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Joining the legends like Cypher and clawz in a team would be a daunting task for anyone, but the newcomer Artem “pkmk” Nechaev says he’s ready to take on this responsibility at Natus Vincere Apex Legends squad.

Yesterday FACEIT together with the developers Respawn announced the first professional, developer supported league for the game — the FACEIT Pro Series: Apex Legends Tournament. The tournament will see 16 invited teams compete for a prize pool of $50,000 dollars.

The league, while locked to North America for now, is expected to come out with its European iteration. Before that, Natus Vincere caught up with its newest member of the Apex Legends squad.

Artem “pkmk” Nechaev, who previously played Overwatch professionally, joined NaVi last month but is already excited to take on this new challenge full force.

You are not particularly known to a wide audience. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hello, my name is Artem, I am 23 years old, I live in Moscow, I do not study. My entire life was connected to sports (I have been playing football since 3), which gradually changed into my passion for esports. I love dogs, and I’m single (laughs). At the moment, I devote my time to Apex Legends, which has become my main occupation. That’s pretty much it.

Before, you were a professional Overwatch player and played for TORNADO ROX. Why did you abandon this game?

At that time there were family circumstances that prevented me from continuing my career. I had to take a break, after which I never found myself in the game.

Imagine that a team appeared in the CIS that occupied the Overwatch League slot. Would you try to get into it, or are you done with the game?

It is completely over. Because of the Blizzard approach and the community that emerged in the game, I have no desire to continue playing Overwatch.

Do you think such a league is the future of esports? Or do tournaments by various TOs appeal to you more?

I prefer tournaments from various operators. That is where I feel the esports, which, for me, means competition, passions, sweat, tears, etc. The League and similar systems look like show matches, no more, at least in their current form.

Why did Apex Legends attract you? At what point did you decide that you would like to become a professional Apex Legends player?

First of all, I should say that I didn’t like this game. It looked like a regular battle royale without anything attractive. Subsequently, I realized that this is exactly the game that gives me pleasure, which I could not get in other games for a long time. I decided to become the best in what I like.

Have you tried other Battle Royale games, like PUBG, Fortnite? What was it that you didn’t like?

A lot of players went to PUBG when it was a hyped-up game. I have not seen the competitive scene in these games and did not want to try myself in them. However, my opinion changed after the release of Apex Legends.

Did you have a desire to try your hand in another genre? For example, Dota 2, League of Legends, CS: GO?

At one time I tried myself in CS:GO — before Overwatch came out. I even played on some LAN against my future teammate NLaaeR, who now plays for Atlanta Reign in the Overwatch League. But it all ended quickly, as it began. For now, I want to be the best in Apex Legends.

What should Apex Legends developers do to develop the competitive scene?

First, they should listen to the professional players’ community. There has long been a Discord server where you can ask what is worth adding and how to present it. Pubstomp tournaments are boring and have a big random factor. People need competitive Apex, and it needs a lobby.

Would you like Apex to follow any particular game in terms of esports? What esports scene appeals to you?

I am impressed by the CS:GO scene, an infinite number of LAN-tournaments and the most real esports. I would not mind if Apex followed in such footsteps!

Tell us, how did you meet cYpheR and clawz? At what point did you realize that your trio is really strong?

I met cYpheR and clawz directly when I was called to try out. The guys greeted me perfectly, the atmosphere was friendly and cozy. Afterward, we started to play and realized that we can play well to show the best result. It was decided pretty much straight away.

Your main character is Pathfinder. Why did you decide to main this particular hero?

The meta of the heroes changed constantly, until the patch that reworked the Pathfinder hitbox was released. Of course, all the teams started to play it, and I had to postpone my Lifeline and adjust to the meta, which was the main reason. And, of course, I am simply impressed by this hero, his mobility and the possibility of vertical movement on the map. So far he simply has no replacement in the game.

Tell me about your vision of the power of the characters. Which heroes currently pose the greatest danger, and which ones need buffs?

For me, a strong hero is, first of all, the one who brings the maximum benefit to the teamplay, while his solo potential is of secondary importance. Therefore, I think the strongest heroes are: Wraith — whose ultimate ability is universal and has no analogs; Pathfinder — with the possibility of vertical push with the team and the chance to take a position that is bad for the opponent; Bangalore — with universal smokes and the ultimate designed for both potential push and def. In terms of the buffs, an excellent solution would be to give strength guys a small MS buff, due to which they will have a slight advantage in fights, or, of course, just give them normal models (not like Pathfinder, please fix this ASAP).

Now, let’s talk about weapons. What kinds do you think need to be redone in any way?

New Longbow is something that should not be in the game in its current form. It’s good the importance of rifles was bumped up, but the insane rate of fire, which together makes it stronger than a Kraber, is in itself absurd. And also developers should pay attention to the broken Peacekeeper choke.

Are cheaters an issue in this game?

Yes and no. In this game, it is quite possible to beat the software user, but when this happens during some tournament, where there is no possibility of replaying the game, that’s when it’s unpleasant.

How do you cope with the negative comments? Does the hate give you a peculiar charge of emotions to try harder?

I usually abstract from this: many people, many opinions, right? And, yes, hate gives a charge, but please: don’t hate me more to help me “charge” (laughs).

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