starix: "Had offers from four regions"

We caught up with Sergey "starix" Ischuk ahead of Spirit's opening match at the CIS Minor and asked him about his return to activity and the team's preparation for the event.

The 29-year-old is about to play at his first offline event since returning to activity, after spending two years coaching Natus Vincere, the team he represented for most of his career.

At the Minor, Spirit will be out to secure one of the two spots at the offline qualifier for PGL Major Krakow, but first they will have to advance from a tough group that also includes Spartak, pro100 and Quantum Bellator Fire.

Read on to find out what Sergey "starix" Ischuk had to say about his return as a player, his decision to join Spirit, the preparation for the Minor and Natus Vincere's current struggles. 

What are your thoughts on this first month since returning as a player? Are you happy with your level, or do you think it will take some more time before you get back to your best?

Returning as a player was a difficult decision for me. My current level is not as high as I would like it to be, but I understand that a lot of work has to be done before I reach the level that I had before I stopped playing. I am really working a lot to make my new team better and to help my teammates move forward by sharing all my experience, so it may take me a bit longer to get back to my usual individual level. 

Has it been hard for you to keep up with the demands and the schedule of playing at a top level once again?

I cannot really say that it is harder than being a coach, since the level of demands and the responsibilities are much higher in that position. By being a coach, I got to understand the game from the other side. And now that I am a player again, my experience as a coach is helping me to better shape the game of my new team. But we still have a lot of work to do to get to a top level.  

What made you choose Spirit, of all the offers you had on the table? What kind of offers did you have?

I cannot disclose all the details of the offers I had, but I can say that I had offers from North America, Europe, CIS and even Asia. Different organisations asked me to join them as player, coach or even COO, but I decided that continuing a player was what I wanted and that Spirit was the best option for me. 

starix had offers from multiple regions, including North America

Since joining the team, what kind of things have you been trying to implement? How much have you changed the way the team plays?

For most of my career, I was on just one team, so I never really got to look at how the other CIS teams played, also because their level was much lower. When I joined Spirit, we decided to do everything from scratch so as to not waste time on improving the way the team played before. But later on, when we realised that we were running out of time before the Minor, we decided to simply improve some of the things the team was doing before instead of doing a full rebuild.

What has your preparation for the Minor been like? What aspects have you focused on?

We are actively working to improve the confidence of the players in the matches against top teams. I believe this is one of the most important aspects for players wishing to be at the top. But I am aware we need to take a big step forward to leave the CIS region behind us and to be able to take on the top teams in the world. Right now, we still have ingame problems that we need to fix before we can earn a place among the top teams.

What are your expectations for the Minor? Who do you think that are the main favourites to finish top two?

We are positive heading into the event, but it is hard to have expectations since the level of the teams is much lower than what I have seen from top teams.

You have been a bit vocal about Na`Vi’s struggles. Is there still some bad blood between yourself and the team/organisation for the way you were released? What is your opinion about the team’s ongoing issues?

I was not being vocal at all. There is not something as bad blood between the organisation and me, but the same cannot be said about some specific individuals inside the organisation. In my opinion, Na`Vi's situation nowadays is pretty close to the situation described on "Spirited Away".

Ukraine Sergey 'starix' Ischuk
Sergey 'starix' Ischuk
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2017-06-08 23:03
2017-06-08 23:15
2017-06-09 08:56
World WestSideDude 
Nice one, great news? Or just first?
2017-06-09 09:32
Kazakhstan Trapptrapp 
The first post could be better, but it's OK... xddddddd
2017-06-09 09:42
2017-06-09 10:39
Sweden Traitorz0r 
Not that nice, cuz he could join some top EU/NA/Asian team instead of playing in t3 CIS team. Or at least he could wait and comeback to Na`Vi or join Gambit or other t1, but not Team Spirit ffs...
2017-06-09 11:57
Its about money. C.R.E.A.M.
2017-06-09 14:44
2017-06-08 23:04
lueg | 
Czech Republic Lueg 
good to kno
2017-06-08 23:04
s1mple | 
Russia SherB1 
2017-06-08 23:04
Sri Lanka TheCerkes 
NA teamliquid
2017-06-08 23:05
Yeah. probably TL.
2017-06-09 09:34
prolly :D
2017-06-09 10:42
2017-06-09 10:50
gl starix
2017-06-08 23:05
Turkey Rigney 
2017-06-08 23:05
Spain Alser 
And takes spirit
2017-06-08 23:06
nice gl starix!
2017-06-08 23:06
2017-06-08 23:08
Moldova OptimusBlyad 
Let's go Ischuk to Major
2017-06-08 23:08
2017-06-09 08:54
World WestSideDude 
Let's do it!
2017-06-09 11:54
Macau Bent0 
Spirited Away starix weeb confirmed <3333
2017-06-08 23:12
that was a very good movie tbh <3
2017-06-08 23:22
Latvia Phenomennn 
weeb detected
2017-06-09 09:37
Lost all my respect for starix.
2017-06-09 00:02
Europe g_G 
Lost all my respect for starix.
2017-06-09 01:23
Won all my respect for starix.
2017-06-09 08:54
Germany grabke 
doubt they stand a chance at the Offline Qualifier.
2017-06-08 23:14
s1mple | 
Russia pEndos 
don't be so pessimistic..................
2017-06-09 09:28
Latvia Phenomennn 
ok Spiidi
2017-06-09 09:37
Malaysia byaIi 
he is gra b not spidi ...
2017-06-09 14:07
Brazil BuddyINSANE 
Let's go starix good luck on CSI minor qualifier! We smart, we loyal, we friendly, we are from BRAZIL! Kreygasm
2017-06-09 00:34
Guatemala feerzein21 
CSI Miami lmaooo
2017-06-09 00:59
Brazil BuddyINSANE 
ahahahha LOL
2017-06-09 00:59
Ukraine Kracken[oN] 
2017-06-09 10:02
Brazil SabrinaSato 
wtf spirited away
2017-06-09 01:37
s1mple | 
Russia pEndos 
weeaboo ? xD
2017-06-09 09:28
CIS sergioff 
gl starix
2017-06-09 01:38
Can someone familiar with Spirited Away interpret what he meant?
2017-06-09 03:29
Smth like weeb anime I guess.. (?)
2017-06-09 08:52
Sweden Div-\ 
Maybe he refers to the analogy of greedy humans=pigs. Check my post #124.
2017-06-09 11:08
"I was not being vocal at all. There is not something as bad blood between the organisation and me, but the same cannot be said about some specific individuals inside the organisation." He must have issues with 1 of the player. I wonder who it is.
2017-06-09 05:16
Who do you mean? S1mple? Seized?
2017-06-09 08:51
Kazakhstan Trapptrapp 
don't blame s1mple in everything pls...
2017-06-09 09:42
it cant be him. because i believe this 1 person are the reason why zeus also not in navi.
2017-06-10 17:40
Ukraine Kracken[oN] 
2017-06-09 10:00
It can be anyone except Edward and GuardiaN, imo. I mean any from the org.
2017-06-09 11:52
-shroud +starix
2017-06-09 05:41
starix still salty about being kicked from NaVi
2017-06-09 05:48
He was benched as a coach. Not kicked. And he seems pretty confident and not salty at all.
2017-06-09 08:50
starix was pretty good on train against Godsent
2017-06-09 07:20
+1 great performance
2017-06-09 10:51
Portugal fatheroffive 
one Starix > 5 seized's
2017-06-09 08:15
2017-06-09 08:49
s1mple | 
Russia pEndos 
2017-06-09 09:28
Latvia Phenomennn 
2017-06-09 09:36
rain | 
Indonesia lather 
2017-06-09 11:34
Portugal fatheroffive 
rip only for nip rip nip
2017-06-10 10:20
rain | 
Indonesia lather 
yes rip nip ofc
2017-06-10 12:03
Bulgaria bUHALOVIC 
So by your logic CIS isnt Europe lol
2017-06-09 08:27
2017-06-09 08:55
Gl gl Legend!
2017-06-09 08:40
s1mple | 
Russia pEndos 
gl GODrix. glad to see that you will find yourself anyway.
2017-06-09 09:27
World WestSideDude 
The legend!
2017-06-09 09:29
Legendary player, one of the best in the past and in the future!
2017-06-09 09:33
Latvia Phenomennn 
2017-06-09 09:36
Sunde | 
Denmark Houlden 
The God of Counter-Strike. One of the legends from that brilliant Na`Vi roster in the past. Still remember how bad was only against these guys. Sad and happy story... :D
2017-06-09 09:40
Kazakhstan Trapptrapp 
2017-06-09 09:41
Bosnia and Herzegovina lousooo 
Epic player, hope he will find his way again. He is the legend and the veteran tho.
2017-06-09 09:43
2017-06-09 10:36
2017-06-09 09:57
Ukraine Kracken[oN] 
Welcome back to CS Starix! :)
2017-06-09 10:00
S - T - A - R - I - X
2017-06-09 10:08
Ukrainian legend of CyberSport. I was always respecting you and I hope that you will find your own way again!
2017-06-09 10:10
2017-06-09 10:19
gl gl Starix
2017-06-09 10:24
Russia Slava_slava 
2017-06-09 10:27
+1 but in the past
2017-06-09 10:28
Russia Slava_slava 
For me forever =)
2017-06-09 10:29
I can understand you at this case.. :)
2017-06-09 10:30
Best of luck for the Legend.
2017-06-09 10:29
good luck bro!
2017-06-09 10:33
Finland ginbay 
2017-06-09 10:41
GL & HF !
2017-06-09 10:45
Starix the legend. gl mate
2017-06-09 10:49
World WestSideDude 
2017-06-09 10:55
Spain chuggo 
the pro, the legend, the god, the veteran!
2017-06-09 10:57
Germany grimmtz 
Na`Vi must be thinking about how to take him back to the roster (as a coach) again.
2017-06-09 10:58
nak | 
Brazil hAGGRAZ! 
i want NA`VI starix happens plsssss
2017-06-09 11:00
CIS have so many talents, but they can 't create top1 team again. Sad for them, Na`Vi and for starix.
2017-06-09 11:06
Agree, they can't to organize themselves properly.
2017-06-09 12:45
Sweden ShageN 
gl to the Legend.
2017-06-09 11:13
With your level, better retired
2017-06-09 11:15
He wasn't playing himself for top team for ages, let him some time. And he is IGLing these noobs btw.
2017-06-09 11:20
that was rude.
2017-06-09 11:33
Mad Ivan?
2017-06-09 11:34
World WestSideDude 
how much?!?!
2017-06-09 11:36
Kazakhstan hoodmaN 
Asia Minor - PGL Major Krakow 2017??? I think something is incorrect here
2017-06-09 11:53
Sweden Traitorz0r 
Yeah, that might be a mistake.
2017-06-09 11:58
check it.
2017-06-09 12:24
Sweden Traitorz0r 
So many offers from EU, NA and even Asia and still stuck in Team Spirit? W H Y ?!?!?!?!?!??!
2017-06-09 11:56
2017-06-09 12:44
Grandpa and the Legend of CS... :D (top3 WCG 2003)
2017-06-09 12:22 vs
2017-06-09 12:32
yeaaah! Super-oldschool times!
2017-06-09 12:33
y, some of newfags of nowadays HLTV were not even born :D
2017-06-09 12:35
exactly :)
2017-06-09 12:36
Such a Legend could join better org. than Spirit.
2017-06-09 12:40
+ why he is wasting his time on them...
2017-06-09 12:44
ye it suxx
2017-06-09 12:45
Brazil arunino 
he must knows better what to do. maybe it is his part of the plan...
2017-06-09 12:47
We'll see.
2017-06-09 12:48
Probably he wants only to warm up before jumping to some NA teams or sth
2017-06-09 16:02
the King
2017-06-09 12:44
I remember when he was playing in Navi as injured guardian replacement. And I remember one game, probably vs. TSM but I might be wrong, on dust 2. He was absolutely incredible as awper
2017-06-09 16:01
+1 like he used to be at 1.6.
2017-06-09 18:32
+1 true bro
2017-06-10 16:21
starix bot
2017-06-09 17:21
You mean God?
2017-06-09 18:36
Argentina OFF!80 
aaaaaand he ended up last place peanut brain starix
2017-06-09 20:44
H O W M U C H ? O W M U C H ?
2017-06-10 23:56
Argentina OFF!80 
Nothing at all, betting on cis is worse than betting on tyloo I was hoping starix would deliver something
2017-06-11 00:36
starix showing around their current mini training house with team spirit lel imagine starix regaining some form back, then navi reunites in a year with marik starix and zeus and wins something..
2017-06-12 03:19
dreams, sweet dreams...
2017-06-12 11:49
starix just trying to increase and exaggerate his market value lmao
2017-06-12 18:26
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