After winning in the Ukraine WESG qualifier, Aleksandr “Bly” Svysiuk packs his bags for the World Finals in Chongqing next year.
The 29-year-old Ukrainian had a rough 2018, changing teams several times. He transferred from team expert, where he spent two years, to Tollenz Lions. Lions dropped their Starcraft, FIFA, and PUBG teams last week, leaving Bly teamless.
He didn’t have to stay a free agent for long. Right before the WESG Ukraine finals he joined his fellow countrymen DIMAGA in Team Blacer.
This weekend Bly successfully qualified for WESG World Finals, where he will compete for $240,000 USD in prize money.
Following his victory against Kas, Bly spoke about his expectations for WESG, Serral, the next year and the future of Starcraft.
You have won the Ukrainian WESG for the third consecutive year, how difficult was it for you to win this time?
Given the format, given that I did not have the advantage of the Winners, I was afraid that it would be difficult. The organizers made it so that in the grand final it was necessary to play the match BO7 and there was no advantage for Winner. In principle, I knew that I played the best of all the others. I was sure that if I played at least more or less, I should win, even in close 4-2 or 4-3 games, but I understood that I could play very well and then I’ll generally be.
Has Kas surprised you in the final? How difficult was it to play the final?
It is always difficult with him. He surprised me by playing very well today, usually, he plays worse in online tournaments. Sometimes the game was so naughty that only intelligence could understand what was going on. Then I ran in – I killed SCV, then he killed drones, we did not have time to control, multi-front, etc.
It was difficult, it was very difficult. He pleasantly surprised me with how well he played. According to my feelings, I did not play well in terms of the brain. His hands worked fine, but not always what happens in the game, it turned out to analyze — how many troops he has, what mix, etc. In general, I played more on intuition.
Did you assume that it is with Kas that you will meet in the final?
I thought I would play with HellRaiser. The Protoss in principle is now imba and I thought that the Protoss would crush Terran, but Kas arranged such a strong-willed victory, the commentators there just yelled, it was very cool. Kas deserved this victory and outplayed the young player. The old guard, that’s what it is.
In TOP-4, there are three players in this tournament who have been playing for so many years. Are you surprised that new players do not appear? Why is this happening, why is this your old skill so invincible?
Yes, we are very old. I’m with Kas from Warcraft, Dimaga from the first Starcraft. 12 years already we are engaged as pro-gamers, therefore we are very old school. Most likely, there are no young talents because we have not very developed Starcraft scene in CIS and we have all young people going to Dota or to CS because there is good money, there are a lot of spectators and a huge community.
If it’s not a secret, how much can a progamer of your level earn on Starcraft in the CIS or Europe? Does it even make sense to break into Starcraft Professional right now?
If you play well, you can earn a prize of 20-30 thousand dollars a year. WCS pays good money. It takes a lot of stops and even for 16th place gives $ 2,750. Last year there was a tournament, where they gave $ 6,500 for eighth place, with only 16 players. I just went there and already received $ 3000 for the trip.
Money in Starcraft is there and it’s good. If you look at WESG, you can win $ 150,000 for first place. Of course, there you need to fight with the Koreans and Serral, but if you play not bad, then you can try. There are still teams’ salaries. In Ukraine, in general, you can live perfectly, of course, Dota 2 players can live perfectly anywhere, however.
How do you comment on the sensational domination and victory of Serral at the World Championships this year. What did this give Starcraft 2?
He showed that it doesn’t matter where you live. The main thing is how you approach the process, and Serral approaches the process of training very painstakingly. He did a great job on himself psychologically. So much to train, to sharpen a lot of things to do everything perfectly — it is necessary to break everything in yourself and build in such a way as to become the number one of the world. Serral could do it and I think that he would be the best in any game. He is one of those people who can.
Is there more persistence and perseverance, or is he just a uniquely talented esports athlete?
He is a unique talented athlete with perseverance and more perseverance. Without this set, TOP-1 WCS does not shine, especially in such a complex game like Starcraft, where the smallest nuances are solved and the slightest mistake leads to loss.
Do you think he will last a long time at the top?
I think next year he will win everything in principle. I am familiar with him and as far as I know him, he is as focused and minimally emotional as possible, and he will continue to live with God for a very, very long time.
What does Starcraft has in the future?
I hope that Starcraft will be at a good level for another five years, as it is now in terms of the number of viewers and the community. The community in the old man is now really big and it is not falling, but growing, so I believe that, perhaps, Starcraft will live for a very long time.
Would you like a new version of Starcraft or for example a new Warcraft?
I’ll be very old by then. Another 2-3 years, and I will, like Dimaga, come to the tournaments and comment, because cognitively suffers, and in Starcraft, if you do not have 450 apm, when you need it, then move on.
They used to say that after 25 you need to leave esports, now they say that after 30. Maybe everything is not so bad and they will soon start saying that you can play even before 40, there are no examples just yet. Now, in Warcraft III, Moon, who has been playing for a hundred years, destroys everyone, in Quake 30+ players dominate, in Starcraft in Ukraine, 30+ players are in the top. What do you say to that?
In Starcraft reactions are key. In Warcraft, the reaction decides less. Now Maru won WCS and Serral or, for example, Raynor – and how old are they? They are very young and, playing with them, I understand that I do not have time. Looking at Raynor’s game, I’d seem to understand everything he does, but there are times when he managed to evaluate and react, but I haven’t yet managed to evaluate. I can replay with brains, I can replay with experience, but in cognitively, I lag behind the young and begin to fall behind even more. I felt it especially strongly about two years ago, and every year I feel it more and more.
How do you evaluate your chances in the final, which will be held in China?
This year I set myself the task of making a breakthrough, because already age, etc. I will train more than ever and I already do it. I train a lot. If I could play the qualifiers, as I play on the ladder, then all the scores would be 3-0, but even with such an experience as mine, my nerves decide very much. I still sometimes can not turn on the brain during the game and play on intuition. All this nerves, they interfere. But if I keep this pace, then I think I can count on at least the TOP-8.
What is more important for players now – to win the WESG or win the WCS?
WCS much more important than WESG, because it gives you points that allow you to pass the next season, you are invited to tournaments, you are higher in the sowing rating, etc. This is a whole system, because WCS is much more important.
What do you have now with sponsors, do you represent some kind of team?
Today I went to the stage wearing a Team Blacer T-shirt. We are signing a contract. This organization is tied to cryptocurrency and they have a good idea. If it develops, it will capture this market. I looked at the project and decided – why not join? In principle, the team already consists of Ukrainians including Dimaga and Avers – it will be more fun. At the award ceremony, I was already in a team shirt.