Before the season began, NaVi were supposed to be one of the dominant forces in PUBG Europe League Phase 1. But the fate had something else in mind, as the Ukrainian powerhouse Natus Vincere finished way below the expectations, in the fourteenth position.
It was time for a change. Something clearly wasn’t working within the team. Last year, NaVi had several dominant performances on the international stage and cemented their position as one of the best teams in Europe, as well as the world.
But once the first split of PUBG’s $1 million dollar league began, everything went wrong. NaVi struggled to find their playstyle and kept losing battles they shouldn’t have. The team’s fans were locked in a heartbreaking scenario, watching their favorite team crumble to pieces.
Soon after the Phase 1 was over, Natus Vincere announced their roster changes, and they were massive. NaVi dropped three of the four starting members, with only the veteran team captain, Vadim “POKAMOLODOY” Ulshin staying behind.
Arsenii “ceh9” Ivanychev was recruited from one of the biggest surprises of the season, the Russian Jokers. From Red Diamonds, who finished the split 9th, joined Andrey “Bestoloch” Ionov and Roman “ADOUZ1E” Zinoviev.
On the April 30, the renewed Natus Vincere roster will be put to the test in the PEL Kick-Off tournament, where they will fight for a prize pool of $125,000 dollars. The organization’s spot in Europe’s top league will be decided there as well.
Soon after the announcement, Roman “ADOUZ1E” Zinoviev talked about the start of his esports career, shared his impressions of the PUBG Europe League and evaluated the changes of the map Erangel, in an interview.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! What did you do before getting into esports?
Before getting into esports, I just studied and in my free time, I played different shooters. Such as Battlefield. After the release of PUBG, I only played that.
What does your nickname mean? Does it have a backstory?
I don’t remember exactly, but I always played with this nickname and didn’t change it.
Your first serious team was Team Empire. How did you get there?
Snoopykx could not go with GRUBIE to the LAN due to problems with the documents, so they decided to put together a team, which they invited me to. Then we signed a contract with Team Empire. It’s quite simple.
Why do you think you were invited to the team with Bestoloch?
We showed a good game in the Red Diamonds, but after that, the roster got disbanded. We were left without a team, it was a great fit so they invited us.
You will continue to perform in the PUBG Europe League as part of NAVI. Do you think it is necessary for the team to change the starting place of deployment?
We’ll just loot free spots. In the new meta, the starting spot is not important, besides there should be several for several variants of the flight of the aircraft. We’ll see everything at the Kick-off Cup!
What are your general impressions of the first phase of PEL?
I was very surprised by ENCE. I always thought they were a good team, but they played too well in this tournament. I think they also did not expect such a game from themselves. It’s sad that G2 missed by just one point to qualify to the Faceit Major. With all due respect to Winstrike, I generally liked the players and the whole game more on the side of G2.
What, in your opinion, were the shortcomings of the previous NaVi lineup?
I don’t know what was going on inside of the team, but judging from the outside, they simply lacked an individual performance and confidence in their actions.
Red Diamonds also failed to rise to the top of the standings. What’s the case there?
We have lots of reasons, both in-game and organizational. If you only consider in-game, then it feels like I and Bestoloch were the only ones playing in that team.
However, in the third season of the Unique League, you managed to take first place, overtaking NaVi in the last match. At what point did you realize that you became champions?
We knew that if we play well the last game and survive or shutdown AVANGAR, then we will have second place in our pocket. We did not think that we had overtaken NAVI until we saw the standings.
Everyone in a squad has his own weapon of choice. What do you usually play with?
M416 + MINI-14 — top 1 damage in PEL 🙂
In PUBG, is it most important to hone individual skills or sharpening the teamwork?
If you want to win tournaments and compete with tier-1-teams, you should have a good individual plays and the synergy in the team too. It does not happen that teams win without one or the other.
Not so long ago we saw a reworked Erangel with an increased number of compounds. How do you feel about the fact that game developers add more places for loot?
Negatively. There are enough places for loot, in the competitive PUBG couple of houses are enough to get geared. It would be great if the developers added more hideouts(stones, reliefs, trees), instead.
What is your favorite map?
What PUBG Corp. needs to do in order to develop the esports component of the game further?
This question has been out there from the moment the competitive PUBG has been developed. I think PUBG Corp. also trying to figure out the right answer to this very day. I hope they will find it and we will witness the formation of a new large discipline, like DOTA or CS:GO.
Do you follow other disciplines in the esports scene?
I used to follow CS:GO. But when I became a professional player myself, I began to devote all my free time only to PUBG.
Qualifying to the FACEIT Global Summit by just one point, Joona “NOOKIE” Närvänen’s Winstrike will be looking to show on the international scale that their fourth-place finish in PUBG Europe League was well deserved.
After three tough weeks of non-stop PUBG action, Finnish esports organization ENCE became the champions of PEL Phase 1 Kick-off, proving once again, that the age old saying ‘EZ4ENCE’ transcends all barriers.
Apex Legends quickly broke into the industry and for several weeks kept the leadership in the genre of battle royales. Now the game is gradually losing its audience — developers do not have time to fulfill the wishes of users, who find more and more reasons to return to Fortnite or PUBG.