Spiidi: “I was really itching to play against mousesports”

After a series of disappointing results, Timo “Spiidi” Richter and the rest of Sprout find themselves in a struggle to close out their games.

It’s been a tough few months for the German team. A much-needed roster change failed to deliver the kind of improvement the team was hoping for. The team let go Dennis “sycrone” Nielsen and brought in Josef “faveN” Baumann — an 18-year-old star from EURONICS Gaming.

However, that didn’t help by much in Kiev, where Sprout finished dead last at StarSeries i-League Season 6 finals. They suffered three straight losses against mousesports, Vega Squadron, and HellRaisers. Interestingly, every match ended with a round difference of less than 4 for the German team.

One of the founding members of the team, Timo “Spiidi” Richter, explained their situation within the team and talked about his past with mousesports.

Vie: The tournament didn’t go so well for you. What thoughts come to mind after such a loss?

Spiidi: It went horribly. We are like a new team, we didn’t practice that much, but this is obviously not the result we expected. Every game was really close, 16:14, 16:12, even over-time. So I don’t think we had no shot at the playoffs. We just lost. And that’s the worst feeling in the world.

Sprout. Photo via HLTV.org

Vie: In every match, you came really close to winning. But then you just couldn’t go all the way and lost. Do games like these bring your team down?

Spiidi: In our last tournament, in Poland, we lost in a very similar fashion. It was 0-2, with scorelines like 14:16. And this was a repeat of that. When everything comes down to the small things it becomes really important. You have to learn to overcome your issues and to fix these mistakes. We can’t keep making the same mistakes.

Because every game comes down to the wire it doesn’t mean that we have to change the whole system. People have to understand that. We have to motivate each other. We have a good structure, we just have to give it our all. It’s something we have to overcome.

Vie: You lost your game against mousesports 14:16 too. Was that a grudge match for you in any way?

Spiidi: I was really itching for this game. It felt like I never had an opportunity to play against mousesports ever since I left. I knew we could beat them. Even if all the odds were against us. It’s the kind of thought that appears when you play against your old teammates. Even if it’s just subconsciously. Plus, we were somewhat of a dark horse in this match.

Spiidi. Photo via HLTV.org

Vie: Did that help you at all?

Spiidi: It’s possible. Maybe in a few rounds that they played in the same style. But in general, it wasn’t that helpful. They have three new members, it’s a completely different team. It mostly came down to motivation.

Vie: What’s the next goal for the team?

Spiidi: After we return home, first things first — win MDL and qualify for ESL Pro League. That’s our main goal right now.

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NaVi CEO: “Investments will be necessary in the future. Esports does not stand still”

NaVi CEO: “Investments will be necessary in the future. Esports does not stand still”

The man behind the Ukrainian NaVi, Yevgeny “HarisPilton” Zolotarev, talked in-depth about running an esports team, expanding into international waters, creating a winning team and remaining profitable in highly competitive esports scene.

Natus Vincere CEO also talked about the appointment of Andrey “B1ad3” Gorodenskiy to the role of esports director, the opening of the academy team, recent struggles of their Dota 2 team and much more.

Recently Andrey “B1ad3” Gorodenskiy joined for the role of esports director. How did this idea come to be?

Similar thoughts started long ago. We are quite familiar with Andrey, we even played on the same team, but somehow all this time we went parallel to each other. Nevertheless, we constantly communicated, shared opinions about CS and everything else.

I have always considered him an intelligent specialist, he has a good eye for young talents, a lot of experience on the professional stage: a player, a captain, a coach. His main advantage, unlike the other 90 percent of former esports athletes, that he has a high focus on the business component, he understands the development of the club as a business. I think he is very suitable for this role.

Previously, Na’Vi did not have such a position?

Not for the last 2.5 years, but even earlier I myself was in this position when Alexander “ZeroGravity” Kokhanovsky appointed me in 2016. I worked there for six months and then took the position of CEO, combining it with the esports director, and ZeroGravity went into inactivity.

The position can be called new, but it is necessary for large clubs. Team Liquid, for example, have several general managers at once, who have distributed disciplines and regions among themselves. Na’Vi, like any other multigaming, requires personnel enhancement as well.

He will only deal with Counter-Strike?

No, by all teams, it will include Dota 2. An esports director is a person who is responsible for all the compositions of an organization. Transfer policy, tournament schedule, bootcamp schedule and more.

I took Andrey as an experienced specialist to build a vertical search, training and education of players. As a general director, I still have operational work, finance, media and marketing, the rest went to B1ad3.

With his signing, you will also open a youth academy?

Yes, in the near future it will really appear. By this time, the market had matured, and our organization had matured, human and financial resources appeared to implement these plans. All other details will appear very soon in the official announcement.

I can only say that there will be many opportunities for young players. I really want to realize our accumulated experience in working with young people.

So talking about your Dota 2 team. One cannot help but wonder when you have a team as well supported as yours, where are the results?

The conditions are really good, but if the players did not work at the same time or if we had questions about their discipline, then we can say that the organization slacks off or something else. Speaking specifically about the composition of Dota 2 — the team has no disciplinary problems at all, the guys worked and continue to work with maximum commitment, even after defeats.

I cannot say that we are pleased with the results, but we see their return, they live on DotA and there are no problems inside the team. There are only game moments that we are trying to fix.

Nevertheless, there are positive things — some players six months ago were considered to be unknown to anyone, and during this time they were seriously tightened up from the point of view of the skill, the pool of heroes, the LAN experience and so on. I try to look for a positive in everything and we will continue to work for it.

Do you participate in the life of the team? Can you suggest something or express displeasure?

There is a manager, coach, captain and even an analyst who works with players remotely. For the last bootcamps, we have attracted such a person as a mental coach, with whom we plan to continue cooperation.

I am not competent enough in DotA to prompt guys. First of all, I appreciate the game as a fan, I can be dissatisfied, angry about why they made a pick for that hero and not for another, to draw conclusions based on the words of commentators or analysts. With my game level, I do not allow myself any in-game recommendations.

Na’Vi was among the first to announce the opening of a division in Apex Legends. Right now you already announced the signing of two Quake world champions — Cypher and clawz. What went into this decision?

There’re a lot of unknown moments, the game itself faces certain difficulties.

Regarding the region: in the case of Apex — this is still two players from the CIS. When we choose the composition, the criterion of the region is not in the first place. We are after the players that we want, everything else is secondary.

We will take players and look at what the publisher will do, how much their efforts will be directed to the development of the esports component of the discipline. In PUBG we are now seeing a big recession, for instance.

Are you disappointed in PUBG?

It is too early to talk about our position, but we have serious concerns. The start of a Major league cannot be called successful. As an average person, I don’t see sponsors, I don’t see any views, and at the same time I see high costs associated with moving the team to Berlin.

The failure in the results of the team are related to this?

To a lesser extent, the season has just begun, the first phase has ended. The results are unsuccessful, but there is time to correct them. The concerns are tied to the discipline itself.

After a very long break, you recently signed foreign players. What led to that decision?

Fortnite is definitely a western game, not popular in the CIS region. Rainbow Six Siege — we wanted both a competitive line-up and the team that has a slot in the ESL Pro League. In the CIS, there is no choice in this regard, there is only one team — Team Empire, which recently signed the guys and did not intend to sell.

And getting more foreign fans while at it?

Of course, we perfectly understand that it is necessary to improve monetization. Unfortunately, this is hard to do in the CIS region.

We do not intend to leave the CIS esports, here are our roots. We, like any other major multigaming, are just trying to increase our presence in other regions. For example, in Team Liquid, FaZe Clan and Ninjas in Pyjamas, the compositions for Rainbow Six Siege are Brazilians.

Recently we could see stagnation in tier 2 esports — fewer sponsors, less audience interest, fewer fans. Do you think it may have a negative impact on esports?

In order for sponsors to pay good money, you need to show good numbers: reach, audience, views or results.

Sponsors calculate ROI (return on investment) — clicks, transitions and everything else, the more videos you watch, comment, etc. the better you’re off.

NaVi right now has no such problem. From the point of view of the business model, Natus Vincere can be called an independent asset, and it can sustain itself right now, but one way or another, investments will be necessary in the future. Esports does not stand still.

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clawz: “I doubt that any sizeable organization will ever be interested in Quake”

clawz: “I doubt that any sizeable organization will ever be interested in Quake”

Two times QuakeCon Duel champion Nikita “clawz” Marchinsky talks about winning, Nyx, sponsors in Quake and just waiting for the much anticipated CTF game mode.

The young Belarusian came out victorious for the second year in a row in the year’s most stacked tournament. QuakeCon this year again as well attracted the best players in the world.

Since then, the twenty-year-old player joined Myztro Gaming and is preparing for the future tournaments.

Vie: You overcame everyone at QuakeCon in a very convincing manner. Were there any matches that actually made you sweat?

clawz: Before the game against Garpy I was feeling really nervous. I knew I had no right to lose that match and that got to my head. I also got pretty close to it in a game against DaHang. I was leading 2:0 in rounds and was just feeling this gloom of things to come.

Vie: Are you getting used to the US? You have been to three QuakeCons already.

clawz: I didn’t really get a chance to properly explore USA. But every place is good in its own way.

Vie: Let’s talk about your Nyx. The aggressive approach to attack your opponent straight out of invisibility. Was that something planned or did it just happen for you?

clawz: Nyx is a very underrated champion. Her skill-cap is really high and I like her a lot. I like the things you can do with her, even considering her limited resources. I play her on almost every map. She’s especially strong on DM6 and Ruins, but you have to be able to hit a lot.

Vie: And which weapons do you like? Or should say which one, rail or LG?

clawz: LG (lightning gun, ed.note). It’s a strong weapon from a psychological perspective. It’s good in both attack and defense, and most importantly — it’s stable.

Vie: And your favorite game mode?

clawz: I’m just waiting for CTF. Playing with four people results are always more stable. And it’s really that much more fun to play with more players.

Vie: What’s the situation with sponsors in Quake right now? You must be getting a lot of attention, being a two-time world champion.

clawz: I doubt that any sizeable organization will ever be interested in Quake. The deal that I’m being offered all the time — with 10-20% of my prize winnings being taken away — from small organizations just isn’t right. Because Quake doesn’t get that many viewers there’s very little we have to offer each other.

Vie: Do you ever watch your own replays?

clawz: I don’t. And never did, actually.

Vie: What is the change Quake needs the most right now?

clawz: The game itself. Some game mode that would finally attract people. I really wouldn’t mind seeing a Quake Battle Royale game.

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Battlerite Royale is about ready to take on the world

Battlerite Royale is about ready to take on the world

During the many announcements here in the Europe’s largest video game convention, it was easy to overlook the one about the highly anticipated Battlerite Royale.

Gamescom 2018 so far has seen many breathtaking announcements, playable versions of long-awaited games, as well as plenty of content for video game fans to consume. Meanwhile, a small indie developer from Sweden, Stunlock Studios, revealed the details for their take on the current battle royale craze, called Battlerite Royale.

As the name implies, the game will take place in the same universe as the popular multiplayer online battle arena made by the developer. In a familiar battle royale fashion, the game will feature Battlerite characters being dropped into a large map, gathering resources, and fighting until there’s only one left standing.

In the announcement, the developer revealed that Battlerite Royale won’t be a playable mode in their highly-successful arena brawler game, but a standalone title. Even more than that, unlike its free-to-play predecessor, Battlerite Royale will have a price tag of $19.99 USD. And even though the game will be released in less than a month, the team behind the games are certain it will not affect their previous title, “The community has always been and will always be important to us,” game developer said in a statement. “Since last year, we’ve been working on new modes and trying to discover different ways of enjoying Battlerite’s signature combat system.”

Releasing the game as a standalone title will allow Stunlock Studios to focus on the further development of both titles, leaving extra room for both improvement and creativity to explore new ways of making their games even better. “The development of Battlerite Royale has been a fresh injection of creativity and an opportunity for us to try out new and crazy things,” Katey Parr, brand manager at Stunlock Studios explained. “When we prototyped Royale, it did not take long until we realized that it had a lot of potential. Later in development, it became obvious that sharing the same balance and philosophy as Arena restricted the possibilities within Royale.”

“As a game studio, we have a responsibility to our players, but we also have a responsibility to our team to allow ourselves to evolve and to explore new ideas,” Parr said. “For us, this was the choice between creating a mediocre game mode or creating a game with true potential and the freedom to grow.”

Upon the Early Access release this September, the game will have a price tag of $19.99 USD, however will offer a 50% discount to Battlerite Champion Pack owners, as well as exclusive mounts for all the Battlerite players.

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All 20 influencers decided for the OMEN Challenge

All 20 influencers decided for the OMEN Challenge

Popular PUBG personalities, streamers, and content creators will team up with rookie players at OMEN Challenge to compete for a prize pool of $150,000 at Gamescom.

There will be 20 teams of two facing each other throughout three days of the competition, with the winning team taking the entire prize pool. As an interesting addition to the usual tournament format, OMEN Challenge will feature an additional $50,000 in mini-competitions.

Each player will start off with $3,000 to their name, which at the same time will serve as a bounty. Every time a player gets a kill, they will get a percentage of that person’s bank. The percentage will increase as the tournament progresses. On the final day of the competition, the players will be able to steal as much as 75% of their victim’s bank.

Additionally, players will be able to get extra prizes for the “Shot of the Day” and “Shot of the Tournament” awards. Viewers on the streaming platform Twitch will be the ones deciding the winners, as they will be invited to vote on their favorite moments of the competition.

OMEN have already confirmed all of the influencers that will be taking part in the competition: CheatBanned, Aleria1992, CyanidePlaysGames, Lost, Aimbrot, Lillithy, Moman, Moondye7, Happy, Innocent, OnScreen, Rumin, Dahmien7, MCKYTV, Kittey, SunTouch, WhiteyDude, Wizzite, Mojoonpc, and Mazarin1k.

The 20 invited players will team up with 20 amateur players on the 22nd of August during Europe’s biggest trade fair for video game enthusiasts — Gamescom.

OMEN Challenge will be one of the two major PUBG competitions taking place at Gamescom next week. ESL Meisterschaft finals will be concluded there as well, with 16 of the best teams from the regular season competing for the lion’s share of $34,000 dollars.

The event starts at 14:00 CEST and you can watch it live on the OMEN Twitch channel.

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