After a disappointing exit at FACEIT Europe Minor qualifier, we sat down with LDLC’s David “devoduvek” Dobrosavljevic to talk about his career in esports.
When the French-Serbian player first picked up Counter-Strike: Global Offensive back in 2014, he quickly rose through the ranks within the French community. By the time he played in his first Gamers Assembly, all eyes were on him — he was a guy with 400 hours to his name and he was keeping up with the best players in the country. It was only natural that suspicion arose.
The cheating accusations followed him for the next few years, up until his big break when he was invited to join Team EnVyUs. After that, he joined Sean “seang@res” Gares at Misfits, where he competed in North America for nearly a year and even qualified for his first Major at ELEAGUE Boston.
Since then, the 23-year-old player returned to France together with his teammate François “AmaNEk” Delauney to compete under the LDLC banner. Although being eliminated from the FACEIT Europe Minor qualifier by Aleksi “allu” Jalli’s ENCE eSports was a tough pill to swallow.
devoduvek opened up about dealing with cheating accusations, handling the pressure, wanting to return to Europe, and learning from the mistakes.
Vie: How did you start playing the game?
devoduvek: I’ve always been passionate about CS when I was a kid. I played the game for the first time when I was about 8 years old in a local cybercafe in Serbia during my summer holidays and I’ve been playing it since. I just couldn’t regularly play it because of school and stuff like that but I’ve always had the mindset to become really good when I was playing.
That being said, when I started CSGO in November of 2014 after buying a PC that could run it, I was getting pretty good really fast and people started accusing me of cheating almost every game. This combined with my passion for the game made me believe I had the potential to make it to a pro level, especially that CSGO was really blowing up in popularity at that time.
Vie: Were the constant cheating accusations upsetting?
devoduvek: Actually yes, but in the beginning, I was having a lot of fun, so it didn’t bother me that much because it was getting me a lot of publicity. After a year, when I started playing more and more competitively, it was a bit sad seeing people not acknowledge my skill, but just simply say that I’m cheating, instead. It never demotivated me, honestly, I just kept playing my game and that’s it.
The only thing that changed is that I had a really “shaky” aim, similar to that of Kjaerbye. I had a lot of confidence in it, but I knew it made people doubt if I was legit when they saw me play. After some time, it just got to my head and I started forcing myself not to shake my aim that much. That lead me to change my way of playing and stuff like that. Now I’m trying not to care anymore. I think this is how I should have dealt with it from the beginning.
Vie: Looking back at someone like ropz, who nearly quit the game before his career even started because of all the cheating accusations. Was it like that for you as well?
devoduvek: I think after the ropz drama people really understood how terrible it is for an upcoming player to be called a cheater like that. It was even worse for him than it was for me because he was playing in FPL and some of the accusations where directly coming from pro players. Hats off to him for handling it as well as he did honestly, look at where he is now!
Vie: And you chose to go pro either way. How accepting was the family of your newfound hobby?
devoduvek: It wasn’t really hard, I was just playing it and that’s it. When I was telling them I might become a pro and make some money out of it, they weren’t really believing it until it really happened. I’m still far away from what a “real” pro is, but they are being really supportive now.
Vie: You don’t think you’re a “real” pro?
devoduvek: I might be exaggerating a bit when I say “real pro”, but I haven’t achieved anything close to the G2, FaZe, SK etc guys. Having your name on a sticker is only the first step towards it, but winning tournaments or at least making it to the finals is what would define you as a real pro in my opinion.
Vie: Minor quals didn’t go so well for you guys. You entered every match as favorites but then it was like you never showed up in the first place. What happened?
devoduvek: I think our mental preparation and discipline was just really bad for this qualifier. We have been playing together for only a month and we didn’t really have a lot of official matches together yet, it was also our first qualifier as a team. It helped us to fix a lot of the problems and I think that these kind of defeats are something needed to progress as a team. We could have qualified, sure, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I just see it as a part of the process if you want to become a better team.
Vie: And then you turned that around and won PMU Challenge the very next week.
devoduvek: The games that we lost at the qualifiers helped us realize what we were doing wrong. Like, you can’t really see what is wrong in your game if you don’t lose meaningful matches, and since the minor qualifier was really important for us, it helped us fix a lot of the stuff during our bootcamp the next day. Also, the 2-13 comeback against REFLEX in our first match was really important because we showed a really good mindset during the game which helped us for the rest of the tournament.
Vie: Do you still find yourself frustrated over what happened a few rounds ago? Or maybe over a game you’ve lost a while back?
devoduvek: I think I have a good mindset on how to take a loss. Some people fail to understand that losing is normal and it’s just part of the game. Of course, there are different ways of losing a game, and some might be more tilting than others. But in my opinion, if you believe in your teammates and in your team, you need to be patient and believe in the work you are putting as a team. Constant work is what is going to fix the mistakes that make you lose.
devoduvek: Yes. I had the option to stay in the US and I was going to but the will to play with French players was really strong. Playing with French people is really something that was motivating me at the time. I knew that playing in the US was just temporary.
Vie: Do you find either of the two regions better or more competitive?
devoduvek: That’s exactly how I differentiate the two regions — the overall player skill. There is just less good teams in the US. The good NA teams are equals to their European counterparts, but there are just less good teams to practice with etc, so that’s why the scene is weaker overall in my opinion.
Vie: About AmaNEk, you have been playing together for as long as I can remember. What’s the story behind it?
devoduvek: I know AmaNEk since the 1.6 days, even though we were not playing that much together back then we were good friends. So back when I started playing CSGO, a friend that we have in common told us that the game is good and we should come and play it. We have been playing together since then.
Vie: So you just approach teams as a package deal now?
devoduvek: It’s just that we both believe in each other I think. When we left the US, we planned to make a team together with the French guys, and we happened to end up in Team LDLC.
Vie: Thanks for taking the time. Any shoutouts?
devoduvek: Thanks for the interview! I’m happy to be in LDLC right now, so I would like to thank them as well for all that they are doing for us!
Follow devoduvek on Twitter @devoduvekk.
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