After winning WePlay! Forge of Masters Season 1 with AVANGAR, Alexey “Qikert” Golubev talked about the event, the game against the highly accomplished HellRaisers and taking home first place as an underdog.

LAN Finals WePlay! Forge of Masters Season 1 was held from 3 to 5 May in Kiev, Ukraine, following a lengthy group stage online. AVANGAR dominated in the online group phase, finishing only behind HellRaisers with a single loss.

At LAN Qikert and his team quickly established dominance. In their opening match, they easily overcame DreamEaters, who had to play with Sergey “starix” Ischuk as a stand-in, winning 2-0. To secure their spot in the grand final they had to battle and overcome HellRaisers — the only team they lost against in the online phase.

In the decisive match, AVANGAR defeated the heavy favorites HellRaisers with a score of 2:0. The team from Kazakhstan received $20,000 dollars in prize money and earned themselves a much-needed win. This marks a second first-place finish in a few weeks for the team, following their success at DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro 2019.

What was it like playing at the WePlay! Forge of Masters right after finishing first at the much bigger DreamHack Rio?

I can’t say that anything was worse. I was surprised that everything went so well, without any problems, without delays, except for the final, there was a technical delay of 20 minutes during the decisive match. But we couldn’t even feel the delay.

At the same DreamHack or ESL, they usually are. Here, at a tournament in the CIS, it is very nice that there were no hickups. Considering that the offline tournament is being done for the first time. In general, everything turned out cool: practice areas, hotel, schedule, media-day.

One of the AVANGAR players mentioned that the team is no longer training against teams from the CIS. Forge of Masters is aimed specifically at your region. How was it to meet again with representatives of the CIS?

We came from a two-week rest, and immediately on the first day we had an official match against Vega Squadron. We thought it would be hard to play against the CIS now, but everything went well. In fact, we very often played against teams from the CIS on qualifications online and on LAN tournaments. There was nothing unusual, we are used to playing against them.

As for HellRaisers …

Yes, the CIS team itself (laughs).

You played with them twice in this tournament, both matches ended with the score 2:0. How do you like the current form of the team and how different is this composition from the previous one?

Now their roster looks much stronger, precisely on the individual level. But if you look at the structural game, then they are a little inferior to the previous lineup. They have gathered recently, and they lack some kind of banal teamplay: everyone is from a different region and communication in the international teams can be very wasteful. Therefore, in the near future, they will definitely have problems with communication and team play.

Replacement of Aydin “KrizzeN” Turlybekova to SANJI: first left inactive due to illness, and with the second one you’ve already won two tournaments in a row. Are you even considering returning Krizzen to the lineup?

I can not say for sure, but the probability is always there. This esports thing is not friendship, but more of a business. If you, for example, play badly, you are thrown on the bench. In the case of Aydin, it was more because of his health — his back and arm were very sore, we had to temporarily transfer him to inactive.

SANJI came on as a substitute and played very well in tournaments. So far, we are not looking to change something. So far everything is going well: we win tournaments, win against very good teams and show ourselves well.

How do you like the potential of SANJI? He independently made his way into the FPL before moving into your team.

He made his way to the FPL from Uzbekistan, where there is a very bad ping. This proves a lot — he is very strong individually. That was our starting point. It was necessary to give him the experience of our team so that he quickly picked it up and understood how we play our Avangaresque Counter-Strike.

So that in some moments he would become more structured, and in others, he would play the role of the “X-factor”, who can simply run out and carry you with headshots alone.

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