Jembty: “There are no secrets to being a good team. We just reset well after bad matches”

Jembty: “There are no secrets to being a good team. We just reset well after bad matches”

Second at the PUBG Europe League, third at FACEIT Global Summit, and champions of the PUBG Europe League – Kick-off Cup. Team Liquid has been dominating the European PUBG scene, and the team’s co-captain Jere “Jembty” Kauppinen explained just how did they get here.

Even though considered to be the best team representing Europe right now, Team Liquid failed to impress on a global stage. In London, during the FACEIT Global Summit they finished behind Korea’s OP Gaming Rangers and North America’s Shoot To Kill.

The competition was stiff, but both fans and critics expected more of Jere “Jembty” Kauppinen and his team. They managed to bouce back and redeemed themselves last week in PEL Kick-off Cup.

32 European teams, from PEL, Contenders and online qualifiers gathered in Berlin to battle for $125,000 dollars in prize money. While Liquid managed to triumph over the opposition taking home $50,000 dollars the next big thing starts next week — the PUBG Europe League Phase 2.

Let’s start with PEL Phase 1, where you finished top 2. What can you say about these three weeks as a whole? Was it intense to play on LAN each week? What about living in Berlin, away from home?

PEL Phase 1 was really tough because we had so many game days and during them, we didn’t really have time to do other stuff than be at the venue. Playing on LAN is always intense, especially when we have so many game days. Luckily, we have a gaming house here in Berlin so everything is easier.

In Phase 1, you faced a new scoring system — SUPER. What do you think of it?

I personally like and at the same time hate the new scoring system. It is nice that kills are rewarded, but placement points should be rewarded a little bit more than they are right now. In the end, this is a survival game and right now it doesn’t feel like it. From a viewers perspective, this system is super good because it adds early game action.

You adapted quite well to the system actually. Was that hard? How much did you need to change your style and tactics to be able to do so well?

We didn’t really change our playstyle that much coming into this system, but we learned that sometimes it is better to go for kills than try and get placements.

After Phase 1 you went to the FACEIT Global Summit where you finished top 3 and earned Europe +1 slot for the Global Championship. How was it to play against top-tier teams from all over the world?

Playing against top tier teams from all over the world was a bit different than our own league because we got contested in our loot location and had to play a different style than we are used to. It didn’t feel any harder than playing in PEL.

The tournament fielded the best teams from around the entire world, all having to adapt to a new format. Which teams impressed you the most and how? Who taught you ideas that you hadn’t considered before and what were those?

The team which impressed me most was STK, nowadays called Lazarus, from NA. They had a really bad start in the finals but still managed to come back and get second place which was impressive.

After the FACEIT Global Summit, you came to the Kick-off Cup and took second place in the group stage. What’s the secret to being such a consistently high-ranked team?

We don’t have any secrets to being a consistent team. We just play our own game and reset well after bad matches.

When it comes to the Kick-off Cup, an interesting fact is that of the 16 winners that got to the finals, 10 are from Contenders and only six from PEL. Does this ratio show the real power balance between the two divisions?

PEL teams had many roster changes so that’s why I think Contender teams were doing better, but I think there are a couple of Contenders teams that are stronger than some PEL ones and they just need a little bit more experience.

What do you expect from Phase 2? Which Contenders teams have the best chances for promotions?

I expect us to get top 3 again in Phase 2. The teams most likely to be promoted are, in my opinion, Desperado, Se7en and Besiktas.

What helps you to set such a high score, especially at the first day of Finals?

Getting high scores in finals is nothing special for us. We know we are one of the best teams in the world and we know we can do well in any tournament. We trust our playstyle and that’s it.

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dmash: “CIS teams did not prepare well and underestimated their opponents”

dmash: “CIS teams did not prepare well and underestimated their opponents”

A respectable sixth place finish at Phase 1 of the PUBG Europe League wasn’t enough to stop the Russian Jokers from stopping their PUBG efforts. Left teamless, many of the players soon found a new home, and one of them, Dmitry “dmash” Ignatyev, joined M19.

Unlike Jokers, who surprised everyone with their performance at the opening split of PUBG Europe League, M19 underperformed dramatically. Winners of Global Loot League Season 2 seemed completely lost in Berlin, finishing the season at the very bottom of the leaderboard — in the 16th position.

The Kick-off Cup, happening this week in Berlin, Germany, was supposed to be an environment for M19 to redeem themselves. But it didn’t go as planned. Even with reinforcements from dmash, M19 seemed only slightly more coordinate in their fights.

In the end, M19 dropped out in the group stage. In Group A, which was featuring 16 teams from European Contender league, the Russian team finished at the bottom of the table again, only ahead of the Turkish We Need a Home and Ukrainian Red Diamonds.

Dmitry “dmash” Ignatyev shared his experiences from Phase 1 of the PUBG Europe League, his esports career and the state of CIS teams in PUBG on the international stage.

When did you realize that you are ready to enter the esports scene?

Everything is very simple: on one of the streams I was called to participate in a tournament. After some deliberation, I agreed and did not regret: the competitive mode turned out to be to my liking. From that moment, I began my journey in esports.

Did you follow the PUBG competitive scene before then? 

No, because it really didn’t hook me.

Tell us about your impressions of the organization of the first phase of PEL. Do you have any comments?

The organization of the tournament pleased me: everything was up to standard. For my part, I can make only one remark: I would like to see a more convenient model for holding next time. For example, as in the NPL.

Why do you think teams from the CIS showed such sad results?

It’s hard to say. I think that the CIS teams did not prepare well for PEL and underestimated some opponents.

Do they have a chance to rehabilitate themselves and enter at least the top three in the next phase?

I can not give any prediction. Over the past weeks, organizations from the CIS have made changes to their compositions. Natus Vincere, for example, replaced three players at once, which will definitely affect their game.

What do you think about teams from Europe?

Europeans are pretty strong. This is clearly seen in the game of the top three teams of the first phase of PEL: ENCE, Team Liquid, and Ninjas in Pajamas. 

Which team impressed you the most?

I like to watch the game of G2 Esports — very skilled players with a bunch of interesting ideas, which they manage to very successfully implement.

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COOLLER: “I’m definitely getting bored of what the game has to offer”

COOLLER: “I’m definitely getting bored of what the game has to offer”

A Quake legend and former world champion, Anton “COOLLER” Singov explained why he began playing Apex Legends and reassured his fans that he’s not quitting Quake anytime soon.

This is not the first time one of the most experienced players in all of esports put Quake on the sidelines to focus on a new game. A few years ago COOLLER switched to Overwatch when it first came out, even dedicating himself to the game full-time.

In his professional Overwatch career, the 32-year-old Russian played in several top-level teams, including Misfits, who later became Florida Mayhem, after joining Overwatch League. With the former, Singov even triumphed at DreamHack Winter 2016, defeating Fnatic in the grand final.

COOLLER, like many other professional Quake players, has been spending increasingly more time playing Apex Legends, he also spoke about Fortnite and reflected on the future of the battle royale game from Respawn Entertainment.

You moved from Quake to Apex Legends. What was behind the move?

It is wrong to call it as a transition. Or rather, I’m trying something new, something extra, as long as there are no tournaments in Quake. The nearest championship will be only in the summer. There is a large enough window to devote oneself to something new, to learn some new skills.

Is there a chance that you will leave Quake for the battle royale?

Complex issue. If Apex can offer me more than Quake — I’m not talking about money now, but about all aspects, then why not? I do not see any problems.

It seems to me that Apex Legends is more like Quake than other battle royales. Is that true?

I agree here. Probably, the elements of physics, the elements of dynamics in Apex Legends are quite similar to Quake. Still, the game is completely different from Quake. This is a completely different shooter.

I think the gameplay in Apex is quite easy. It is not difficult to get good. You just need to get comfortable, feel the dynamics, physics. Therefore, it was easy for me.

Why Apex Legends? I haven’t seen you run Fortnite even once, and about PUBG you said that it “slows down the brain.” What is wrong with these games?

Fortnite I just do not like visually. This is a personal dislike. Also, when Fortnite came out, I was actively playing Quake. I had a more professional attachment to discipline. It was not possible to go somewhere else, otherwise, I would start losing my skills in Quake. PUBG is about the same story.

Apex I chose, because it coincided. Good quality game. A big window between Quake tournaments — plenty of free time. Big hype and hope for high-quality esports, because the developer is serious enough — they can offer something worthy.

Why did Apex Legends become so popular?

A combination of factors influenced. Initially, the game itself, as I said, is very well made. People are bored of the same type, someone bored with Fortnite, PUBG, CS:GO, Overwatch or Quake. Apex offered something new, fresh.

In addition, the developers have created a real storm of hype, plus a significant role was played by the streamers and the community of gamers themselves. Everything is like a snowball. I think this should be enough for Apex to get its market share.

Now Apex Legends began to lag behind on views on Twitch. What is missing within the game?

Here is a standard story. When there is something new, something noisy, first there is a big influx of incoming traffic. Then someone just gets bored, someone is disappointed in the game, someone loses interest. It is therefore absolutely normal that the numbers fall.

As for the content, then I’m definitely getting bored by what the game offers. I need something new. Apex should captivate me again. But, since I position myself as a pro-player, it is the esport component that is important to me. Matchmaking, ranked games, competitions and so on.

Does the game need solo and duo modes? If they appear, what format should be made at competitions?

It would be interesting for me to see how these modes would enter Apex Legends, and esports in general. So far I have no idea how it will all look, but I really want to see what comes of it.

I do not know why they initially chose the game mode in threes. Perhaps the developers considered it as balanced as possible. Perhaps because it is something new – it will interest more people.

In general, I can not say which format would be best. Ideally, you need to have as many modes as possible so that each user can choose according to their taste.

It seems that the developers have hit hard the balance of weapons and legends. Do you like their approach or was the Wingman nerf a bit much?

I think the developers are doing the right thing with balance patches — everything is relative. The same Wingman definitely needed nerf, but now it is more or less in order. If you find an upgrade and increase the clip at least up to eight rounds, then the weapon returns to being tier-1.

Now in Apex Legends, there is perhaps Twitch Rivals and minor leagues, and in Fortnite and PUBG there are already full-fledged competitive systems. What would you like to see in the scene for Apex Legends?

As a quaker, I have an idea only about trips to competitions on average once a quarter. For me, this is both enough and not enough. I would like as much competition as possible. So that every day you can compete, compete and compete.

How did you like TwitchCon? It seemed to me that the tournament was too short. What format would you like to see at Apex competitions?

Let’s start with the fact that TwitchCon is more of a streamer event than a full-fledged pro-competition. Yes, everyone wanted to win, but in general it is not included in the category of professional tournament IMHO. I was offered three matches, but for three games to objectively reveal the best, it seems to be impossible.

In general, as an event, TwitchCon was very cool. And I would like to highlight this as a highlight. It is necessary to thank Twitch and Maria Staipy for their professionalism and the opportunity for us to express ourselves [the team that came out with COOLLERZ received an additional invitation, as it took second place in the qualifying tournament because of misunderstanding with administrators – approx. ed. ].

Plus, if KTVSKY hadn’t called me, I wouldn’t be there in principle. Therefore, I will only talk in a positive way about TwitchCon. For me, it was top content thanks to all these people.

In itself, the specifics of the battle royale implies a certain number of matches with the same compositions. There is a so-called dispersion, due to which a certain distance is needed to reveal the best. Three matches is too short a distance.

As I understand it, you continue to perform with KTVSKY, but now Dmitry “Shade1” Roshchin has joined you — is it still a mix or are you looking for an organization?

I represent AMD, and the guys, as far as I know, are ready to consider proposals to represent an organization. By the way, I consider them some of the best in the world at the moment. I know that this is subjective, but believe me, I have an idea about the current level of the scene.

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ceh9: “I think all teams had internal problems that made it difficult to show their best”

ceh9: “I think all teams had internal problems that made it difficult to show their best”

NaVi’s revamped PUBG roster is ready to reclaim its throne at the $125,000 dollar PUBG Europe League Kick-off Cup. Team’s newcomer Arsenii “ceh9” Ivanychev talked about the expectations for the new roster and the upcoming season.

Before the season began, Natus Vincere were supposed to be one of the dominant forces in PUBG Europe League Phase 1. But the fate had something else in mind, as the Ukrainian powerhouse NaVi finished way below the expectations, in the fourteenth position.

Soon after the Phase 1 was over, Natus Vincere announced their roster changes, and they were massive. NaVi dropped three of the four starting members, with only the veteran team captain, Vadim “POKAMOLODOY” Ulshin staying behind.

Arsenii “ceh9” Ivanychev was recruited from one of the biggest surprises of the season, the Russian Jokers. From Red Diamonds, who finished the split 9th, joined Andrey “Bestoloch” Ionov and Roman “ADOUZ1E” Zinoviev.

Leaving a highly successful team Jokers to join struggling NaVi was a difficult choice for Arsenii “ceh9” Ivanychev. But in the end, playing for the biggest, most recognizable team in the region has its perks.

How did you feel when you got invited to join NaVi?

Feelings were mixed. It’s not easy to leave a good team, but I made this decision and am glad to be here.

Many are interested in your nickname. Tell us how you chose it? NAVI already had a player with the nickname ceh9, and your nickname is often mistakenly associated with it.

For me, my nickname is associated only with my name. There are thousands of Arseniys in the world, and according to people, they have no right to take the same nicknames. People should root for a person or a team, but not a nickname.

I’m not going to overshadow anyone, because we play a different game at different time. In fact, it is unique, NAVI is the only organization in my memory in which two people played with the same nickname.

Did you play computer games in your childhood?

In childhood I played CS, it was the most popular game.

Do you remember your first game in PUBG? What was it like?

I do not remember how it was, but I remember that I had a very bad computer. The first couple of minutes in the game the textures wouldn’t load for me.

Almost a month ago the top division of PEL has launched in Berlin. How did you like the organization of the tournament?

The organization is at a good level, everything is fine.

Your last team, Jokers, ranked sixth in the first phase of the PUBG Europe League, which is the best result among the CIS teams. Why do you think our region is not as strong as the fans would like?

Some teams were just poorly prepared for the tournament, others lost along the way, and the thirds could not compete at this level. I think all the teams had internal problems that made it difficult to play at their best.

The first phase of the PEL you finished with a very solid game stats. 71 kills and 17555 damage — how do you manage to play at this high level while taking the position of a captain?

I often than the others checked things first, I was in the front line, and I was leading the game. But without a team, I would not show such results.

Now you have moved to the position of captain of the lineup, replacing Vadim “POKAMOLODOY” Ulshin. Have you been well acquainted with the other guys up to this point?

I’ve known Bestoloch for a few years, from World of Tanks, I met ADOUZ1E this year, and somehow immediately found common ground. With Vadim, we talked the least, but I am sure it will be fine.

What qualities a captain must have?

The captain must be confident in himself, be able to make decisions quickly in critical situations and maintain morale in the team.

You saw the NAVI performances from the outside. What, in your opinion, was the reason for underperformance in PEL?

It seems to me that they had problems within the team, and there is no need to dig that up. It was a good composition on paper, but they didn’t prepare well for the tournament, played far from their best.

Let’s talk a little about the mechanics of PUBG. Do you think it is worth that PUBG Corp. pays attention to the circles and balance them so that the teams are in a more or less equal position?

That’s a tricky question. For me, the circles now are the only random component in the competitive PUBG. Honestly, I don’t know what you can do with it.

Would you like to see Sanhok and Vikendi in official matches?

No, they are not suitable for competitive play.

Before PUBG you were a professional player in the World of Tanks. How did your esports career start in this game?

I was just playing a game, at some point, I found out that there are tournaments. I saw one player of my own age (I was 18 back then). He was in tier-1 team and I thought, “Why can’t I play just like him? I want to play at the same level.” So that’s how it actually went.

Why did you decide to change the discipline?

Because the World of Tanks closed the esports scene.

How difficult was it to switch from tanks to the Battle Royale genre?

It was difficult because this is a completely different game. But I always had a good aim and reaction — it helped me here.

Do you think Battle Royale in tanks world would be appropriate?

It is difficult to implement with tanks.

Do you sometimes play WoT for the old time’s sake? Or maybe you just follow its development?

I haven’t logged in for a long time and stopped following it completely.

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ADOUZ1E: “It feels like Bestoloch and I were the only ones playing in that team”

ADOUZ1E: “It feels like Bestoloch and I were the only ones playing in that team”

Before the season began, NaVi were supposed to be one of the dominant forces in PUBG Europe League Phase 1. But the fate had something else in mind, as the Ukrainian powerhouse Natus Vincere finished way below the expectations, in the fourteenth position.

It was time for a change. Something clearly wasn’t working within the team. Last year, NaVi had several dominant performances on the international stage and cemented their position as one of the best teams in Europe, as well as the world.

But once the first split of PUBG’s $1 million dollar league began, everything went wrong. NaVi struggled to find their playstyle and kept losing battles they shouldn’t have. The team’s fans were locked in a heartbreaking scenario, watching their favorite team crumble to pieces.

Soon after the Phase 1 was over, Natus Vincere announced their roster changes, and they were massive. NaVi dropped three of the four starting members, with only the veteran team captain, Vadim “POKAMOLODOY” Ulshin staying behind.

Arsenii “ceh9” Ivanychev was recruited from one of the biggest surprises of the season, the Russian Jokers. From Red Diamonds, who finished the split 9th, joined Andrey “Bestoloch” Ionov and Roman “ADOUZ1E” Zinoviev.

On the April 30, the renewed Natus Vincere roster will be put to the test in the PEL Kick-Off tournament, where they will fight for a prize pool of $125,000 dollars. The organization’s spot in Europe’s top league will be decided there as well.

Soon after the announcement, Roman “ADOUZ1E” Zinoviev talked about the start of his esports career, shared his impressions of the PUBG Europe League and evaluated the changes of the map Erangel, in an interview.

Tell us a little bit about yourself! What did you do before getting into esports?

Before getting into esports, I just studied and in my free time, I played different shooters. Such as Battlefield. After the release of PUBG, I only played that.

What does your nickname mean? Does it have a backstory?

I don’t remember exactly, but I always played with this nickname and didn’t change it.


Your first serious team was Team Empire. How did you get there?

Snoopykx could not go with GRUBIE to the LAN due to problems with the documents, so they decided to put together a team, which they invited me to. Then we signed a contract with Team Empire. It’s quite simple.

Why do you think you were invited to the team with Bestoloch?

We showed a good game in the Red Diamonds, but after that, the roster got disbanded. We were left without a team, it was a great fit so they invited us.

You will continue to perform in the PUBG Europe League as part of NAVI. Do you think it is necessary for the team to change the starting place of deployment?

We’ll just loot free spots. In the new meta, the starting spot is not important, besides there should be several for several variants of the flight of the aircraft. We’ll see everything at the Kick-off Cup!

What are your general impressions of the first phase of PEL?

I was very surprised by ENCE. I always thought they were a good team, but they played too well in this tournament. I think they also did not expect such a game from themselves. It’s sad that G2 missed by just one point to qualify to the Faceit Major. With all due respect to Winstrike, I generally liked the players and the whole game more on the side of G2.

What, in your opinion, were the shortcomings of the previous NaVi lineup?

I don’t know what was going on inside of the team, but judging from the outside, they simply lacked an individual performance and confidence in their actions.

Red Diamonds also failed to rise to the top of the standings. What’s the case there?

We have lots of reasons, both in-game and organizational. If you only consider in-game, then it feels like I and Bestoloch were the only ones playing in that team.

However, in the third season of the Unique League, you managed to take first place, overtaking NaVi in the last match. At what point did you realize that you became champions?

We knew that if we play well the last game and survive or shutdown AVANGAR, then we will have second place in our pocket. We did not think that we had overtaken NAVI until we saw the standings.

Everyone in a squad has his own weapon of choice. What do you usually play with?

M416 + MINI-14 — top 1 damage in PEL 🙂

The old NaVi PUBG lineup

In PUBG, is it most important to hone individual skills or sharpening the teamwork?

If you want to win tournaments and compete with tier-1-teams, you should have a good individual plays and the synergy in the team too. It does not happen that teams win without one or the other.

Not so long ago we saw a reworked Erangel with an increased number of compounds. How do you feel about the fact that game developers add more places for loot?

Negatively. There are enough places for loot, in the competitive PUBG couple of houses are enough to get geared. It would be great if the developers added more hideouts(stones, reliefs, trees), instead.

What is your favorite map?

Vikendi!

What PUBG Corp. needs to do in order to develop the esports component of the game further?

This question has been out there from the moment the competitive PUBG has been developed. I think PUBG Corp. also trying to figure out the right answer to this very day. I hope they will find it and we will witness the formation of a new large discipline, like DOTA or CS:GO.

Do you follow other disciplines in the esports scene?

I used to follow CS:GO. But when I became a professional player myself, I began to devote all my free time only to PUBG.

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NOOKIE: “We are very motivated to prove that we deserve a spot in the top division”

NOOKIE: “We are very motivated to prove that we deserve a spot in the top division”

Qualifying to the FACEIT Global Summit by just one point, Joona “NOOKIE” Närvänen’s Winstrike will be looking to show on the international scale that their fourth-place finish in PUBG Europe League was well deserved.

The Finish Saunabois joined Winstrike right before PEL and against all odds managed to fight their way to the very top in the most stacked league to date. Featuring some of the best teams in the world, Winstrike were expected to finish somewhere in the second half. But they surprised many.

Finishing fourth earned Winstrike an invite to FACEIT Global Summit 2019, a $400,000 dollar event taking place in London, 16th through 21st of April. 24 of the world’s best teams gathered here to represent their region in this battle for supremacy.

Right before the event, Winstrike talked about their preparation for the event, adapting to the new point system, facing teams from far regions and more.

Congratulations on your 4th place in the first phase of PEL and a trip to the FACEIT Global Summit! You were competing with G2 for that final spot until the last moment, and you got one point more than they did. How do you feel?

Before the last week, we knew that the fight for slot 4 would be very tense. We were right! We concentrated on our usual style of game and tried to get the maximum points on each map. When the last one ended, even the players did not know whether they had passed until they showed the final table.

Tell us more about your team. How did you end up joining Winstrike?

Our lineup consists entirely of Finnish players who have been playing for a long time on the PUBG European professional stage. It all started with a stack of Saunabois, which was one of the first in Europe to be signed by a professional esports organization, HAVU.

The composition changed, but we were always completely Finnish. We left HAVU before the PEL qualifications and after our success on them received an offer from the Russian organization Winstrike.

What roles do you play in the team?

Teme is our captain and game leader, Tiikzu and NOOKIE are aggressive players, and Jorzki plays more in support. In fact, we do not assign roles, and each player does what is needed depending on the situation.

Previously, you did not take part in major tournaments. This is your first event in the international arena. Does it motivate or stress you?

We definitely feel the pressure in any major tournament. But since very few people expect any results from us, it doesn’t bother us much. After our success at PEL, we are very motivated to develop further and show the world and other teams that we deserve a place in the top division.

What do you think is the main difference between the new PEL League rules? Did the changes affect your team?

The new system of rules encourages aggressive play, because the points for the killings are a significant part of the overall result. Our team can play in positions and rotations, but now we need to become more aggressive and take every frag that we can. We have become accustomed to this style at PEL, so that should continue to be only better.

Did you change something before the Global Summit?

We did not want to make significant changes before FGS, especially considering that we had only a few days of practice before going to the tournament. Instead, we studied a lot of opponents and looked for ways to score more points with our style of play.

PEL ended later than other regions, and therefore you have less time to prepare. Do you think this is an issue?

To some extent, yes, because the time during which we can evaluate opponents and understand how to play against them is limited. Nevertheless, we didn’t have a chance to get dull after PEL, so we are still ready for battle!

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