Zeus: "I think I did everything in my power to save the roster"
We sat down with Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko, who has just been officially transferred to Natus Vincere alongside coach Mikhaylo "Kane" Blagin, to find out what had happened in Gambit after the Major victory and the circumstances of both members leaving.
Earlier today, it was announced that Natus Vincere have brought in Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko and coach Mikhaylo "Kane" Blagin over from Gambit, completing their roster after bringing back Denis "seized" Kostin.
To find out what had happened in Gambit that resulted in the two members' departure despite the team's triumph at the PGL Major Krakow, we sat down with the Ukrainian captain for an interview:
Let's start with the period just before the Major, when the rumors of you potentially joining Na`Vi began. Were you in talks with your old team at that point already?
Hello, everyone. I kept contact with some players from the team for the whole time after I got kicked, but there was no talk from me regarding coming back. Before the Major, we had a tense atmosphere in the team, but I didn't think about moving to Na`Vi or any other team.
Talk me through the mood and morale within the team just before the Major, when you had poor online results. Was Gambit already in disarray then? What were the issues that you talked about in the statement?
Yes, we were close to falling apart then. The main issue is different views on the practice process.
With that said, were you surprised to see yourselves come into the tournament in such great form? I imagine you didn't come into the Major thinking you would win, tell me about how your confidence changed throughout the event.
We started gaining momentum during the championship and our coordination and play really inspired us. We set up differently for every team and it felt like we ran them over. With every win, the team felt more powerful and closer to being champions. Of course, the most serious test for us was Astralis, and after winning versus them we understood that we won't give up this final.
After you came back home, what happened that would make the team want to kick Kane after the triumph at the Major? Looking at your statement, it's quite clear you believed he was a positive force in the team, what did he bring to the table that the others couldn't see?
Some time passed after the win, and HObbit had his wedding, which Kane and I could not attend, I think if we had been at the wedding and discussed further plans in life, the roster could have been saved, and we would play further. Obviously, the guys talked it over without us and made a decision. Because after the wedding I was informed that the team had decided to kick Kane.
During the next two days, I tried to stop the guys, went over a lot of examples about why that wasn't right and warned them that I would leave with him, I think I did everything in my power for the roster to be saved. But the guys were unmoved and their decision was final. For me, it was very hurtful, and I did not know what to do, I did not want to leave my friend and coach alone, the man who had helped not only me but the whole team to win tournaments. And after a few days, I made a decision that I would be leaving with him.
Seeing as Kane coming in as coach was your condition when you first joined Gambit, was him getting kicked the main reason why you decided to leave as well or were there other factors?
The main reason was Kane's kick, I thought this kick was also a challenge to me, because the guys knew that this was a very important topic for me and that I would be against it. I also do not know if they would not want to kick me after some time because their relationship with me had changed, my authority in the team was no longer the same and I did not have that much impact on the players, discipline, practice and key decisions (like kicking the coach, for example).
In this situation, I was without support about the coach and did not see an opportunity to work further.
Looking at Na`Vi this year, they have obviously not been able to replicate any of the success the team had before you left, what do you see as their biggest issue?
Na`Vi had a few issues: seized's lack of experience as a captain, which was was one of the main issues, an incorrect practice process, and, at some point, the players were confused in-game and did not know what to do.
Do you expect to bring a different style to Na`Vi than how you used to play in that team in 2015-2016? How will you deal with the difference of s1mple versus GuardiaN?
I think we'll have to do a lot of work to develop our game style. Kane and I have a plan set and we will do our best, and the other players have good potential.
Seeing as this will be your first time playing with s1mple, do you at all worry about the reputation he has garnered?
Sometimes even players who are calm on first sight have indescribable problems. I'll find a way for s1mple, the main thing for me is his love for work and will to win.
If there's anything else you'd like to clear up, or if you have any final message, you can do so here.
First I want to say, so that my fans know, when I left with Kane, I wasn't 100% sure I would go to Na`Vi, I thought for a while about going to pro100 and help the young guys. I also thought about retiring as a player. But in the end, I decided to keep playing. And the only good opportunity for me can only be given by Na`Vi, where I see potential in the players and an organization that needs someone like me.
Many people will ask how I could return to a team that kicked me. Well, first of all you must understand that for me, this is work and I must look at professionalism and work relationship. Personal actions should be left in the individuals' conscience. We already closed this issue with the guys.
I also want you to know that I tried to save the Gambit roster and, overlooking our issues, I wanted us to play together. But I think the decision wasn't made by me.
This [Gambit] roster and this team will forever be in my heart and it will be a separate chapter of my life, a chapter where me and the guys, not looking at all the issues, were able to win the coolest world championship in CS:GO, which I appreciate very much. I compare us to a team from 1.6 called «eoLithic», they also played really good for around a year and fell apart because of similar sh*t.
Big thanks to all who supported me in this roster and who wholeheartedly cheered for us. But this is life.
A new story lies ahead.
Last thing I wanted to say is thanks to the players and Gambit organization. It was a wonderful and crazy ride.