After AVANGAR’s victory over Winstrike in the final of IEM Katowice CIS Minor 2019, Timur “Buster” Tulepov shared his first impressions after reaching the major and also said how a defeat in the group stage helped AVANGAR win in the playoffs.

The team from Kazakhstan lost only once this entire Minor and it was against the Winstrike team in the group stages. In the first playoff match AVANGAR defeated the struggling Gambit Esports line-up and moved on to winner’s final, where they battled it out against the previous Major Legends for the first spot in IEM Katowice 2019.

This will be the second Valve Major for AVANGAR. In their first attempt at ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018 they finished 17th — just one win away from the New Legends Stage. Coincidentally, at the same Major Winstrike (then Quantum Bellator Fire) against all odds made it all the way to Top 8, earning themselves Legends status.

For AVANGAR and Timur “Buster” Tulepov this means a second chance to make their goals reality.

Congratulations! What were the first thoughts in your head after the victory?

We have already passed to this stage of the championship, so the emotions were not so bright. The most important thing is that we have a good team, and stickers, of course (laughs).

You are probably the calmest among all the teams. Even at the moment of victory. Is this temperament, or work on yourself?

This is our thing. That we are not a very emotional team.

Does this value help during matches? Especially against teams like Winstrike, who actively use emotional pumping?

It had no effect on us. It is difficult to explain, in principle, I cannot say that we indulge in emotions during matches.

The most memorable moment in this Minor?

As we took the round 2 against 4 twice with Jame. This was the brightest episode.

Why did you lose Winstrike in the group stage? 

We were not prepared properly. We thought that they would play in the old manner, without any changes, so we did not watch their games. Therefore, we were not ready for their game on Train, and besides, they themselves gave away a few key rounds.

That defeat, how did it change your preparation for this match?

It was a very important match, obviously. We gathered together and step by step demolished demos, positions, spreading grenades. Very well prepared. In principle, I cannot say that we changed something, rather, we were just ready, and Sai, our analyst, suggested something before the match.

So it happened, we knew absolutely everything that they did in the match.

Tell me about the preparation for the Minor. Winstrike, for example, celebrated the New Year together.

We flew home at the end of 2018, four days. Initially, they flew for visas, because they filed in Kiev, but a rally broke out there and we were canceled a multivisa only a week before traveling to Poland. Well, we flew home, at the same time we decided to relax with our families. They returned to Kiev just 10 days before the main day and were preparing until the last hour. Well, the New Year was celebrated home.

You trained against European teams. Can you compare the level of local teams and teams from the CIS?

We often play against tier-1 teams on scrims, we know everything that they do, we work out preparations against them. The most difficult is to play against teams from the CIS, because they know and understand very well how you play. Therefore, all sorts of online tournaments are so complicated. It is difficult to compare the level of the game in such conditions.

Now you are going back to the bootcamp, or what?

No, we will have another tournament in London, but then we will again stop at the bootcamp and we will prepare right up to the major.

On the second map in the final you had a great lead against Winstrike, but you lost from the score of 12:4. How?

We gave a very offensive eco-round when Qikert and I were killed in a house with Zeus. It was an unusually important round. And further, you know, as it did not go so well. We were moving incorrectly around the map and in the end several small errors led to the fact that we lost.

What did you talk about during the break between the second and third map?

Nothing like that, mostly listened to our analyst, who gave information on the third map. Mirage is our map, everyone in the CIS knows it.

Can you talk about the current state of esports in Kazakhstan?

We have a Federation of esports in Kazakhstan, but we do not have much contact with it. I don’t really know what they are doing now, but it’s already clear that they have taken on the WESG and are holding tournaments. Slowly developing.

Among the young teams, Syman Gaming can be named — it is a Kazakhstani organization, there is a player and a coach from Kazakhstan. Montegos and Se7en Esports are also teams from our country. These organizations are very young and will be able to show results in the future, but only if they come together at the bootcamp.

There is a tendency that teams like Runtime, Gambit — teams with a lot of experience on board, can’t go any further. Is this a generational change or is it just unlucky?

Every year, the “era” changes. Nowadays it’s really clear that young players show themselves much better. The same Magisk — he is only 20 years old. And about the defeat of the “old” … We need to prepare better. They have everything in their heads, they do not want to completely adapt to the new meta and try to do everything using the old methods, out of habit. They have a lot to learn from young players.

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