Right after Winstrike went 0-3 in the FACEIT Major London 2018 the Russian organization released the majority of the team. Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov talked about the reasons behind the change.
The ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018 was nothing short of life-changing for the Russian team. Then Quantum Bellator Fire team beat the CIS Minor, qualified through the new Challengers stage, and even made their way through a stacked group stage and earned a spot in the playoffs.
Since then, however, the team failed to perform online and didn’t qualify for any international tournaments. In the FACEIT Major Winstrike failed to put much of a fight in the first two games against Team Liquid and Fnatic. Only in the deciding game of the tournament, Winstrike started showing a fighting spirit in the match against Cloud9.
Even following a series of underwhelming results, the news about the majority of the team being released came as a surprise.
As Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov explained in a social media post, the situation within the team went awry ahead of the Major tournament. “When we came to the Major, we were not a team anymore,” he wrote. “It didn’t happen overnight. Slowly the climate within the team started to change. We were communicating less. People stopped playing for the team and started playing because it was their job. Definitely not because they enjoyed it.”
According to Boombl4, the way players approached the game slowly became a real issue within the team and the motivation to perform dropped significantly. Before they knew any better, losing became a part of the routine. “Everyone just started playing worse,” he continued. “It became a job where you were doing what you’re told. It stopped being about individual performance.”
The lack of communication only worsened the state of mind within the team. Instead of talking about their issues, everyone closed-off and continued as they were. In the end, it led to the current situation and Boombl4 believes it’s one of the worst things that can happen to a team. “When you stop discussing what you don’t like about the team with your teammates, that’s when you’re in trouble. And that’s exactly what happened to us.”
As to why Winstrike decided out of five players to keep only him, Mikhailov has a pretty good idea. “They probably thought I would make a good team captain,” he said. “I always had a very serious approach to everything I do. A lot of people want to play with me as well.”
“I could gather a good group of players for the new team,” he concluded.
As of right now, waterfaLLZ, Kvik, jmqa, and balblna are all teamless, however, their return to the new Winstrike roster is still possible.
NaVi coach Mykhailo “kane” Blagin will stand-in for the team in a ESL Pro League Season 8 match against the German BIG in place of Denis “electronic” Sharipov.
26-year-old Edvinas “Aikas” Žemaitis sets a new kill record in regulation on a single map in a WINNERS League Season 1 match against Nexus Gaming.
The 17-year-old Russian quickly became a sensation in the region, but his prowess remains virtually unknown outside CIS. Since David “n0rb3r7” Danielyan joined Winstrike, hopefully, that is to change soon.