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Cypher: "I hope I will [beat Cooller] again"

By Stuart 'SwitchbacK' Macdonald
Jan 18, 2011 19:20


ImageReigning IEM European champion Cypher talks retirement, his match with Cooller at QuakeCon 2010, and Strenx's recent performances.

Last January, Alexei 'Cypher' Yanushevsky won the IEM European Championship and asserted himself as the number one player in Quake Live. After a shaky first half of 2010, he knuckled down after ESWC and won two major titles, including an incredible victory over Anton 'Cooller' Singov at QuakeCon, to once again claim the number one spot.

Cypher feels really comfortable for this year's IEM European Finals, due to it taking place in a familiar location to him: the Kiev CyberSports Arena. The Belarusian talks to SK Gaming about the tournament, his will to win the IEM World Championship, and his favorite ever match in Quake Live.

The ESL is headed to Kiev for the first time. You've competed all over the world, are you happy that they chose the CyberSports Arena for the IEM EU Finals? What do you think of the venue?

I'm absolutely happy about it, because finally some big tournament in Russian speaking country, and I was in Kiev already many times, so I feel really comfortable here. Also I really like CyberSports Arena place to play... I think it's best conditions for me.

Would you say that you have home advantage, kind of like k1llsen could've had at gamescom?

No no, sure it's not, I just like it here. I like the atmosphere!

I talked to Spart1e earlier this week and he said that group A is really balanced. What do you think of yours?

I think both groups are balanced. I can't say anything special about groups, I think like always it's almost equal, one group a bit stronger then other one.

The stand-out opponent for you in your group is Cooller. Just how special is that rivalry to you?

ImageWell, everytime when I face Cooller, it's always close even if I win every time. I really respect this player. I think we can demonstrate some nice show again, I hope I will win again, but if I lose, it's only about Cooller.

Presuming both you and Cooller advance from your group, would you expect that to be the final? Who do you think poses the biggest threat to you?

I think it would be Av3k, he's always tough for me, but this time I think he will be with really big wish to win tourney, it will help him a lot, like ESWC 2010.

The top six finishers qualify for the World Championship Finals. That's one of the few titles that has eluded you, how much do you want to win that following a disappointing 4th place last time round?

I'm really really really looking forward to winning IEM World. About this tourney... I'm just looking forward to qualifying for IEM World, and if I'm more lucky I want to take top 2. But yeah you are right, I'm really looking forward to winning the world finals.

So you're not aiming to win the IEM European Finals? Just to qualify for the IEM World Finals?

I'm always aiming to win tournament, but just for now, my aim to qualify [for IEM World Finals] is bigger than to win tournament, but still I'm looking forward to finishing it with a win.

"[Strenx] is not top 1 in my eyes nowadays, but I think in the future he might be."
Strenx has rose to fame recently, putting in solid performances at BEAT IT/DreamHack. Do you think he can keep up that kind of form for the rest of the year, and how big of a threat do you see him?

Well, as I said in some interview, strenx is always for me the same player. I know he is really good, but I also know that he is not top 1 in my eyes nowadays, but I think in the future he might be.

How long do you plan to continue playing for? Is retirement nearing for you?

I'm planning to play til my contract stops being active, it's about 2-3 years I think, but I'm not sure, will see what plans life has about me.

Many will say that the QuakeCon 2010 final between Cooller and yourself was the best series in Quake Live. What did you make of that match and, if not that, what has been your best/favorite Quake Live match?

It took from me a lot of energy and potential, that game. For me it was the toughest and coolest final I ever had, and I'm really happy that I won that. Definitely I will remember this final for the rest of my life =)

You took place in two tournaments in Sweden last November. How was that experience for you?

Experience was about concentrating. I want to say, it gives me psychological experience.

People could argue that the BEAT IT final with rapha was the best series in Quake Live. How tough a game was that for you, especially considering you had a one map lead?

I can't say much about that final, I don't think it was best series in QL, and not because I lost, it's just I didnt show what I could do. I played not what I supposed to play, and it's not about rapha, it was about me. I already fixed that, and now I'm ready to show another great series against best players in world. Looking forward to show it in Hannover.

You practically owned the latter half of 2010. Is the whole of 2011 in your sights?

Before the new year came, I aimed myself to win every single tournament in 2011.

Any final words?

Keep it simple and people will reach for you. Thx to my manager, to my sponsors, and to those who keep cheering for me!

--
Photograph copyright of QuakeCon


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