After a very underwhelming result at the IEM Katowice 2019 CIS Minor for Gambit Esports, Vlаdуslаv “bondik” Nеchуроrchuk reminisced about playing for the Chinese TyLoo and his two years with HellRaisers.

Nеchуроrchuk, who departed HellRaisers after a two-year stint, joined Gambit on trial before the next Major. There was only one acceptable result for the team — win the CIS Minor, qualify for the IEM Katowice 2019.

But the additions of bondik and Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov wasn’t enough to bring Gambit back to their winning ways. They were overwhelmed by the underdogs Syman Gaming in their opening match. They managed to bounce back defeating Nemiga Gaming and qualified for the playoffs. But in the end, after two straight losses against Winstrike and Team Spirit, Gambit were sent packing.

But what became the real surprise of the event was the last chance qualifier. There, the two underdogs Winstrike and the Chinese Vici Gaming overcame the heavy favorites in North and Team EnVy and took the final two IEM Katowice spots.

Bondik, who spent a few months on loan in Chinese TyLoo is certain that what makes these teams from weaker regions prevail is their exposure to international events.

The Chinese scene has grown noticeably lately. In particular, TyLoo and now Vici Gaming. Do you feel a bit of your influence there?

When I came to them, they were already the best Chinese team. However, I had something to teach them. For example, I tried to show them what is right and what is not, how to behave in certain situations, to explain some subtleties. They asked me a lot about how best to train individually. I had to explain that everyone should have their own approach: for example, if someone shoots well, then it will be useful for him to devote more time to watching the demos, analyze his game and think about the meta.

bondik

You were as much a coach as you were a player?

In general, I suggested as I could. Since the Chinese players initially took me very well, almost were my fans, there was a lot of respect there. They listened to me in everything and were very open to take it all in. I understood that my efforts were not in vain. After all, all the time that we played together, they constantly progressed. I was very glad.

What exactly did you explain to them besides the approaches to individual training?

These were mainly micro situations, for example, how to play clutch rounds correctly. With those, by the way, they had huge problems. Perhaps because of the communication, because, in fact, they all communicated in different languages. I just tried to instill in them the habit of playing together, on exchanges, etc. Judging by their latest games that I have seen, they still apply the hints that I laid on them.

For the longest time, Tyloo was the only Chinese team that could compete with Europeans. Why is that?

This is the experience of international tournaments. There are many teams in China, but when the Major comes we see only one or two representatives from the Asian qualifier. Historically those teams were TyLoo and Renegades. By the way, I would refer the latter to the American region. It seems to me that it would be more correct. Although I understand the logic of why they are there, yet geographically they are closer to Asia.

Because of this, Asia’s representative was mostly TyLoo. Others have a hard time competing with them. TyLoo is a very experienced team that bootcamped in Europe several times. They simply understand the game better.

So that’s what Asian teams need to succeed — more international experience?

In general, if the Chinese want to make a good, efficient team, then they need to move to Europe, and not to waste time in China itself, where the CS level is much lower. There is a simple logic, in Europe everything has already been thought up for a long time and there is a lot to be learned from this great experience. China is at the very beginning of the road. So why repeat mistakes., there’s no point in re-inventing the wheel.

bondik. Photo via HLTV.org

Let’s go back a bit to the last Major, where you made it to Top 8 with Hellraisers. And after that things started looking down…

Look, before the FACEIT Major we did not get out of CS for a month and a half; we lived it 24/7. Even talked only about it. It was difficult physically and mentally. It only helped that we had a goal and a desire, first of all, to prove to ourselves that we could be in the top 8. I remember how we lost to Liquid (one of the favorites of the tournament) on the third map. It was very disappointing, I remember those emotions. We could win, need just a little more in a couple of situations.

So that’s where the experience in big events comes in?

Yes, and the difference in experience affected the end result, after all Liquid regularly play on large stages, but we did not. Plus we had young guys who still found it hard to speak to the public. When they lost, they became devastated, but not because of defeat, but because everything was finally over and all this fatigue that had accumulated in a month and a half was gone. We just exhaled and that break took us almost a week. No one even approached the computer, except for ANGE1.

You’ve been with Hellraisers for over two years. How do you make that choice that it’s now time to move on?

We had three days to prepare for StarSeries. The breather that we took, it seems like only a week but we lost our form and have not gained it back. This had to be fixed, so it is necessary that there is an understanding within the team that the result can only be achieved through training and hard work. In our team, as I believe, not everyone had it. I was in teams where we trained harder and more efficiently before. And for us there was just potential.

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