Kamen “bubble” Kostadinov, the 27-years-old Bulgarian player for Windigo gaming, talked about their recent success in WESG, competing with world’s best teams, and changing organizations.
Last week the Bulgarian team successfully overcame all odds and became the World Electronic Sports Games 2018 champions, taking home a massive $500,000 winning cheque.
It wasn’t exactly an easy event for Windigo. After finishing first in their group, Kostadinov’s team faced off against some of the world’s best. In the quarterfinals they overcame MIBR 2-1, followed by a win against G2 esports in both maps.
In the grand final Windigo battled the Polish AGO Esports, who defeated the likes of Fnatic and Valiance on their way to the final. In the deciding games, even after losing on the first map, Windigo managed to bounce back and win two maps back-to-back.
Kamen “bubble” Kostadinov talked about their performance in China, among other things, in an interview.
That bo3 series against MIBR was insane! What did it feel like?
It’s hard to describe such emotions! It’s just amazing. The game was very emotional with a lot of pressure on us. We did a lot of mistakes but also had pretty good timings. I respect MIBR a lot, but at the very end, we were the ones who managed to overcome the opponent.
On the first map, you beat Brazilians 16:8. From the side, it looked like an easy game for you. Was it that easy?
We lost two eco rounds, and the score was 7:8 in the first half. So, it wasn’t easy at all. But after I just told my teammates: “Guys, we lost two ecos but we still in the game. So, after we’ll switch sides, we just have to take a pistol round and just crush them!” And we did it.
On a third map you built a great advantage for CT side, but after you switched sides you struggled to end the game. What is the reason for it?
First of all, I have to say, that we didn’t play Overpass as we usually do. We prepared specifically for MIBR. We knew how they played, so we tried to do something different to counter their unique playstyle. It was very hard! Before out match up we had a practice on Overpass and they f**ked up us with our own strategies, so that’s why we tried something new. I think that our preparation was good, we lost one eco round and then Victor went crazy by killing four people with USP and then it was like a snowball for us.
But after we won pistol round for T-side and the next one, we struggled to make the right decisions and probably that mistake is mine. Because we didn’t start with our own rounds so we’ve just kept doing what our coach said. We played different strategies, but they didn’t work out, so we decided to play few our default rounds and we won few. But I saw that FalleN prepared for them.
Also, we didn’t communicate well, we were screaming a lot, the pressure was insane. It was hard for me to find myself and make the call to win a single round. I said: “Guys, let’s just go together. It’s doesn’t matter if I will suck, but you four go and make frags”. We just needed to go in close contact with the opponent.
It was announced that your roster was up to transfer at the beginning of February. What is your status in the organization just right now? Is it somehow affected your preparation to the tournament?
The thing is like when we found out that all of us in the transfer list, we had pretty bad moments. We weren’t focused on our game, our thoughts belonged to other stuff. In the end, we found the solution and I can confirm that we will stick with Windigo. We have already signed new contracts. So we will keep playing under Windigo wings. We pleasured a lot that we found the solution.
Do you consider your victory over MIBR as the reward for path what you did?
Definitely. That is something big for us, I feel great confidence in ourselves. It’s a good sign for us, we are on the right path. But at the same time, I understand that other teams will be prepared for us. We wanted to win MIBR so badly, that showed a big part of our preparations. Now we have to put even more in our game.
After such an opponent, did you even care about your next rival?
To be honest, no. We were ready for everyone. But G2 is a very strong team, we had to be careful.
Sometimes it happens, that players get burned out emotionally in such matches as you just had. Do you feel something like this?
No, I don’t. Before the match, I felt a huge pressure on me. Now I am calm. We had a team talk in the elevator with a team and I asked guys: “Will we play tomorrow?”. They told me that we don’t have a game on Friday and I felt such a release. I breathed out and relaxed because we had time to recover emotionally and prepare well.
It’s your first time at WESG. How do you like it?
Everything is perfect. PC’s, hotel – everything is perfect. I don’t have any complaints and negative feelings about WESG.
During your match-up against MIBR, were you affected by the fact that the crowd didn’t cheer for you?
I didn’t feel the pressure from the crowd, but at the same time, I saw that it pressured others. Players were shaking. Sure, we heard that everybody was cheering for MIBR, but we also tried to focus on winning every single round.
Do you think that MIBR underestimated you?
I would say no because they were ready for our strategies on Overpass. But it also looked like they didn’t have a clue about our Dust 2. That’s why they lost. Map veto was a key to success. At the very end, we played three of our best maps, but as far as I know, MIBR played only on two of their best maps.
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