The biggest surprise of the previous Major, Gregory “balblna” Oleinick and his team, are now carrying more expectations than ever going into the Faceit Major 2018.
During the ELEAGUE Major Boston earlier this year, Quantum Bellator Fire entered as the major underdogs. They were expected to drop out in the qualifier, and that was supposed to be it. But the Russian team (with a single Lithuanian onboard) had something else in mind.
They stormed through the Challengers, defeating the Chinese Flash Gaming, their rivals from the CIS qualifier AVANGAR, and Vincent “Happy” Cervoni’s EnVyUs.
As if that was not enough of a shocker, the virtually unknown team overcame Virtus.pro, Gambit Gaming, and mousesports in the Legends stage, to make it to ELEAGUE Major Boston playoffs.
The team came out of nowhere, qualified via a CIS qualifier, made their way through a highly competitive Challenger stage, beat all the odds in the stacked Legends stage, and made it all the way to Top 8, all in a single run.
Since then, the old QBF line-up joined Winstrike team and remained mostly quiet with their performances, making them once again an underdog. Gregory “balblna” Oleinick shared his thoughts ahead of their second Major.
Note: The interview was translated from Russian.
Vie: Help me find the answer to the biggest question there is — what do you feel was the reason behind your success at the previous Major? Most thought you were the worst team in the tournament and then you just went ahead and became Legends.
balblna: Most analysts still think that we were the worst team there. We did not go to the previous Major to win but to show everyone what we can do. Of course, we wanted to win but we were realistic in our chances. As the tournament went on we gained more confidence and left some of our opponents behind. You can’t say that luck played no part in our success, but we did not waste the opportunities that were handed to us.
Vie: And after the ELEAGUE Major you just returned to the old QBF, winning just two minor tournaments in the past six months.
balblna: Major was our high-point and we, being a very young team, just couldn’t stay there very long. To remain at a constant level of play continuously you must have very strong fundamentals and that’s something that comes with years of experience. There were a few other factors that held us back, but that’s for another time.
Vie: What was your preparation like for your second Major?
balblna: We had a bootcamp in preparation for the London Major, we spent nearly two months there, with some breaks. We are taking practice much more seriously now.
Vie: And your coach?
balblna: Our coach brings a massive contribution to the team. He’s the head of the team, even in-game.
Vie: What result would you be happy with at the Faceit Major?
balblna: We want to show our best, after that — whatever happens, happens.
Vie: How do you feel about the changes Valve brought to the Major system, where 0:3 teams won’t be invited to the next Major?
balblna: Feels like a barrel is aiming at us, but I think it will be a miss (laughs)
Vie: Vega Squadron is another ex-CIS Minor team that managed to make their way into the new Legends stage. How far do you think they’ll go?
balblna: I don’t like playing a guessing game when it comes to other teams from the CIS region. I wish that they could find their best performance and go as far as they possibly can at the Faceit Major 2018.
After a second place finish at WESG 2018, Anna “Ant1ka” Ananikova talked about the difference between her current squad and the former one, shared impressions of working with the coach of Vega Squadron, and the dynamics between male and female Counter-Strike.
Damian “Furlan” Kisłowski’s AGO Gaming settled in Chongqing, China, where the Polish team will fight the world’s best for their share of $890,000 USD in prize money.
It was another disappointing event for Julia “juliano” Kiran’s Beşiktaş, where the European girls ended up third in Intel Challenge Katowice 2019 — just behind their North American rivals.