PGL Major Krakow is first major tournament in CS:GO that was organized by PGL. What do you think about that?
So… There obviously been some delays, and I know some people are unhappy with that, a lot of people are unhappy with that, and there been some tech issues and more heavy. But I think a lot of people probably do understand is that PGL has been working on it for months. It’s not something made in a week, they’ve been working for it months and months and months.
And I’ve also dreamt of doing majors for a long time. And there is a close group of people who are very passionate of about Counter-Strike. They wanted to make sure this is the best major ever, so they had huge intentions, loads of great plans to do that. And unfortunately they’ve been unlucky in many mistakes, and they we’ve been going down for some things, not something they can control. They’ve got lots of backup plans for things to try to help them get better and even some of those just go down.
So this is just a mixture of poor luck and a wrong time that led to other things. Yes, it’s sure there were some mistakes and they’ll fix them. But far in a while, the best people I know right now who will listen to the players, make changes, make improvements, put new pieces in, build new pieces for those who have problems with FPS or whatever. So I want to make sure people understand just how passionate PGR is about this and why they wanted to do major in the first place because they love doing this stuff.
Lets talk about participants. None of 10 previous Major tournaments was won by the international roster. Why does it happening? What's your opinion about it?
Well, I think Counter-Strike is one of the most technical games to play as it requires explicit team work and explicit communication, so eventually it happens that most teams will be formed from one country. From Brazil, or from America, or from Denmark, or whatever.
So the winners tend to come from the countries in the past because they are from the same team, they are from the same country. They communicate fast. Dota is a great example that game requires a great team work and a great communication as well but it’s a different style of communication.
Counter-Strike need it immediately, it needs it now, otherwise you’re done in the game.
So because of that, I think international teams generally by default using English, and English is not everyone’s first language, and it makes it slightly harder and a bit slower. Not much, but half a second is such a long time in Counter-Strike.
I think we will eventually get an international team that will win, but it might take a little bit longer and we might really see it, but I don’t think it’ll happen soon. It’s just communication, and it’s so critical in the game.
So can we say that to win a Major you need not to be an international team, you need to be from one country?
I think so, but on the other hand, FaZe have players from different countries. So it can be done but I think it’s more difficult.
What do you think about CS:GO scene in future? Can we wait for something evolving in CS:GO? Maybe it may become stronger or something else?
I think it’s always evolving, I think that’s the cool thing about Counter-Strike whether its Valve making small changes in the game, or whether its teams finding exploits in the game to use whether they legal or illegal, whether its teams evolving a matter, or whether its teams finding different things on a map.
It’s crazy, as if you get a bug for a moment… They’ve got strategies and strategies that they use right now and they play very differently. Their knights completely different from other teams, they don’t care about some things at all. They just play totally different and even such a team as Escape tell that in Counter-Strike is very hard to play as they just never come up against it.
So this is a good example of the fact that game is always changing, the matter is always evolving. And when one team figures something out, another team will figure out a counter.
When that team figures out a counter, someone else will find how to beat that. And so it goes. And I think there’s always something to evolve in the game.
And what do you think about the prize pools of CS GO and Dota 2? Soon The International with over $20,000,000 dollars prize pool is going to start. But Valve organizes tournaments for CS:GO only with $1,000,000 dollars in prize pool. Why does that happen?
First thing to remember is that not long ago it was $250,000 thousand dollars now it’s million dollars. That’s good. It’s going up. You have to remember that Valve put only $1,600,000 dollars in Dota, they didn’t put $20,000,000 dollars in it, that’s the crowd who did that. So that’s the first thing to remember.
But the reason number one of that is, I think, there is no opportunity for Counter-Strike to change to a similar mode with some crowdfunding.
But we already have it in game. I think people forget that we’re having stickers in the game. That money does go the players, it does go to the teams, we just do not how much does, we don’t know the size. It could be that is millions of dollars, but we wouldn’t know this.
Yes, it would be nice to have $20,000,000 dollars prize fund for Counter-Strike and it would make scene bigger than it is. But don’t forget, we already have millions of people involved in the game. It is a million-dollar tournament. These guys are paid $10,000 to play Counter-Strike for professional team. They all get a good money.
But I think the reasonable argument is to have more transparency and to have a pot of money paid that could be shared between teams.
The difficulty is that I’m not sure we would crowdfund as much as Dota 2 does. We do have a smaller player base, let’s be honest about that.
And we also have more fans than we have the players which is also different to Dota so we have to keep that in mind and not everyone owns the game, so they won’t contribute to the prize pool. I think that’s ok right now.
And I did not hear the teams complaining about that, so I think that look at Dota enviously some time, and they think that will be nice to win 10 mln in the grand-final its so probably unrealistic.
I know you are working not only with CS:GO you are working with Dota 2 and Starcraft 2 as I know .You also worked with Quake 2 and Quake 3. What is your favorite discipline in world of eSports?
I think back in a day it was Unreal Tournament as it was the game a played, and I played pretty well, it was probably the only game I was good at.
But that’s was long time ago.
Now unfortunately I really have not come back in force so…
I think it’s interesting as many people said me why would you love Dota so much and the answer is that it’s so deep, and complex, and interesting, and none two games are ever the same and even similar. And even if teams draw the same heroes it still different somehow.
So I really like the complexity of Dota. I watch an absolutely monster amount of Dota and I really do. I’m a junky for Dota. I just sit and watch everything. You know, at three o’clock in the morning you know what’s in the middle right now.
And I just like watching it so I watch it.
And Counter-Strike is a different animal for me as I enjoy playing it. Where as I don’t enjoy playing Dota so much as I find it frustrating to play. It’s a very difficult game to be good at. And I ‘m super competitive, and I’ve played Counter-Strike for 15 years, so just going back to play Counter-Strike with my friends, and I go back to it and its easy. I know how the weapons work, I know the record, I know the maps so I’m good, I’m comfortable with it.
With Dota it’s much harder to come and play with friends as I don’t really understand everything that is to know about each hero, what acting are in the matter one, in the matter two, who is working when I get to switch other counter, where I should go on the map sometimes, why should I do these points of the game. I don’t always understand even if my friends say you should be doing this now. My fingers and my hands don’t seem to be able to do that in Dota. Where as in Counter-Strike, I get a muscle memory I guess, and I know I can choose that option or I can go right to this corner and I won’t get killed.
So it’s funny when people say do you have a favorite game, I don’t have a modern favorite game, but I suppose I like watching Dota and Starcraft the most and I’d be playing Counter-Strike rather than to watch it.
And the last question. Can you tell about the start of your career?
So I started from playing point. I always had a computer in the house as long as I can remember. When I was 12 or 13 when I had a computer, and at my time it was at late 80ies, so that was a long time ago.
And computer always fascinated me, so I played a lot of games. When internet came along, I went straight to the internet and started to play with other human beings and that was amazing! I could play with people from other countries in the same game and I thought how good I was though, but I realize I was actually quite a rubbish.
Fortunately, I found Unreal tournament in 1999. Played for some really good teams, pro teams, won some Europe cups, we won more about 50 pounds or 100 pounds, whatever. And we were probably the best team.
And I gone into the commentating in a tournament quake in 2002 and it was purely by chance I really did not plan to do it. It wasn’t a career move, I had not the idea what the showcasing was.
But I did it for some fun and I kind of grew from then. And I’d taken on by radio and then we started to do video streaming in 2004 2005. I was just to be lucky in the right place in the right time and I just carried on to grow with it as beans are growing. And now instead of commentating tournament to 50 people, I’m now going out to 20 000 people in a stadium and millions of people online, it’s incredible.