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Aleksandr ‘s1mple‘ Kostyliev is without a doubt the No. 1 player in the world. He and his Natus Vincere teammates are looking to be the team they were destined to become….best in the world. s1mple has some very strong opinions and he shared those with us at VPEsports.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us here at VPEsports. How would you rate your victory over Vici Gaming today?
“This is an ordinary victory; a group stage opponent that was not as strong as usual. Usually our victories are much more complicated but this time it was much easier. Not sure why. Maybe it was because of their play style, but in any case, we were prepared for them. We watched the demos.”


Nevertheless, on the first day of the group stage, you were defeated by TyLoo, another Chinese team in the tournament. What happened in that match?
“It was our first game, so I cannot even say that we were really upset or bothered because of that. We know that we are stronger than they are, but we lost a lot of clutches, lost our first map, and on the second one, the tension, the nerves, all went away. We understand as a team that losing to TyLoo was not the end of the world; we can always remember how Cloud9 came back to claim victory at the ELEAGUE Major in Boston. We just discussed our mistakes after the game and fixed them.

Stats vs. Vici Gaming

K-D +/- ADR
Aleksandr ‘s1mple‘ Kostyliev
55-25 +30 98.6
Egor ‘flamie‘ Vasilyev
39-29 +10 94.2
Denis ‘electronic‘ Sharipov
34-31 +3 88.6
Danylo ‘Zeus‘ Teslenko
29-23 +6 67.4
Ioann ‘Edward‘ Sukhariev
33-31 +2 74.6


So Yesterday you lost to a Chinese team, today you beat another. Do the Chinese teams have a similar play style or meta?
“Both teams do play very similar. There all possess some similar movements, with both teams trying to move quickly on the map. However TyLoo had a sniper, and it was more difficult to play against them. Vici Gaming does not have such a player.”


Yesterday we spoke with SK Gaming’s Marcelo “coldzera” David about their game against Vici. He said that tier-2 teams play like robots and don’t know how to play when down a man or two. Do you agree with this opinion? How can these tier-2 teams fix it?
“Yes. Tier-2 teams. Even if they manage to grab a win, they are scouted and because they don’t have a lot of differences, we immediately understand how to play against them. However, It also depends on the team itself. If a team carefully prepares for the opponent, they can show a completely different level of the game. And as to How do they have to progress? They need to play more offline tournaments on LANs. Get more experience, watch the trends among the top teams of the world and copy them.”


SK and Liquid have changed rosters and are now playing at StarSeries. C9, Fnatic, G2 are also making some roster moves or have already made moves. How would you evaluate these decisions? What about the CIS Region?
“All the roster changes that have occurred will benefit those teams. But, each team needs time and each has their own problems. Some problems I see are that fnatic may not be able to play enough games to build their style, SK has communication issues, and Cloud9 generally does not understand what they need; they took the captain, then removed it and it is not clear what they want now.”

“Regarding the teams in the CIS, I don’t follow the tier-2 teams. Gambit obviously needed someone new, but they have a problem with the captain. So, first, they need to start building their own play style and train more. FlipSid3 is trying to play with a player from Belarus, Don’t really know much about them. Who else? AVANGAR returned Jame – well done. He came back and they already had a very good game against SK in the Adrenaline Cup.”


Flamie said in an interview with DBLTP that the key players on your team are you and Denis “electronic” Sharipov. Do you agree with him?
“It’s wrong to say that Denis and I are key players because this is a team. Everyone has his own position and role. Everyone should play out their position to the maximum. The one who does this of course stands out on the team as well as in all other teams. Astralis is the best example of playing as a team. Xyp9x may only get 5-10 frags per game, but he takes a lot of clutches, he speaks very well with the team and gives a perfectly timed grenades.”

“After electronic completed our squad, he tried to play the same position he did with FlipSid3. But this role was uncomfortable to him, so we have put him in a more comfortable position. He likes it, so he trains more and constantly progresses.”


This year’s StarSeries doesn’t boast the star-studded lineup it has in the past. What are your goals for this tournament?
“Every team wants to win, but anything can happen. We need to make the playoffs, get in shape and continue to train, watch the demos. But we will certainly try to win the tournament.”


So, while winning StarSeries is your goal for this week? Is there a bigger goal you guys have in mind?
“We want to win every tournament! It’s time to win something! Of course, I would like to win some major tournaments, maybe a major, or ELEAGUE in Atlanta, if they would invite us. I believe that we are well prepared; we are just a little unlucky at times. If we can learn from our defeat’s such as the ones from Liquid in the EPL, we can become stronger than they are. In our defense, we played on the maps that we had very little practice on. After this tournament, we are likely to meet again and bootcamp so that we can go to China in the strongest form possible.”


Summer is coming soon. What are your plans and do you have any fan signings or events planned?
“I do not even know where I’ll go to rest and relax, but I would love to give some advice to some players. A few years ago, during the summer, I could not leave for Egypt with my parents for a week because I trained all the time. So ,even at this time of year try not to lose your shape if you want to become a professional player.”


Is it true that you and TACO decided to organize a duel? Will this happen here at StarSeries?
“We could not agree on the time initially. Then he proposed to do it here, in Kiev. I did not quite understand what he meant; he wants to do it in the training room, or right on the stage. The last time TACO and Get_RighT did it on stage.”


You’re a big fan of football, as everyone knows. Who is your favorite team? Did you happen to go to a game?
“I decided not to buy a ticket, it was too expensive even for me. But in general, we went to the first half in the fan zone. There were a lot of people and I was cheering for Liverpool. I always support a weaker team. Not that I hated Real Madrid though, I just wanted a victory for the Liverpool. Everything was fine, until Salah got injured. In general, the match was great, but the goalkeeper played as if he was in a fog. This happens in our tournaments too, when you stand as if stunned and you do not notice the obvious things.”


By Taras Bortnik

Special to VPEsports

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