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Cooller: "At times my aim can be hot enough"

By Duncan 'Thorin' Shields
Feb 7, 2011 19:17

ImageCooller discusses his matches at IEM, his thoughts on the CS tournament and many other things as he answers questions from readers in this translated transcription of a Russian language stream interview.

This interview was conducted online in Russian on as a radio-stream on the 25th of January, following RU Anton 'Cooller' Singov's victory at the IEM V European Championship Finals. Questions were read from comments in the thread that featured the stream, some were asked on stream by Shadow and to a smaller extent by ext_.

It was intended to be a detailed discussion of IEM with other questions thrown in. The very beginning wasn't recorded. Thanks go out to Cyberfight for granting us permission to transcribe it and especially to RU ToyTiger for taking the time to translate it into English.

What haven't we discussed about the first day?

I think we've discussed almost everything. I played through these two matches and that was the end of the first day for me, I started watching CS matches after that, Na'Vi and Russian teams in particular. I'm a fervent fan of CS, and there was an element of mutual respect, too. They usually cheer for me at the tournaments, and so I encourage them and wish them good luck. There was a lot of noise around and shoutcasters talked loudly, I should explain that because of that it wasn't even pleasant to play practice matches, there was no discernable sound in the game. So I just waited for everything to quite down and then sat down to play comfortably in the evening.

Top quakers like killsen, cypher, and avek started to use the in-ear headphones, what do you think of it?

They're very uncomfortable for me, my ears hurt a lot after using them. The pain is unpleasant and constant, it's very uncomfortable, so I don't use such things. And as far as I know, such headphones are very harmful.

Did you follow Group A matches in the first day?

No doubt I did, but as far as I remember no interesting matches happened in the first day, it was mostly about weaker players.

What about spartie vs killsen match, "a lion and the cage"?

Ah, yeah. Well, we just made a competition between us, we were making small bets on who's going to win with Shrek and Shadow. I bet on weakest players exclusively so that it would be more interesting to watch and cheer, it would've been too obvious to bet on killsen in that situation so my bet was on spartie. I'll explain: there's a map called hektik, and MH is situated in such a zone that I drew an analogy to the cage, because it features something like iron rods and looks like a cage. And there was a moment when killsen went for that MH and spartie was going for him from the outside, and I drew an analogy that killsen was a goat in the cage, and the lion was breaking into that cage. *laughes* It was a very funny moment.

Killsen's manager is funny, at gameinside there's an interesting note for his photo, something like "I played CS when it wasn't released yet", he's so big, with a moustache and a beard.

His jeans have holes on the knees, too, I guess it's a kind of styling. And his eyes have a threatening look to them. After my game with killsen when I got out for a break he gave me threatening glances, as if he was thinking "What a bitch"!

A question asked in the comments: If your aim isn't very high, is it possible to get the upper hand in the match intellectually?

Of course it's possible. My own aim doesn't stand out, but I still can win.

What music were you playing after victory?

Faithless, Insomnia 2010 (DJ Polex Night Mix).
At formspring you said that Cypher has his nose in the air, what makes you think so?

I observed his behavior and attitude and he came off narcissistic. And when I was interviewed I was often asked a question that sounded like this: "Cypher claimed that you'll never win anything again, that your time has come to an end, what can you say about it?" It was very unpleasant for me that this guy would claim such things. I hope he doesn't have the pangs of conscience, but it's his business what he thinks, and I don't know if he really said that or not.

How do you get prize money paid out? You're given a nice cheque, you take a pic with it, do you take it home?

They're too large, I never take such things back home with me, I present them to somebody or simply throw them away.

I admit that I left your cheque back there without taking it home.

I took care of everything. I walked up to the Arena's director and asked to have my trophy, the iron plate, placed somewhere on the scene, so that the next time I visit the Arena I could see it there. So that I'd be a part of that club, so to speak. I asked them to place it at the same stand where the Na'Vi trophy is.

And I almost forgot to exlain about prize money. It depends on luck, there's a factor of randomness. Of course they never give you any cash, except at Asus Cups, Dima makes a tournament and quickly hands you everything over in the envelope. But all big international tournaments operate through banks and bank transfers. Sometimes in a week or two after the tournament somebody from the staff contacts you and requests your bank account and sends everything over to you.

As for ESL, let's take the same tournament that happened a year ago as an example, I still haven't got money from it and am still waiting. They have some financial troubles, by the way I don't understand why, if they make tournaments on such a big scale why can't they afford putting aside a small sum of money to pay out the prizes? But in 99% situations of course I received all the prize money. There are a few tournaments, including CPL and WSVG that I haven't received my prize money from, as the companies went bankrupt.

You work for both Mouz and Razer. Why does your nickname reflect only Mouz, don't Razer guys feel hurt?

It's not that I work for Razer, it's my organization Mousesports that works with Razer.

Are girls that come to the tournaments in different countries sociable or do they snob gamers? Did you make any new acquaintances?

Do you think there were many girls there?

I remember that there was one girl that came to watch the tournament, she called you for a private talk during the break. What were you two talking about?

You'll be shocked, the topic was so intimate! She asked me to find some free time in future to play Quake 3 CPMA with her brother.

What did she offer for that?

I didn't ask, I'm ready to everything without a reward. Well, Venema and Greeny came, they usualy come to the tournaments to watch. Razer girls, Intel girls. I have no association with any of them. Except that I got acquainted with the barmaid, because I kept buying stuff from her all the time.

When did the first day finish?

Not too late, about 10PM.

What happened on the second day with CS?
MYM punished SK, that's what happened. It was good for them, on the first day they kept losing badly, so it was cool for them that on the second day they focused and managed to win one of the favourites of the tournament. According to what people told me, the transfers that occured in SK before the tournament made everybody think that their team was the favourite to win the tournament, that their new team was imba. And suddenly MYM won them 16:3. Inspired by their victory, they started to play well with other teams, too, and managed to pass the groupstage.

Let's talk about QL players. Whom were you most cautious of at the tournament?

I already answered that question before the tournament. Av3k, Cypher, strenx.

What can you say about GoHLinK?

He plays online much better than at LAN. I had my last game in the groupstage with him and although nothing depended on it I had a thought that I shouldn't completely relax, because I remembered that when I played him online we either had an overtime or one frag difference. But at LAN he turned out to be weak.

Madix was placed in a different group, did you play any practice games with him?

No, I haven't played a single minute with him. Madix seems to have a big potential. There are enough players like this, you look at them and they play cool, aim well, they think in interesting ways, but for some reason they don't perform well at the tournaments.

Describe fazz and noctis.

I approached those matches with caution, because both fazz and noctis represent the old school with a lot of experience and they know perfectly well how to win top players, so I put myself in a cautious mood before playing them. In general fazz disappointed me completely, because while playing with him I understood that he became weaker.

As for noctis, that match didn't matter at all, I have already passed the groupstage successfully at any rate. Noctis offered me a bribe, but in truth it was like a joke from him. His manager offered him some reward if he can win our set of matches, so before the game noctis jokingly told me that if that game didn't matter then I could help him out. I said that I'll play for victory anyway, because I knew that fazz depended on that game. If noctis would've won then fazz would be out of the tournament, so fazz was watching the games worriedly.

I lost the first map, dismemberment, at the second map we had an overtime, I think fazz was worried a lot. At the third map I became angry and thought that it's enough by now, because I didn't really play with full concentration and sometimes allowed him to get away with bold stuff in the game, so at the third map I told myself that it's enough, it's time to send that guy back home. It was t4, he even disconnected, and overall I'm content with how I played that map at the tournament. There's a good strategy of controlling the railgun.

Especially if you hit a lot with it.

Well, I think that although my aim is weaker than that of cypher, avek, strenx, and even that of killsen, I know how to handle weapons. At times my aim can be hot enough with railgun, shaft, plasma, and shotgun, so at times I can show good abilities with railgun.

I guess the second day ended for you with the fazz match, others that followed were of little consequence...

ImageI should explain that during the second day I was in bad mood because I was very discontent with my first day performance. I played with Cypher horrendously, what I mean is my attitude. At the second and third maps I gave up quickly because of some game moments, and I got frustrated with it. So on the second day I was in much mental discomfort, thinking that my attitude was incorrect, and I started to think differently and was trying to put myself into a new state of mind. Because with that kind of attitude you can't win a tournament, that's for sure. I was very discontent with my game and my behaviour, and I needed to fix it.

Whom were you practicing with that day?

With Shrek, the guy knew that it's a good practice for him so we played about 20 games non-stop. I begged him for a long time to bet 10 grivnas per map, because I allowed myself to play in a very uncaring manner as there was no incensitive for victory. His ztn was really cool in my opinion and he really had chances to win me, that's why I told him in full seriousness "you've got a chance to win me, let's bet 10 grivnas". It's only 1$, everything would be great for us. But he refused, saying that he's a poor student, although his balance at the Arena's PC is already higher than 4 thousand grivnas as far as I know.

By the way, there was a rather unpleasant problem for me that concerned the tournament shedule. When there were like 1-2 matches per day I coolled down quickly and had to come to play beforehand to have a warm up. I already talked to Carmac and said that it would be much better if all games had been separated and all their matches played in a single day.

That's bad for a show.

True, I agree, this way they're trying to unite different portions of the audience. Of course from the commercial point of view it's better, but so many delays occured because of this. It would be much simpler if both groups came and started playing at once, one guy after another coming on stage. But it's their own business, I have no right to teach them.

Let's switch to the third day and CS. Cooller, you were watching, tell us what went wrong for Na'Vi.

It was a very similar situation to the one that happened between MYM and Na'Vi. The first map was won by Na'Vi confidently enough, they wre greatly helped by the audience cheering for them, and after that they apparently relaxed. However as far as I remember the fight for the second map was intense, and Na'Vi lost by a few rounds. I might be mistaken, to be honest I don't remember that well.

So in the evening Av3k was teaching girls to play quake, wasn't he?

Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised to see that. But he didn't plan to teach, we took a break and after we came back we saw a Razer girl at his PC. So he started talking to her, explaining some things and giving advice. Why, the situation was perfectly normal, but everybody started to record it and was in haste to make it known to the general public, as if something unnatural happened.

Let's imagine that you have a son and he enjoys esports, by that time esports is big and pays enormous money. Your reaction?

My reaction would be negative, of course. Most likely I'd simply forbid him to play and would try to find him something else for a hobby. Something that would be more interesting for him to do, and at the same time more useful.

What if he'd be kicking everybody's asses from the start, winning WCGs?

If he won WCG, then that would be a different story. But I know very well what it takes to win a serious tournament.

How did you overcome your anxiety at IEM and played in a calm manner?

I told myself that I should experiment. What effect would it produce if I start thinking about all those foolish game moments indifferently? It was an experiment and a response to all those people who criticized me for being too nervous.

A question from ICQ: What do you think of Doom 3, Painkiller, UT? Why didn't they last long enough in comparison with Quake 3, and why didn't you play them like Fatal1ty, Stermy, Gopher, etc?

I tried my hand at Doom 3, but stopped because it turned out to be so unpopular. In addition it didn't give me as much pleasure as I thought it should. Doom 3 and Quake 4 weren't very well done design-wise: textures, colours, and maps were unsuccessful, and the games were unsuccessful, too. And those games required a serious PC upgrade, I even had to ask my sponsors for a separate PC for that game, and they sent me a powerful PC, but it still showed rather low FPS.

Anton, will you create a bind similar to the one strenx has?

No, that's not serious. Coming from strenx it's really funny, when I saw it for the first time it was funny *laughs*, but if I start binding such things I think I won't look like a respectable person.

What do you think about shoutcasters and interviewers, which ones do you like?

Once long ago I went to Germany for practice and they had a CS tournament called EPS Nordic at the time, accidentally I opened its page and it had a stream going. And guess what, I watched that tournament almost entirely, only because it was fun to listen to the shoutcaster. He had a rather interesting style, and I liked it so much that it kept me watching for a rather long time. It really works, if the shoutcaster is good and influences the audience, the audience will be interested.

What do I think about it? I think normal things, shoutcasting is not a simple job. I like Shadow's shoutcasing, it's nothing personal and not PR, I think he has some talent. And ext_ explains things in funny ways, his style is specific and I like listening to it.

Do you think that the cypher\rapha domination this year will or will not be as prevalent as before? And who is the player with most potential nowadays?
I find strenx most interesting, I'll explain why. He is a very ambitious guy, he wants to show what he's capable of a lot. I observe how he's trying, he's ready to practice 24 hours per day and wants to perform well. He has a serious potential and he really can win a serious tournament if some things fit in nicely for him. So probably this year he'll finally become top1. Other players aren't that interesting for me, rapha isn't to be scared of that much in the game, but I think very highly of him as a person, and I love the fact that he beats Cypher all the time.

I think that in any case Cypher and rapha will still be among the top players this year, and I'll be trying to compete with them. It won't be easy. To make predictions about any of them failing isn't right, that won't happen, they're so young that they will continue playing anyway, because it's their job. So time will show.

Did you notice changes in strenx game?

Yeah, during practice matches he is imba, but in serious matches he is different.

What I saw during practice games is that his reading became much better, he reads his opponents really well.

Of course, he really learnt all games by heart. I don't really know what it is, maybe CRT helps him at home. That's what professionalism is all about, roughly speaking everybody can be a god at the warm up and practice matches. It's more important how you perform at the tournament, it's a different matter and requires a different set of abilities.

Well, at least he's moving towards it successfully.

Do you see the picture? During practice games I can lose even to an average Russian player. I lost quite a few times to alfaomega, the guy who has been playing for no more than half a year, but I lost to him. I lost 99% of practice games to strenx, and yet punished him at LAN. Although of course there was a lot of tension, and it would've been more pleasant for me if it was a clear victory.

What's going on between you and Greeny? Don't dodge the question, come clean, I saw how you were looking at her.

*laughes* There's nothing except a friendly relationship. In past we were dating, but now there's nothing personal between us, we simply find talking to each other very comfortable. She's getting married soon. As a girl I don't find her exciting at all.

We'll make sure that Greeny hears what you said just now. *laughter*

Suit yourselves.

What did you expect from killsen?

For some reason I find it easy to play with him. When you watch how he plays with others, he seems to perform really great. But for some reason I read him very well, my aim is better, so I didn't expect that much from him yet I expected him to put up a big fight.

Let's start with t4.

First three frags came unexpectedly easy, and I played tactically. I analyze my opponents and their strengths and weaknesses, and when an opportunity presents itself to block the strength of an opponent I use it. So knowing that killsen is a sniper I tried to control rail and deny him any opportunity of distant fighting. However there was one moment in that game when I made a mistake and he managed to grab the railgun. He shouldn't have grabbed that railgun and I was very surprised about it, thinking where on earth could he get it! I even watched the stream of that game again, by the way you were discussing that moment and saying how Anton doesn't even know that he has a railgun, he should've heard it. I knew that, because I came at the moment when it should've spawned and saw that it wasn't spawning, so it was clear that he took it.

There was a moment even before that one when you forgot to take it, I think. Ok, the next map was dismemberment, with its nerve-wrecking 1 hp experience...

Not again! Everybody has been asking about it, and I've been replying the same thing, this question has been most annoying! That 1 hp didn't matter, if I'd have fragged myself against his body and lost that 1 hp, then I'd still have that one frag lead. I'd have fragged him and would've fragged myself with him. That didn't matter at all, stop asking about it, I'm just a little annoyed that everybody thinks that I was lucky to have had 1 hp left, and I explain that 1 hp didn't matter at the moment. Even if he had killed me in that situation he'd be barely alive afterwards, so I would've just come for him to finished him off. Period.

All pros use old Quake 3 cfgs with old commands that don't work. Are you too lazy to clean yours or create a new one from scratch?

Why do something if you can avoid doing it?

Who served as an example for you when you started playing, and whose cfg did you use?
When I saw Quake 3 for the first time it was something like CPL Holland, and I saw how Pele and Lakerman were playing each other at dm13, Pele lost by 1 frag, he needed a split second for an air-rocket or something alike. Examples... Well, I watched ZeRo4's demos and tried to understand what was so special about his game that he was winning everybody at that moment in time, and I drew a conclusion that there was nothing really special so I could do the same. That really was true about him, I think everybody understands it.

As for the cfg, I took Fatal1ty's cfg to use his graphical settings and set sensitivity and all other settings comfortably for myself. So you could say I stole Fatal1ty's cfg. I took a liking to his graphics and copied the settings.

Tell us about your movie, who is making it, its release date, is there a trailer to watch.

At first I was thinking over my options and whether I should ask somebody to do it for free or order it from professional people with experience in such things. And I decided that if you motivate people it would be better, because people would feel more responsible and would be trying to make it in a more polished way. I found the young people who made a movie for Dahang, they even have their own organization, as far as I know. Everything costed me around 600-800$. The movie will last around 7-8 minutes. I think it's going to be released before March, although maybe we'll wait till Hannover to include more frags, we're thinking it over.

Do you read QL forums to learn new tricks, console commands, etc?

No, usually I get news about updates from other people, as a rule they discuss these new things.

Is there a possibility for Fatal1ty to come back to Quake Live?

No, this man cares a lot about his reputation and the fact that he's considered a champion in many games, he'll never risk his status. And there's probably no need for him to do it, he has already achieved all he wanted to achieve in his life.

Let's talk about the match between Cypher and Av3k and its unexpected result. What do you think about it, why did Cypher lose?

He's weaker than Av3k at this moment in time, that's all. And weaker than strenx.

Do you use a crosshair as strangely designed as Cypher's?

He uses it because with his resolution this crosshair isn't visible, so he had to draw it manually, or rather it was drawn for him. I like the resolution he plays at, but my choice was motivated by crosshairs, so I had to go back to r_mode 5, 640x480. I use separate crosshairs for each weapon.

Did you prepare for the final in a special way, or did you just practice?

The latter, I stopped seeing anybody, and if there was an option to go to gym, or to meet some friends, or go to a party, or go on date, I cancelled all of them and played instead.

No, I mean at the tournament. Did you just practice, go to sleep, and the next day you were ready to play?

Yes, that's how it worked.

Let's move on to your match with strenx. Many questions turned up after that match, like would you stop taking breaks after having a lead map-wise. So what happened at t4? You've talked about it in other interviews, let's talk about it now, too.

Well, I was slightly worried because t4 is a rather disgusting map, and considering strenx' sniping abilities he was not the best player to play at that map in semi-final. At first he confidently made a few frags, then some spikes appeared. I don't want to say that they were really messing up the game, however there was a psychological problem, I kept thinking that a decisive moment in the game could happen and I'd lose a fight because of lag, I was worried about it. I did ask for a pause, as far as I remembered timeout wasn't working, but nobody paused the game.

Carmac was talking to strenx about it, asking him why he wouldn't call timeout, even though he had time to do it.
He has a key bind for timeout as far as I know, but he didn't use it. He said that he tried and missed that key a few times, or something along these lines. I really didn't like his attitude about the whole thing. It was crystal clear in the game that he wanted to continue playing, he understood that he was winning and he wanted the game to continue. But after I turned the game around and got into the lead, and after the pause was called, he started to use excuses to ask referees for a replay from the 7th or 8th minute.

In that game there was a crucial moment when I had around 10 hp and MH was to spawn in 3-4 seconds. We both were on the third floor, he knew that I had very little hp, so he switched to shotgun and started to make shots from distance. I was in the shotgun region and he was coming from the upper YA in the direction of MH and was firing his shotgun at me. At that moment I hit him with 2 or 3 rails, jumped right onto the MH, and experienced such a pleasure!

From my point of view that situation looked slightly more interesting. I saw the lags happening, saw that the admin is inadequately unresponsive to them. Eventually I ran up to him and told him to call timeout and that the players were lagging. And that taube guy was just sitting on his spot and looking at me, as if nothing was going on. I was repeating that the players were lagging, and he was just shrugging. Eventually I went back to watch the match, you made a frag, and he paused the game. And then lights went out.

There's something I really wanted to ask you about the replay: why didn't you open the door near the shotgun at once, so that he couldn't take it?

Because he could damage me if I did. It was better for me to draw him closer, face to face, it would be easier to use rockets in that case. But he jumped past me instead. Well, I had the following thoughts... There were two alternatives: either you start playing cautiously at once and wait till the game is over, or you block the rocket launcher, because the only chance he had to frag me was face to face and it was difficult without the rocket launcher. So I decided to stand right in front of the door to block the entrance to the rocket launcher, but everybody knows what happened. *laughes*

How did you stay calm?

I didn't focus on it and forgot about it at once, telling myself that nothing has happened, that it's ok. Of course the moment could be dramatized, I could start screaming something like "This can't be happening!!!" *laughes* But I was silent and felt slightly surprised, because it shouldn't have happened.

How did Carmac help to sort out that situation?

He did very well, he gathered all the referees for QL and gave each of them a word in order to describe their vision of the situation. He asked each of them to voice an opinion on what should be done. And everybody agreed that an identical situation should be recreated, it was the best outcome for me but I think it was also the best in general. Strenx continued to argue afterwards, but Carmac told him that the solution has already been found.

Why did we start talking about t4, there were other maps like dm13...

Yeah, I loved how I got him trapped at the jumppad, he was 200/200 and bounced on it a few times, it was really funny!

It's unclear what he was trying to do at MH at the end.

He was waiting for me to come from the general entrance to the mega, but I crawled up unnoticed. So I jumped towards the MH and saw him with his back turned to me, so I pushed him into the corner.

There was a moment when you had around 12 hp and he was firing the shotgun at you, yet you managed to shaft him an awful deal.

Yeah, I just analyzed his shotgun a little, fixed some things, and now I know how to dodge it. He really has a very strong shotgun, if not the strongest in the world in my opinion, at the moment.

What happened at other maps?

Hub I started rather confidently, I should stress that I had a rather successful spawn and got in control, but that didn't last, he started making frags. Eventually I took the game back, because I had timing and knew that at one moment everything was spawning at once, so while he was jumping for RA I simply stole MH, green armour, and got into control.

The beginning of dm13 was revolting. But for me it was a very useful experience, I'll never do it again, it was risky. He spawned at MH, took shotgun, then grabbed RA while I was jumping for YA, then I was trying to attack him at the tele, but he simply walked out and fragged me. I'll never do it again. Theoretically he should've jumped from the tele and I should've dealt him a -200, and in the worst case we should've parted our ways if I didn't kill him. But instead he went out and jumped into the open, so to speak, and it was very uncomfortable for me to aim because of the stairs.

T7 was the next one, I lost rather easily there, which gave him some confidence, then I became nervous at dismemberment. And everything was ended with t4. It would seem that everything was lost for me already, but I grabbed onto the last chance.

What did you think about avek? What did you expect?

ImageI knew that he was preparing seriously for the tournament, he practiced a lot, I knew that he was very motivated and wanted to be at least top3 or win the tournament. I should stress that he has that ability, he always has chances for victory. But disregarding that, I put myself in a calm mood. The beginning of ztn was revolting, but at some moment I drew a conclusion that I should stop giving away frags just like that and should take the game back. The crucial moment happened when I railed him at MH, it was a good shot, I got in control. Ztn is that type of map, if you've got control it's very hard to lose the game.

If we take as an example the same championship a year ago, he was hiding from me about half of the game, and he was hiding near the jumppad at the rocket launcher for nearly 2 minutes at ztn. But this time he thought that he had a 5-6 frag advantage and 5 minutes won't matter.

There was one important thing about him hiding at the tele at railgun where you jumped down at him two times. Each time you caught him there you managed to deal him a -100 before he entered the tele.

I'll explain. When he stood like that he couldn't hear that I fell down. He couldn't hear anything at all. He could only detect me at the moment when I was walking around the corner, and I was walking around it with an attack button already pressed down. The rocket was already flying. So he had no time to enter the tele and got a -100 at once. And then it wasn't difficult to go after him and push a second rocket into him.

The key thing about it was that it was really a kind of mind game. When I killed him the first time at that tele he came there again. He thought that theoretically I shouldn't think that he'd come there once again. And I thought to myself that that's exactly what he'll be thinking, that I'll never think that he'd be coming to the tele again.

What do you remember about dismemberment with its close 4:3 score? Were you catching up to him at dismemberment?

No, at first I had a 2 frag lead, the first frag was really good. I made him eat two rockets, and when RA has already spawned he didn't expect me to rush, but I just ignored RA and rushed at him, flying up at the jump pad. He had around 20 hp left, I switched to the railgun to be a hundred percent sure that I'd frag him. So I squeezed two rockets into him and impaled him with the railgun to be sure. Well, after ztn I had a lot of confidence, being very content at the outcome of ztn, because it would seem that such a match couldn't be won and yet I focused and won it. Besides, dismemberment was the map of my choice, I felt confident at it.

A few silly moments happened there. When I had around a 100% possibility to frag him and he was around 100\0 I would start to rush him, but he would manage to deal enough damage so that I had to escape that situation instead. Such moments were weakening me morally. There was a moment when he came to RA with a rocket launcher and a railgun, and RA has already spawned. I knew that he'd start trying to deal damage, because he had a very good position with me locked up at that RA. So I just ignored RA, went out of that room boldly, shafted off around 80 hp from him, he started to run away in panic, and I inserted a railgun into him to top it off. That was an intellectually beautiful frag. That's the kind of trick I used in Quake 3, people think that you'll be dying to grab RA, but you ignore it and that unexpected factor works.

Av3k would need just a split second to take that game to the overtime. Although it's unclear how the game would continue in that case, he had only 3 hp left.

Ok let's analyze this situation. Let's say he kills me, takes MH and now he's 100\0, and he goes for YA. I spawn at RA, take it, go to grab shaft and I've got the advantage.

The deciding map happened to be t7.

To be honest, I was surprised that he typed gg so soon, he could fight a little more.

What were your emotions after victory?
At first I couldn't believe it, but afterwards I had an incredibly content mood washing over me, thinking that I have done it, that I still can do it and have the skill to do it. But it disappeared very soon, if you compare with the beginning of my career when such things made me more emotional. Nowadays emotions are dumbed down a little. I'm happy mostly not for winning the tournament, but because I proved some things and that I purged my name, and that I gave some people pleasure, and I also had some responsibility (many people expected victory). I'm very glad about that.

What are you going to do about your site?

I'm planning to add new content, maybe change its design a little, add some colours. And then I can start working not only with the news, but with some video files. I plan to add an analysis, not a shoutcast of the matches but an analysis of how I think, so that people could understand my thinking. Maybe I'll be able to explain some important moments, maybe it can be useful for some people. I also plan to study the topic of lesson and if there's any demand for them. In truth about 8-9 people already requested them, and right now I'm thinking how all that should be correctly done. So maybe in about 2 weeks I'll be starting out. Then again, I ask people not to criticize me much, some people don't like my site at all and some think it's normal. Its budget is rather modest, and I don't really try to stand out anyway.

There was a moment at dismemberment when you got hit by railgun right at MH.

It was planned, I'll explain that I made that jump in such a way so that he couldn't see me. The possibility that he would be standing at that place and trying to rail me successfully before I reached the mega was technically impossible, so he hit me only at the moment when I grabbed it.

About two railguns that av3k hit you with, everybody was screaming about how impossible they were... The truth of the matter is that the crosshair shown on stream is full, but av3k's crosshair has some space in the middle, that's how he could see Anton and rail him.

No, no, sometimes moments happen when the model isn't visible but you can still "hit the pixel".

You weren't visible on stream at all.

Neither I was visible in the demo, which I rewatched, nor from my own POV.

Do you play any other games except Quake Live?

Not usually, but when I came back to Moscow it happened so that the company of old friends came about, and we're planning to play some Ultima Online like in the past. Just for fun.

Should QL spawns be fixed?

The spawn system is a little strange. Sometimes you think that such a respawn shouldn't be possible, but it occurs. I don't know what it depends on, I don't know which codes or scripts they've got, but I'd just fix those possibilities so that at a particular moment your opponent wouldn't spawn at a particular place. E.g. sometimes at t4 I jump from the third floor to the railgun, I'm already almost near the door, and somebody is coming out for the railgun, because he has spawned near the railgun. In addition I'd balance out the first spawns, so that all game starts would be fair, because sometimes people are unlucky with first spawns, which is very important.

What weights did you start chest pressing with and which do you use now?

I started with 30kg, now it's 70kg. Three repetitions, each one lasts around 10-12 times.

Do you do 70kg at once or gradually?

At first I warm up, using 50kg for 10-12 times, after that using 60kg for 10-12 times, and only after that I do 2-3 repetitions using 70kg for 12 times.

Why are commands "god" and "give all" present in your cfg?

Sometimes I warm up with the usual devmap, I just set up the rushing map like aerowalk and add 5-6 bots, these commands are helpful to avoid dying and to have all necessary weapons. I warm up my aim this way.

Any changes in the cfg?

Not much, I changed FOV to 90, changed the crosshairs, the texture mode got changed to the standard one, I changed m_yaw and m_pitch and added shadows because I understood that they're helpful sometimes.

Strenx and spartie whined about bad food.

Yeah, I noticed that, too, there was a pizzeria at about 5 minutes walk from the club, and they kept coming back from it carrying 2-3 pizza boxes. Tastes differ, let's admit that European and Ukrainian kitchen differ a lot. I personally loved eating at a few restaurants! But they have a right to criticize food.

How similar are unkind's and cypher's styles?

I wouldn't say they're similar. Cypher has quite a unique style, it can be seen in his aim, dodging, movement around the map, and positional choices.

How boring and tedious... And why did you have to talk about CS?

Thank you, dear.

Anton, if it's not a secret, how much do you get paid by mouz? Any additional rewards?

I get paid 1000E per month. No, no rewards, unfortunately. I'd love to have them, but they don't offer them, and I think that to ask for them would be quite insolent of me. At any rate I consider my pay quite high in comparison to that of other players, so I can't complain about it. Yeah, it turned out that strenx had no pay at all, it was very unexpected.

Describe new Russian players like agent, alfaomega, and kook.

They're rather promising players, everything depends on how they can perform and how much they can stand out. When I was in their shoes I had to visit a few tournaments using my own money. I can't really say that they will perform well and achieve serious results, because the game at online cups and practice matches is too different from the game at serious tournaments, but we'll see what happens at Asus Cup in February. I think that all of them are going to come, and it will be interesting to see who performs well.

There's some preliminary information that the next Asus Cup will be happening online. (not enough Ukrainians attend since the cup was moved to Kiev)

Then I'll have to discuss it with Dima. It's impossible, it should be at LAN. Just imagine some situation, as a random example, Cypher would play for Amai and would take him to the final. No, I will talk to him and explain why it's a wrong decision.

Will you continue practicing now or will you rest until the next tournament?

I'll take a break for a week or so, these days were so emotional. One guy from Moscow whom I knew was behind my back during the strenx t4 match, and I told him "give me your hand" and I put it over my heart so that he could hear it beating, it was like 500 beats per second, boom-boom-boom-boom. So I'll rest a bit, and then start over, besides there's going to be a 2x2 online tournament soon, and I plan to play it with Jibo.

So this is why Jibo can be seen online a lot lately!

He's missing the game a lot.

Is it possible to win players like killsen?

Yes, it's possible. You need to play every day, you need to choose more difficult opponents and put effort into playing them seriously, playing only for victory. It's not impossible at all. If you want it strongly enough you can become Lionel Massey, I think.

Do you miss old players like Toxjq, uNkind, ZeRo4, czm?

I miss all of them and at the same time none of them. By the way, as far as I know, both czm and ZeRo4 will come to the Hannover tournament. I'm most interested in seeing czmie. So I'll be waiting. And of course I would want famous players to be present so that there'd be more attention to the tournament and more competition.

I liked how Spartie performed. But he complained at some Russian players who stood behind his back, apparently their presence prevented him from concentrating.

I don't know anything about it. His performance didn't impress me. In general he can play really well, but I suspect that he has a serious problem with anxiety, which spoils his performances a lot.

Anton, did you lose that frag at t4 to strenx on purpose?

Of course not, why would I lose a frag on purpose? Nobody could ever afford doing such a thing, too much was at stake. I lost in an fair fight. And I have to stress that he really performed ideally at that moment, he hit everything he needed, and in addition I damaged myself by hitting the column for a -20.

Do you think that strenx has a chance to win a big tournament? What does he need that?

Of course. If he can work up his confidence in serious matches, then the green lights are on, and he can move forward to be top1.

Did you try playing other competitive games, like CS and SC, or did you choose Quake at the onset?

When I started out I played everything, I was a member of a club team and was its top player in both CS and Quake. In SC I never had any serious achievements. But with time I chose Quake.

How long are you planning to play Quake Live?

The whole year.

MS1.1a's wire is a little rigid, which is annoying, what about Abyssus?

It's very thin and more or less comfortable. I want to stress that I'm not advertising for Razer unlike many people think. It's not a part of my obligations to them. I don't force anybody to buy anything, I say sincerely that this mouse is comfortable for me, I like this mouse. Think of it as a coincidence that I switched to it and won a tournament. So don't criticize me for advertising it, I do not.

In past there were some mixed team tournaments, at least one at Asus Cup, did you like such games? When you play with a girl on your team, you can't afford to scream "To quad, bitch!"

*laughes* To be honest, it was so long ago that I don't remember how it felt. But in any case it's interesting and it's fun, it's something unusual. But if you play professionally, then personal charasteristics stop mattering for you and you start thinking of her as a teammate, and then gender doesn't matter. But the one tournament that I played in a mixed team was a "for fun" tournament and my attitude wasn't serious.

When you're driving do you curse at others if something is wrong?

Rarely. Sometimes it happens, but normally I understand that anybody can make mistakes or fail at something, anybody can get distracted. So usually I don't say anything and think to myself that whatever happened could happen to anybody.

Cooller, please name the first thing that comes to your mind that your first name rhymes with.

Thanks *laughes* (It rhymes with an insulting word)

Are you going to participate in online tournaments?

If my practice games coincide with them, I will play in online tournaments. If not then there's no sense in participating, I'm going to lose anyway.

Do you use protein, or maybe creatine like av3k?

No, in past I used protein, but it's very damaging for your stomach. So by now I decided to forget about it, because these proteins don't come from the natural source, but from a mechanical one. In addition all those aromatizers, dyes, and who knows what else they add in, I prefer to use only natural products. And no, I don't use creatine.

In the interview before IEM Cypher was asked about top 3 and replied that apart from himself, he can name avek, strenx, and killsen. Does it annoy you that he doesn't even consider you top 4?

Well, of course it's a bit unpleasant, but nevetheless he has a right to criticize me or to consider me top 10. Maybe it's because he finds it easy to play with me that he considers me weak in general. However we all know the final standings of this tournament.

How important is the Hannover tournament to you? How will you prepare for it?
Of course it's very important, and I'll start preparting two or even three weeks beforehand. This recent victory helped me realize how I should think in the game. What I need is not to lose this understanding, to memorize how I played and how I behaved in the process, my attitude. And of course it gave me a boost of confidence. Another important advantage of having won that tournament is that others will be more cautious of me from now on, top players will think that I have an ability to win any of them, it's rather important. And of course I'm very conten, because after such a long period I won. A victory is a victory, neither top3 nor top2 can ever be compared to it.

When will the Hannover tournament happen? How much would it cost to visit it?

It will be happening from the 1st to the 5th of March, at CEBIT in Hannover, Germany. So we have one month and 10 days left... Maybe I shouldn't rest a lot and should play from time to time.
It would cost around 700-1000E. This price includes visa, eating, living, airplane tickets. You could use only 700E if you choose a modest place to live. Well, visiting this tournament is not the cheapest thing to do.

How and when did you take your airplane?

I didn't take it. My airplane was sheduled at 8AM, so I needed to wake up at 6AM, but I only came to my hotel at 4AM. The games were delayed, then the reward ceremony followed, interviews, and you always need to take time to say goodbyes to everybody, to take some of them for a smoke. So I only came back at 4AM and allowed myself such an insolence as to miss the airplane. It's just that when I'm sleepy I find it very difficult to function in life, and flights are usually difficult, too. So I had a good sleep and bought a new ticket for the airplane later in the evening, after learning all that stuff on the news, and everything was alright.

I think that SC community is friendlier internally than that of QL, judging by two Asus Cups that happened in Kiev. They often go somewhere all together after the games.

I had a lot of similar experience with Quake, the whole crowd would go somewhere after the tournament, so stop criticizing Quake community.

Did you ever have a megalomania period?

Possibly. Somebody else has to observe me to tell for sure, it's difficult to tell on my own.

We were wrong, ZeRo4 isn't coming over to Hannover, after all.

Well, I was told that he works in a very respectable organization now and earns very good money. So he's into this process and his age is a little too much for gaming already, so I think that he isn't interested in it now. He turns up at some online American tournaments from time to time, but overall he's into his job.



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