Interview with ug1n

CS2 / News / 12 September 2018 — 09:51

Eugene "ugin" Yerofeyev on the past season and main stumbling blocks of CS players

We sat down with our ua CS:GO manager by Eugene "ug1n" Yerofeyev to speak about the team's last season performance, Counter-Strike events and some useful tips to young players.

— Hi! How did the off-season go for you?

Hi! If you mean our break starting August 1, I had almost zero time to rest. I had to deal with lots of organizational issues, and I still have a lot to do.

— How would you rate the team's performance during the first half of the year?   

I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I'm satisfied, but we would like to do even better, so I would rate it as an 8 out of 10. The guys got into a good shape and showed a decent result. However, I believe that we could place higher at least in two tournaments and hope we'll be able to reach our full potential after vacation.

— What was the best thing for you as a mentor?

— I liked that the boys have learned to find a way out of difficult situations. Sometimes, we had troubles trying to get out of the group stage, both in-game and psychologically, but they managed to draw on their inner reserves and find strength to show great Counter-Strike.

– What's one situation when the boys showed character and solved the problem together as a team?  

– Both Starladder events weren't easy for us, and also Cologne. We learned how to turn the tides when the score was 0-1 in favor of opponents. We managed to win two of these, despite great difficulties in the group stage. There were situations when it seemed like that's it, the team is no longer a team and the boys simply do not want to fight further; but in these moments, when it seemed like they had nothing to lose, they began to do better and won.

– In NAVI's recent video and some other interviews, many people mentioned that you had the greatest impact on s1mple and helped him get his emotions during games under control. How did you achieve that? 

It's so great to hear! Actually, it's possible to find the right approach to any person. Each one of us has his own background, a set of reasons why we've become who we are. We're trying to create an atmosphere of trust in the team and let everyone be who he is. Aggression is just a form of self-defense. When you're around close friends and like-minded people, you become more open and calm, because there is no one to defend yourself from. It's important to understand that each of us has faults he has to work on. Without this work, it would be impossible to achieve results which act as the main stimulus to improve. Overall, it's difficult to explain this process. Everything matters.

— There are a lot of talented young players on the professional stage, but many of them experience similar difficulties in-game. What advice or techniques to handle tilt could you suggest?

— First of all, it's necessary to understand what tilt is. In fact, it's a surge of emotions, strong emotional tension, which can be caused by fear, anger or something else. When a strong emotion hits, you can't stop it. It's like the weather. Can you stop a hurricane or a storm? Unless it settles down, nothing can be done. We need to learn to play under these circumstances, too. There are some self-regulation techniques you can choose to apply, but what I mean is that you'll have to continue playing even if anger or fear or anything else emerges. How strong an emotion is depends on the thing which caused it in the first place, the thing you need to work on prior to the tournament. The tilt issue has to be solved earlier. When emotions like these are expressed, not only a particular player but the entire team should know how to handle it. It's a very broad topic and I can't explain it briefly. You can actually find lots of information about it on the Internet.

— In your opinion, what are the main stumbling blocks professional players face? Let's take CS players.

  1. 1. Ego.
  2. 2. Underestimating the work of a coach, if there is one.
  3. 3. As a consequence, the lack of professionalism and a systematic approach.
  4. 4. The desire to have something rather than to be someone (looking for salaries, contracts and terms first with the hope it will enable them to get better and win. That's not true.)

— How much did flamie grow during your stay in NAVI? Many players note his personal growth in recent years. What played a key role in this transformation? 

— Egor started quickly progressing after Zeus left NAVI, I think. He saw that Zeus wasn't the issue and that everyone will have to work hard to get the result. Defeats make us stronger, we just have to make the right conclusions.

— Can you think of your most painful defeat and most memorable victory? Why were they so important?

— For me, the loss at the Krakow major meant a lot. It was more than just losing the tournament. And as to more recent events, the game against mouz in the Starladder final was quite hard. On the other hand, a victory is always a victory, regardless of the event. Winning in Cologne was perhaps most memorable. It was our third consecutive victory and a Grand Slam with all the world's top teams in attendance - and we won.

— How does the day of a manager typically look like while at tournaments?

— Depends on the stage of the tournament and our schedule. During media days, the schedule is less busy. Game days are also pretty standard: you wake up, exercise, eat breakfast, talk to the team and prepare for games, then you have actual games, talk to the press, sponsors, fans and prepare for the next day. I'm a link between the boys, organizers, sponsors and fans. They have to practice, and my task is to prevent distractions and help to solve any issues. During the day, I also have some management tasks which are not tournament related.

— It's interesting to hear your opinion on CS tournaments and their density. What approach do you use to prevent player burnout?

— For sure, there are a lot of tournaments. It's hard to organize a training process because of this. Sometimes we even look at some tournaments as the chance to practice for the next ones. It's something else related to professionalism and in some way, it keeps us from building a good training system. It's easier for young teams in this respect. In traditional sports, a player has to go through a full training cycle to do his best, but we have a different situation, unfortunately. This is very exhausting, so we are just trying to prioritize, focus on some events, but it's very difficult. And it's not always possible to do all we can at the tournaments we initially focused on. But those are excuses (smiles).

— You must have heard of the recent Jacksonville tragedy, with a mass shooting at a Madden NFL tournament. Have you had situations where you were unsatisfied with the organizers' approach towards player safety? What was the problem?

— I think players are mostly taken good care of. Generally, the finals are held in large stadiums with well-trained security personnel. The players can be vulnerable only while at hotels, I think. This issue may become more relevant in the future because of the rapid growth of the esports, but for now it's not very critical. With situations like the one in Jacksonville, it's impossible to predict what will happen. Of course, the organizers must do their best to ensure safety, but no one is immune from situations like this.

— Which of the tournament organizers is the best? What are their competitive advantages and things they can still work on? 

— ESL, ELEAGUE and DreamHack are the best, I think. PGL is also good. The advantage is their extensive experience in hosting these events. They have come a long way in this and their level continues to improve. But of course, there's always something to work on, but I'd rahter say it to them directly (laughs).


— The book that influenced you the most?

— If I had to choose one, it would probably be "The power of now" by Eckhart Tolle.

— Three qualities a professional player should have?

— Determination, discipline and diligence.

— What country would you like to return to?

— With our schedule, I'd say home (laughs). And as to those I've been to, it's always a pleasure to visit the States and China.

— What are your music recommendations for long flights?

— David Helpling & Jon Jenkins, Cardon based Lifeforms, Solar Fields. I also love Wardruna.

— What's your CS:GO rank?

— I haven't played for almost 2 years. Silver? (Laughs). Though I think I can easily get to Global in a week!

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