AVANGAR and the quest to compete on a global level

MIRAA
November 6th, 2018 13:20

As IEM Chicago is about to start, we sat down with AVANGAR to discuss the rapid ascent they have made in recent months.

2018 has been a learning year for AVANGAR, who have come to experience first hand the struggle that is breaking out of the CIS scene. As talented as the region is, it has over the years looked more prone to producing fairytale underdog stories - of which Gambit is the biggest example and FlipSid3 Tactics the longest one - than consistent world-class performers.

Many were thus left to wonder what the future held for AVANGAR, one of the CIS newcomers at ELEAGUE Major Boston. Overshadowed by Quantum Bellator Fire, who would go on to secure Legend status, the Kazakh side still gave a good account of themselves, missing out on a spot in the final 16 following a gruelling three-team tiebreaker with Renegades and Liquid.

AVANGAR sit at 15th in the ranking before IEM Chicago

Yet ‘disappointment’ seems to be the word that comes to mind when the players are asked to look back at their Major run as they wonder how far they could have gone had they been able to close out the game against the North Americans at 15-14.

"I am still very upset that we did not go through to the next stage," Alexey "qikert" Golubev says. Ali "Jame" Djami blames "lack of experience" for the mistakes that the team made and admits that a cloud of uncertainty hung over the players as they returned home. "We were like in a limbo and did not know what would happen next. We only knew one thing for sure - we did not want to have to live from Minor to Minor."

Signed by AVANGAR in July 2017 after playing as LoG for almost half a year, the team had little LAN experience before flying out to Atlanta, with only three offline events on record before the Major (none while playing under their previous name). As such, it was no surprise to see the team go through the normal growing pains after returning to Kiev, where their training base is located.

Between February and June, AVANGAR went through a dry spell that included some underwhelming finishes on LAN: top eight at the Cybersport Festival Defender, top 16 at IEM Katowice and top 11 at StarSeries i-League Season 5, with a second place at Adrenaline Cyber League 2018, where they only had to beat a Virtus.pro side in crisis, offering little solace.

"During this period, we won and lost a lot, and after all these games we tried to draw the most correct conclusions," Jame recalls. "We played dozens of games in which we did not let ourselves make a mistake. After IEM Katowice, we concluded that we could actually play our game." In the midst of this confusing period, the Russian found himself out of the team - a move that the team quickly came to regret. "It was the organisation that decided to make the change," Timur "buster" Tulepov says. "After playing with Ramz1k for a month, we realised that Jame was better suited to our team."

AVANGAR’s woes continued, though, with a fourth-place finish at the CIS Minor - the event they had previously won - symptomatic of the changes that were already in motion. Just days after the tournament, Dmitry "dimasick" Matvienko made way for Bektiyar "fitch" Bahytov, who had top-flight experience from his six-month stint with Gambit.

"After the Minor, the team had one of the worst atmospheres ever," qikert explains. "It came down to the fact that we needed changes. We knew that fitch, an experienced and mature player, would join us after the tournament. Honestly, none of us knew how we would play with fitch, but, after bootcamping with him for a couple of days, we quickly got used to him and became friends.

"In terms of the game, not much has changed. Fitch added a feeling of freshness to the team, and, because of that, we won almost all the official matches that we were playing. He is a very strong entry fragger and a great guy."

fitch’s impact was felt instantly. AVANGAR qualified for the MSI MGA Finals and for IEM Chicago via the open brackets, and for the EPICENTER wild-card stage through the CIS closed qualifier. They also passed their first real test with flying colours, topping the four-team MSI event after beating Movistar Riders, eUnited and compLexity, who at the time were ranked 11th in the world and had just come off a top-eight finish at the FACEIT Major. "We went to the tournament to check the level of our game and also to determine which emotional state was most effective for us during matches," says Jame, alluding to the team’s recovery in New York after losing their opening match. "This was the main goal of our team in preparation for the next big tournaments."

fitch's addition has taken AVANGAR to the next level

EPICENTER came up next, the team’s first Big Event since StarSeries i-League Season 5, almost five months earlier. Late withdrawals from Astralis and mousesports saw AVANGAR skip the wild-card qualifier and secure direct entry into the main tournament, and they made the most of it as they placed top four after beating NiP and HellRaisers, while also earning rave reviews for their performance against Natus Vincere in the semi-finals. "We felt that we could have beaten Na`Vi, but our overall place was satisfactory," says Jame, who has developed into the team’s main carry since relinquishing in-game leader duties, averaging a 1.21 rating at the last two LAN events.

AVANGAR find themselves in unfamiliar territory as they travel to Chicago. They have peaked to 15th in the ranking, and with that comes extra pressure to perform. Yet the players are surprisingly coy when asked about their goals for the final two months of the year."We want to perform well at these LAN events," qikert says. They are more concerned about continuing to be overlooked by tournament organizers, something that has been equally frustrating and exhausting.

"You cannot imagine how difficult it is to play against all these teams who are on different levels," Jame explains. "You need to adapt to your opponent every time. We did not get a single invite this year. I really hope that this will change." Team coach Dastan "dastan" Akbayev stepped in and echoed his player's sentiment, making a plea: "Tournament organisers, if you read this, know that there is a young competitive team who will practice day and night to get into your tournament. We would be grateful if you could ease our path to the top."

Kazakhstan Bektiyar 'fitch' Bahytov
Bektiyar 'fitch' Bahytov
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
415
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.15
Kazakhstan Timur 'buster' Tulepov
Timur 'buster' Tulepov
Age:
18
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
513
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.12
Kazakhstan Dastan 'dastan' Akbayev
Dastan 'dastan' Akbayev
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.88
Maps played:
89
KPR:
0.60
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Russia Ali 'Jame' Djami
Ali 'Jame' Djami
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
384
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.58
APR:
0.09
Kazakhstan Dmitry 'dimasick' Matvienko
Dmitry 'dimasick' Matvienko
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
378
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
Kazakhstan Alexey 'qikert' Golubev
Alexey 'qikert' Golubev
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
465
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.14
ok
2018-11-06 13:21
Ok
2018-11-06 13:22
#13
 | 
Austria S3nsey 
expecticus analus trashicus
2018-11-06 13:27
#24
 | 
Denmark Twick9x 
This is jame's game
2018-11-06 13:38
#27
 | 
Austria S3nsey 
nah this is s3nseys and shaakehs game fn
2018-11-06 13:44
#28
 | 
Denmark Twick9x 
Which team are they playing in?
2018-11-06 13:47
#29
 | 
Austria S3nsey 
playing in astrafazenavi
2018-11-06 13:50
#30
 | 
Denmark Twick9x 
Must not be a very good team since I haven't heard of thwm
2018-11-06 13:51
#73
 | 
Denmark Kagemand_V2 
No, its a future team that will come withinf the bext cs game Know your teams
2018-11-07 15:08
#74
 | 
Denmark Twick9x 
I know my teams Astralis and mouse
2018-11-07 15:28
#80
 | 
Denmark Kagemand_V2 
why them, i understand Astralis, but mouse have been trash lately, but with the Styko, things might turn around again To THe Stars
2018-11-08 09:21
#81
 | 
Denmark Twick9x 
Because mousesports are good🐭🐭🐭🐭
2018-11-08 09:31
AVANGAR top 15. not more
2018-11-06 13:27
#75
 | 
Russia v1p3rrr 
they can even reach top 10-8 if they will do really good next half of year
2018-11-07 18:14
#2
 | 
Faroe Islands shubaNN 
good
2018-11-06 13:21
#3
Lekr0 | 
Turkey Cherub 
lol
2018-11-06 13:21
#4
 | 
Netherlands braxshinoa 
cool
2018-11-06 13:22
#6
 | 
Russia nek32 
WCN is the best!
2018-11-06 13:22
Good
2018-11-06 13:22
>Avangar >Global level choose one
2018-11-06 13:23
one
2018-11-06 13:24
They are in top 20??
2018-11-06 13:25
xaxaxaxa
2018-11-06 15:51
#20
 | 
Russia skipster 
Brush ur teeth
2018-11-06 13:34
#44
Sadokist | 
Myanmar xdcc 
I think they can reach Global Elite level.
2018-11-06 14:12
rofl?
2018-11-06 13:26
huefl
2018-11-06 13:53
#48
 | 
Russia JohnnyBl4ze 
xDD
2018-11-06 14:45
#15
 | 
United States Trive 
ALGA AVANGAR!
2018-11-06 13:28
AVANGAR GO RUSH B?
2018-11-06 13:30
what is avangar?
2018-11-06 13:31
your mom
2018-11-06 13:53
I didn't know my mom is on a quest to compete on a global level. But what i do know is i cum on your mom's polish white tits every day.
2018-11-06 13:58
ALGA KICK FITCH FFS
2018-11-06 13:32
+hobbit
2018-11-06 13:53
They deserve more events and play time.
2018-11-06 13:35
k
2018-11-06 13:35
Great team to watch. Miss dimasick with them tho :(
2018-11-06 13:36
#63
s1mple | 
Russia foggy54 
why a lot of people talk about dimasick? He isnt such a great player, fitch is a way better.
2018-11-06 17:19
From nothing to top 15 in 1.5 year, impressive. I know how hard they training, one time they just lived on bootcamp, they bet their lives to stand here today. Mad respect
2018-11-06 13:39
#36
 | 
United Kingdom Argyl 
+1 Good to see guys like Jame breaking our as well.
2018-11-06 13:57
Excatly, I've nothing but deep respect for these guys. Going from nothing to the top that fast is impressive.
2018-11-06 13:58
#39
 | 
Malaysia byaIi 
+1 big respect
2018-11-06 14:00
#45
 | 
Lithuania 7000won 
+1! nice words bro!
2018-11-06 14:14
#69
rain | 
Bolivia Natusch 
+1 my friend
2018-11-07 01:15
#26
 | 
United States druggar0 
Jame is a top awper. He'll get his chance when s1mple finally gets fed up and decides to leave navi.
2018-11-06 13:42
#32
GuardiaN | 
Russia Yuk1o 
Jame is new star
2018-11-06 13:53
#35
 | 
Germany PeKay 
Who cares mantegos Best
2018-11-06 13:53
these guys arent global's
2018-11-06 14:06
#46
 | 
Portugal RKO23 
i was expecting something like this ahahha
2018-11-06 14:22
#41
 | 
Denmark red_sheep 
that quest seems never ending
2018-11-06 14:06
#42
NAF | 
Slovakia t4gg3d 
Awesome to see my bois proving the world wrong, they should've qualified for the top8 in Boston instead of QBF, would've been much more deserved and they wouldn't get ignored by others. Anyways, GL in the future!
2018-11-06 14:07
#43
pronax | 
Europe sundby1 
as dimasick said back when he was in AVANGAR, fitch doesn't care about team progress, he doesn't care about individual progress
2018-11-06 14:08
#49
Jame | 
Israel altandi 
+1 they desperately need to grab adren or, more ideally hobbit.
2018-11-06 14:59
AdreN hahahaha, washed up oldfag
2018-11-06 15:07
#51
Jame | 
Israel altandi 
"more ideally hobbit"
2018-11-06 15:09
What the point to change something if they doing very well, attending big events, top15 in rating, good online results.
2018-11-06 15:12
#53
Jame | 
Israel altandi 
because fitch is garbage
2018-11-06 15:12
nice logic, if something works dont need to touch it, they has biggest progress in their history right now
2018-11-06 15:14
-krizzen -fitch +hobbit +adren and this team can be dangerous
2018-11-06 15:26
yeah like Gambots
2018-11-06 15:27
no? they will have a good igl and all 5 players which can frag . also players like adren with experience .
2018-11-06 15:28
#70
rain | 
Bolivia Natusch 
exactly
2018-11-07 01:16
#64
s1mple | 
Russia foggy54 
they are ok now, no reason to change anything
2018-11-06 17:21
who
2018-11-06 14:28
#58
 | 
World bigb1rd 
I much preferred the game when there were barely even 10 top teams and the same teams (fnatic etc) of well established and known players won every single tournament and you constantly saw the exact same teams play each other over and over again. It was so exciting.
2018-11-06 15:27
tbh it was. It used to be at least 4 solid teams competing for titles. Now every tournament playoffs is so predictable the only upsets that happen are in the group stages T2 cs has never been been better, but this year has been shit for high level cs
2018-11-06 17:26
#66
 | 
World bigb1rd 
Your post makes no sense. You say there were 4 solid teams competing for titles as if it were a good thing but then complain that playoffs now are predictable? Which do you want? Predictable, repetitive, endless dull playoffs with the same teams (NiP vs Verygames or fnatic vs LDLC etc) or a more even top tier with upsets and unpredictable results? You can't have both... The game has progressed massively. There are still solid top teams (na'vi, Astralis, liquid all make top 4 of pretty much every tournament they attend). BUT the Lowe tier teams have all improved, they now have better sponsorship, play full time, are more dedicated and practice harder. They have better strats and better players and so can actually compete with the top teams o any given day. That to me is exciting and progress and seeing teams like Avangar, NRG etc rising up and being a solid challenge to anyone is great.
2018-11-06 19:09
Some people don't understand for a game to grow it needs to have different teams winning titles. If the same team won every tournament the game would be dead.
2018-11-08 05:47
#61
 | 
Czech Republic chort 
D-dreams
2018-11-06 15:39
Lol even i can compete at global elite
2018-11-06 20:00
ez 4 GODANGAR
2018-11-06 20:06
forever supremes :(
2018-11-07 06:54
#72
chrisJ | 
Finland Motori 
LOL NOT EVEN GLOBALS ANYBODY FROM HLTV CAN REPLACE THEM
2018-11-07 07:54
#76
 | 
Other VladimirLucas 
lmao pro team not even global
2018-11-07 22:06
#77
 | 
Canada thelegend27 
quest failed. try again?
2018-11-07 23:13
#78
Dosia | 
Hungary Joco413 
never again
2018-11-07 23:21
#82
 | 
Australia sad_faze_fan 
Well
2018-11-09 07:21
#83
 | 
Croatia torq1337 
Well, good luck then.
2018-11-09 11:54
who care?
2018-11-09 19:20
#85
 | 
United States KinglyFish 
global elite level?
2018-11-11 00:19
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