kibaken: 4 days to prepare w/ Certus

In another pre-Major Qualifier interview, spoke to Spirit's kibaken to find out how they are dealing with the visa issue that hit them, their Minor dissapointment and their chances at the tournament.

We managed to get a hold of Anton "tonyblack" Kolesnikov before the ELEAGUE Major Main Qualifier kicked off to learn more about Spirit, Pavel "COLDYY1" Veklenko's visa and the team's solid run earlier this year.

This interview has been conducted thanks to Vega Squadron's manager Alexander "Lk-" Lemeshev, who acted as a translator.

Let's start with your Minor, how did it go for you, were you disappointed not taking the first place?

The main goal was just to qualify for the main qualifier so when we won the upper-bracket final we were happythat we got the spot at the Major Qualifiers. We came into the grand finals in mixed feelings, we didn't get into the game right, knowing we were qualified already. So we were playing not as good as in the first game. So, mixed feeling because we finished second but we still qualified for the Major qualifier.

The upper-bracket winner didn't win the grand-final in almost all Minors, so do you think that is a weird system to have? You already achieve your main goal and then you need to play another match in which you probably won't be on your top level?

The system is kind of weird, I think that it would be better that if the team that won in the upper-bracket final got a map advantage or a best-of-three advantage if they played two best-of-threes. It's kinda weird, it could be better if they changed it - but you get what you get.

Let's talk about your team at the moment, how are you feeling, losing one player to a visa issue? And can you tell me about the visa issue, what was the problem?

It's hard coming into the Major Qualifier and losing one player. It's the same thing that happened the last time for Columbus almost, that time we got two visas rejected for Dima and S0tF1k so we used the two Poles. So this time we got visas for the two players that who had issues last time, and we already on our way to the bootcamp. COLDYY1 was on the way to Moscow to the bootcamp when he found out that his visa has been rejected.

What actually happened - he applied with the visa with all the documents, they didn't approve it at the interview but they told him they will do some research, a background check, but it didn't go through and he didn't have time to apply for it again. So we decided to use Certus, our coach.

Can you clarify when exactly the visa got denied, how much time did you have with Certus?

The visa got denied five days before our flight to USA, so we had about four days to prepare with him. But at least he is into the team so he knows the tactics and stuff even though he was not calling.

COLDYY1's visa got denied only five days before their flight for the US 

What are your thoughts on the whole visa thing, having them denied for two qualifiers now, it must feel bad and frustrating?

It's kind of disappointing to get hit by the visa issues two years in the row. But, esports is developing and people are trying to get professional visas for esports like the sports people. If esports were more recognized, if you could just show up at the consulate and be recognized it would be better. It's already better than before, but there are still people who don't know what esports is.

It's hard to get American visas, it's much easier to get European visas, but moving events and Majors from NA to EU is not how we should deal with us. We need to deal with the visa issue itself.

Looking back, Spirit had a good run online around August-September, what do you think was the key to that success and why couldn't you continue with that form and maybe push it to the next step?

The key was playing a lot of tournaments and official matches, we were in good shape. Later, the problem was the lack of preparation itself, we couldn't prepare tactically - too many official games to practice as we would like to.

Playing with a stand-in here at the Major qualifier, what are your expectations, what are you looking to do?

There are no expectations for us, we came here and the goal for the tournament is for every player to show his maximum. So we must not just have mediocre games, but do our best. And we won't look at our opponents, even though we are facing dignitas. It doesn't matter what team you are facing, we just have to be in good shape and in good mood and show the best Counter-Strike we can show on the Major Qualifier.

Professeur writes for and can be found on Twitter.

Russia Alexander 'Lk-' Lemeshev
Alexander 'Lk-' Lemeshev
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Ukraine Pavel 'COLDYY1' Veklenko
Pavel 'COLDYY1' Veklenko
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Russia Anton 'tonyblack' Kolesnikov
Anton 'tonyblack' Kolesnikov
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2016-12-15 08:56
India RrOuTe_FoRcE 
He actually was a decent player a while back. Was a part of NaVi for quite a while with the likes of Seized, zeus, ceh9, and starix. Infact he was added to NaVi along-side Seized. During the transition to CSGO, he(kibaken) and ceh9 were replaced by Edward and Guardian. Not much of a force right now it seems.
2016-12-15 09:18
Actually seized and kibaken replaced markeloff and edward already in csgo. After couple of months edward came back.
2016-12-15 13:06
sXe | 
Russia Duzzle 
ur moms boyfriend
2016-12-15 11:13
pronax | 
Russia ShaDyTH 
2016-12-15 12:12
Austria gex0r 
2016-12-15 12:53
if you didnt start watching cs last week you'd know
2016-12-15 14:42
wait, who?
2016-12-15 19:02
China Ottimo1 
2016-12-15 08:55
Singapore Prawblems 
2016-12-15 08:55
2016-12-15 08:55
2016-12-15 08:55
AdreN | 
United Kingdom Lonom8 
gl bois <3
2016-12-15 09:00
gas | 
Austria Phil_1337 
4 days?
2016-12-15 09:00
Norway Napapijri 
go go, Antoha! rekt'em all!
2016-12-15 09:06
Russia Walfii 
Gl Bandurka
2016-12-15 09:10
Can u fucking tell me what team is it? I dont know these nonamers
2016-12-15 09:17
Russia YQKKE Q_Q 
No. Learn to google.
2016-12-15 10:03
early af
2016-12-15 09:17
s1 | 
Armenia gr1nch 
2016-12-15 09:17
This was a wasted slot beforehand,now even more useless with no coldyy :/
2016-12-15 09:18
Honestly still miss the old TeamYP lineup.
2016-12-15 09:27
Russia elk0ng 
razjebite ))
2016-12-15 09:27
RIP Spirit :/
2016-12-15 09:35
you never used and never played any tournament to now so you can't affirms
2016-12-15 09:45
Russia keat 
Dima is sick and Coldy is not even playing so ez spirit lul
2016-12-15 09:52
kibaken thinks something miracle might happen with coldy playing. lel
2016-12-15 09:54
Europe jesh 
heh excuses
2016-12-15 10:01
Portugal dracø 
visa issues 4head
2016-12-15 10:08
Visa was the problem LUL
2016-12-15 10:11
Denied for hacking Clinton's email? Rip.
2016-12-15 10:15
nt kickbacken
2016-12-15 10:36
2016-12-15 11:07
kibaken in 2016 lul
2016-12-15 11:58
Russia MisterAda 
Go go Spirit
2016-12-15 12:14
broky | 
Latvia keshancs 
2016-12-15 12:29
Portugal dascouves 
Visa issues in 2016 LUL Honestly why is there so many visa issues involving russian players? "Backgroung check"? Do they think coldyy is come kind of terrorist? Well RIP Spirit is there best player together with davcost
2016-12-15 12:34
who cares about tier 100 teams like spirit
2016-12-15 12:56
2016-12-15 13:36
United Kingdom Jemers 
did you know kibaken played for navi
2016-12-15 17:15
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