eSports has been playing an important role in my life for the past 5-6 years. I thought several times to begin working in IT, as many of my friends work there. However, I still consider eSports as perspective as IT and much more interesting!
— How did you get to the Born to Win team? Was you interviewed? How did it pass? What can you advise to people, who dream working at Na`Vi?
— In the end of 2014 I saw a news about the vacancy of the Editor-in-Chief posted on the website of Natus Vincere. I decided to send CV and give it a try. The time I had spent in Virtus.pro was funny and useful, but I decided that I needed to move on. Frankly speaking, I wanted to join Natus Vincere in 2011–2012 (those were glorious years for Na`Vi as I see it). However, there were no vacancies like this one at the time. Moreover, I didn't have substantial experience and skills for this job. Virtus.pro project was interesting in that it was developing almost from the scratch and was very ambitious. The employees were developing along with the project. We had to learn many things in the process. Was I interviewed? If I'm not mistaken, I had 2 interviews, both via Skype. Afterwards, I came to Kyiv. My probation term began and here I am!
— After you joined the website, it began promptly developing: the structure changed, the volume of content increased. Tell us about the further plans of modernization. What can users expect in the nearest future?
— This website would be hard to modernize, since it was created to perform tasks other than those, which editorial office of Natus Vincere now has. Currently we are working on two main goals. First, we try to create cool and entertaining content for the existing website. Simultaneously, we create a new website from the scratch. It will substantially differ from all previous web-portals of Natus Vincere. We're currently drawing interface and design. Afterwards, we'll be coding and testing for a couple of months. I hope that fans of the team will like the new website. Surely, no spoilers for now!
— Initially there were less employees in navi.gg. The quantity of authors has increased. Can you tell about them? Do you plan to hire more people?
— In reality we didn't fully change the Russian-speaking editorial office of the website. We simply "reloaded" it a bit. Swiss_Larson (CS:GO columnist), Rendrom (Heroes of the Storm columnist) and Eric Tsitli, who writes fine articles about eSports and gaming. We have more girls now: Diana Savvina (graphic designer) and Mariana Voytseschuk (translator) joined us. We're working on creation of powerful editorial office, in which each of the journalists will have his own author opinion, while the articles and news will stand out in eSports world. Common development of the editorial office also implies permanent development of each author.
We're also developing the English version of the website, which is one of the priority goals. That's why we engaged volunteers in May. Some of them might soon join the project as employees. Most of the content on the English website consists of the translated materials from the Russian website. However, English-speaking authors began writing unique content on the website. In the best-case scenario, our website should consist of two simultaneously developing editorial offices, since the western fans of eSports are not interested in all the news, which are interesting for the our community. For example, World of Tanks enjoys hundreds of thousands of fans in the CIS, while few people would be interested in it in the Netherlands or Mexica. Same with League of Legends, but it's vice versa: the game has small audience here.
By increasing volumes of content, I try to keep an eye on the guys, so that they don't lose interest in what they're writing about, as it impacts the quality of work. Since each author is responsible for a particular title, they do not have to write about other games. I think this is a correct approach, though the universality and understanding of other disciplines are valued and welcomed. It is planned that the new website will have more content and sections. That's why the quantity of employees will be increased. We have a particular plan of their engagement. All we have to do is to find necessary people, who will be interested in developing and writing about favourite games. The renewed editorial office must begin work with the new website. As of now we're beta-testing...
— Hearthstone is gaining increasing popularity. The streams of the title attract large audience. Do you plan covering the events related to this game on the website?
— Hearthstone is an interesting and funny game. It is one of my favourite. If to abstract from anything else, I'd surely vote for it! However, much will depend on Natus Vincere's acquiring the players. May eSports clubs in the West acquired Hearthstone eSports team almost at once. However, the attitude towards this title was extremely precautious here. I guess of famous teams only Team Empire and HellRaisers have Hearthstoners. So we do have plans in this respect, but I can't fully guarantee you it will happen.
— What is your vision of eSports journalism? What is its difference from the conventional one? Are there specific features?
— That is both difficult and interesting question. Surely it has specific features, since it has quite narrow focus. It takes a particular niche, though this niche is rapidly developing and growing! I guess, it is pretty similar to sports journalism, but it has a number of differences. Similar to eSports, eSports journalism is live: there's almost no propaganda here, no paid articles, which were ordered for a particular purposes, almost no politics (which can be found only in comments).
What eSports journalism should be? It should be informative, documentary, analytical, interesting and unique. People are tired of dull descriptions of games, empty interviews and banal articles, containing no new ideas. We need to work on that. I wish eSports fans had favourite news makers and authors, apart from favourite players and casters. Unfortunately, the quality of articles and news isn't appreciated in the industry (due to the average age of TI). However, it will eventually change for good. eSports will surely grow into something, which is bigger. eSports journalism will grow up as well
Many eSports fans are 30+ years now. They've abandoned playing, but they continue following Counter-Strike and Dota 2 tournaments. I suppose same thing will happen to the authors. If a person writes interesting content, which stands out due to the author style and topical subjects, his articles will be read for decades. That's what we need to pursue.
— Favourite movie?
— I can't name one. There are several of them: all episodes of Lord of the Rings and Hobbit, a couple of movies by Kusturica ("Black Cat, White Cat", "Promise Me This") and Guy Ritchie. I liked Interstellar very much and watched it three times!
— What is your dream place for visit?
— There are plenty of them: New Zeeland, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, the US, Ireland, Latin America (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay), Geargia, Iceland, etc.
— Your rank in CS:GO?
— I managed to achieve Global Elite with my friends. However, it's hard to imagine that I have the same rank, as olofmeister from Fnatic or GuardiaN'a from Natus Vincere (laughing). Achieving Global Elite was more difficult before. Now the developers of Valve changed something in their system, so it became easier. Well, everyday CS:GO is getting more similar to CS1.6 in terms of mechanics. As a result, it's getting easier for the guys, who's been playing for a long time.
— The last book you read?
— The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. Unfortunately, I almost never read books now, since I don't have time for them. Damn TV shows!
Eloveana 10 September 2015, 13:54 1391 1