By Taras Bortnik
Special to VPEsports
AVANGAR have earned a spot in the StarLadder Major grand finals in Berlin after a 2-0 victory over Renegades. Following that victory, we sat down with Timur “buster” Tulepov.
During the interview, buster talks about the pressure of the Major, their match against Renegades, Astralis, and more.
VPEsports: What are your thoughts after that match?
buster: I also have no words. An incomprehensible feeling, to be honest, I do not have the realization that I’ve made it to the final of the major.
VPEsports: When you got out of the booth, you saw how people standing and applauding for you. How did that feel?
buster: This is too cool, especially for the first time in my life. This is a shock. It’s like breaking a leg and not feeling it for the first time.
VPEsports: The first map went all the way to double overtime. What happened?
buster: It was very hard and tough, and we gave up a lot of clutches. It all started after Jame and SANJI lost the two-in-one clutch. It was evident that something was wrong, they did not say anything. After the game, it’s already clear that we had to say something, help, take some responsibility for ourselves.
VPEsports: First game was hard, but you finished the second map with greats stats at a 1.48 rating. Did it feel that easy?
buster: It was somehow calm to play after we won on the first map. We came back, we felt calm and we just walked through our opponent on Dust 2.
VPEsports: A lot of people talk about s1mple, recently everyone praises ZyWoo. But a player such as yourself is just now in the spotlight. What are your thoughts on this?
buster: I just try to play for a team, I try to show myself more. It is at this tournament that I take duels because it is a Major and everyone is afraid, so I try to use this.
VPEsports: Both you and Renegades are making history in your own way. They are the first team from Australia to go this far; you are obviously following the Gambit path. Does this have any impact on you?
buster: We did not come to the Major to prove something to someone, we play only for ourselves. Calmly. In fact, we watched a lot for OG, who won two The Internationals and praised their example: after all, they were underdogs and both times won. We read interviews in which they talked about their underdog mindset.
VPEsports: You, as I said, are on a similar path of Gambit at the Krakow Major. Moreover, you play with AdreN. How does he contribute to the team?
buster: Daur always supports us, stops us when we get too nervous. “Everything is fine, boys, calm down, we will win now.” And it works, we focus our thoughts and emotions.
VPEsports: Usually teams take a time out when something does not work out in the game. But you used it after the round you won. What were you talking about?
buster: In general, we take a break when we believe that it will be useful. With a pause, we hold back and cool our emotions. Also, this is such a technique to make opponents think that we might be planning something special.
VPEsports: You mentioned Dota 2 – your tournament run reminds me of DC coming out on the bottom bracket at TI6. Resolut1on then said that before the finals they just focused on the next match, but in the finals they felt immense pressure. Do you feel this pressure now?
buster: No. We quickly get used to new conditions and therefore there is no nervousness among the players.
VPEsports: In the previous stage you played to not be knocked out of the tournament, and tomorrow you will play to win it all. Is there a big difference in how you feel?
buster: We try not to think about such things. This is just another match to win.
VPEsports: In any case, you will play either against NRG or against Astralis. Are there any preferences, expectations from this semifinal?
buster: I think Astralis will win. They are stronger now. As for our match with them, we practiced with them, and we don’t feel that they surpass us too much. They are a very strong team, they do everything correctly on the map, read the enemy’s movements, throw grenades, but we are not bad either.
VPEsports: Any words to the fans?
buster: Support us, scream for us. I’m sure there will be more Astralis fans in the arena, so just shout them down.
StarLadder Major interviews: