After almost two years of playing together, the old mousesports roster is no more. Released team’s coach, Sergey “lmbt” Bezhanov, weighs in on the decision.

On February 4th mousesports announced its longtime members Chris “chrisJ” de Jong and Martin “STYKO” Styk, as well as team coach Sergey “lmbtBezhanov will be moving to the bench. Excluding its three-and-a-half month long experiment with Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski, mousesports maintained this exact roster for almost two years — since Miikka “suNny” Kemppi joined the team in Summer 2017.

The team had varying results recently. Mouz finished first at ESL One: New York 2018 ahead of Team Liquid and first at StarLadder & i-League StarSeries Season 4 ahead of Natus Vincere. But many good results in 2018 wasn’t enough for the team. Recent failure at Europe Minor Championship Katowice 2019, where mousesports were eliminated in the group stage by Valiance was the last straw. It was time for a change.

The released team coach Sergey “lmbt” Bezhanov says the decision was a right one and it was time for a drastic change.

Do you agree with your transfer to the reserve? How can you comment on these changes in general?

You know, the Major is just the last drop. The composition simply outlived itself, if you can call it that. I fully agree and supported the idea that the changes should be dramatic, that you need to start from scratch. Given the important role, I agree that the coach needed to be changed in order to change the approach and vision.

Who, if not the coach, should be responsible for the failure? I was not transferred to the reserve — there is no such option. But in general, I am satisfied with the attitude of the club towards me, and I have no hard feelings. For the time being, I’ll deal with some non-game issues.

Is it possible to say that the mousesports failures started after Snax joined the team? Why he could not play in mousesports? What was the atmosphere like when you took back the STYKO?

I can not say so, there were failures before. Snax is a great player. It’s not about him, but about the team as a whole. Problems have haunted us before; it was not their immediate solution. He was not the fix for the situation in the team. In the working environment where Snax came in, he could not find his place. Both sides parted very peacefully and with the understanding of the mistake made.

Unfortunately, I cannot fully disclose the situation with STYKO, but when he returned we simply did not have time to consider other players. On the other hand, we all understood perfectly well how we would play with Martin. We knew that we would get the output due to the fact that it was the middle of the season and a huge number of matches started online. The return of STYKO helped us not to fall too far — we remained at the same level, but realized that we could hardly jump higher.

You think it was a right call by the management to leave these three players (oskar, ropz and sunny)? In your opinion, how should the team develop further? 

The leadership’s step is quite clear: they have left the core-players and want to build a team around them. This is an absolutely normal practice. So far, I have no idea who they will be able to take, but I think that until the end of the major, we will not receive answers to these questions. The team needs to finally become a team, and I think this is a key factor in the selection of both players and a coach in the future.

A potential team that is interested in your services will have to pay for the transfer? Are you ready to consider positions other than a coach?

I still have a contract, and I still work at mousesports. But the club will let me go if I wish for it. In general, we have a very good relationship with mouz.

I am ready to consider different positions, you can even dream of debuting as a player 31 years of age (laughs). But I understand perfectly well that the goals that confront me are in fact unattainable in this role. Last week I was in analysis desk — a very interesting thing, on this one I will even comment on the matches [lmbt was an analyst of WePlay! Lock and Load, and the ICE London Challenge 2019]. But I do not see myself doing that on an ongoing basis, neither an analyst nor a commentator.

Do you plan to continue working in the European region or are you open to proposals from others? Is there any chance of your return to the CIS? 

At the moment I do not plan anything, but if I train the team, I would like to work in a hungry team. Preferably with young players who want to listen, learn and win. The region in our time does not matter, because you are not a player and you do not have to move to another part of the globe as a coach.

The goals of any team are always the same — to become the best and move only forward, even if it starts from the bottom. Why go to the championship if you do not want to win it? 

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