The genesis of Winstrike

Winstrike are one of the 24 participants of the IEM Katowice 2019 Major. We gained insight from roster members in regards to how they joined (or re-joined) the team, and how the squad was built.

Winstrike made the cut as one of the New Challengers of the IEM Katowice Major 2019 after a successful run at the recently-concluded Minor Play-ins. The road to qualification was not an easy one, as the Russian roster failed to secure one of the two “done-deal” spots at the regional CIS Minor, instead forced to qualify through the newly-introduced Minor Play-ins, featuring the third-placed sides from each of the four regional competitions.

Against all odds, Winstrike and ViCi happened to snatch those two spots, leaving North and Envy, two household names in the scene, out of the Major.

Winstrike could be described as a team composed out of necessity, seeing as the majority of members had either been removed from their rosters or forced to search for new pastures as a result of crumbling teams. All roster members, bar team captain Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov, were brought in either fresh or given a second chance.

Winstrike's road to Katowice was one of difficulty and trial

Starting with the more experienced individuals, Jan "wayLander" Rahkonen and Georgi "WorldEdit" Yaskin, the former FlipSid3 duo was part of a sinking ship towards the later stages of their tenure in the North American organisation, now featuring only Yegor "markeloff" Markelov and coach Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy, currently on loan with Gambit.

During their active period with FlipSid3, the team struggled to produce noteworthy results but still managed to wriggle their way into a very respectable number of Major tournaments. WorldEdit represented FlipSid3 at eight Majors, having joined in February 2015, while wayLander, who transferred from Gambit in June 2016, sported their colours at four.

The squad eventually crumbled after failing to qualify for the FACEIT Major, which served as the catalyst for departure of the duo, who sought to sign with a new promising CIS-based organisation, Winstrike.

"I believed in B1ad3 and FlipSid3’s resurrection to the very end, but we parted ways, and I had to seek out a new home," said wayLander.

Alongside the seasoned duo came an ambitious youngster, David "n0rb3r7" Danielyan, who seized the opportunity to play alongside more seasoned players. With a career that kicked off as early as February 2018, the Russian rifler initially represented dAT, albeit for a very brief period of time, a team that fostered a list of outstanding CIS talents, namely Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, Vladyslav "bondik" Nechyporchuk, and his current teammate WorldEdit.

The youngster was not intimidated by his more experienced teammates, knowing full-well he would gain the necessary knowledge during his time with them:

"When I joined Winstrike I didn’t particularly pay mind to the fact that I had less experience. I was sure that I would accrue a good amount of experience with my team."

n0rb3r7 was not intimidated by joining more experienced teammates

Concluding the team are two members of the successful Quantum Bellator Fire. squad, Aurimas "Kvik" Kvakšys and Boombl4, who managed to prove the world wrong with their former teammates at ELEAGUE Major 2018, where they secured a Legends title, besting many established teams along the way, including the likes of Virtus.pro, Gambit and the previous iteration of Envy.

Contrary to their stellar run in Atlanta, the roster was unable to reproduce the same results at the FACEIT Major, bombing out of the New Legends Stage with a 0-3 record. Due to the newly-introduced Minor Play-in, which saw two teams’ invites shaved off in favour of a quadrangular qualifying tournament, the team fell short of direct qualification for Katowice’s New Challenger stage. As a result, the team subsequently made the decision to bench four of five members.

Kvik recollected the post-Quantum Bellator Fire period, noting that prior to the Major he wanted to be benched from the starting roster:

"I asked the organisation to be released from contractual duties regardless of results at the Major because I didn't like our training process. I couldn’t find my place in the game, so I thought the best decision would be to leave the team and let them find a player that would be more comfortable with all of it.

"I didn't do it before the Major because I thought that every single one of us deserved to play there. It was then the organisation’s decision to bench almost the whole team after the event. It was reasonable, because our results were far from satisfying, so I was ok with it."

Despite having voiced discontent with the team's training process and being benched post-Major, Kvik returned to the starting roster less than a month later as the team was unable to find an adequate replacement for the Lithuanian rifler:

"For the most part, it was the people who were put in charge that made the decision to bring me back in. After some players declined an invitation to play in the team I was called back. Seeing the players who were already called in, and believing that with their experience the training process will be different, I was happy to accept the invitation and give it one more try.”

The sole remaining member of Winstrike, Boombl4, was promoted to team captain following the mass benching. Through mutual decision-making with Winstrike's management the latest iteration of the roster subsequently came together, producing one of CIS’ most promising teams, but not without difficulty and some doubt, as described by the Russian youngsters:

"I didn’t feel lost at all. I understood that the era of that team (Quantum Bellatore Fire) was over, and that I had to keep moving on. The most important part was to correctly set priorities to further my career and not think about others. You have to have this mindset if you want to be a successful player.

"After four players were benched I became the captain of the team, and together with our manager Dart and coach iksou, as well as Winstrike’s General Manager, Krookie, we made a list of players that we felt would fit the team. This was far from an easy task, as after two weeks had elapsed we still didn’t come to a decision.

"We ended up reaching out to WorldEdit and WayLander, who were experienced players, and I am happy that they agreed to join us. Afterwards we made the decision of signing a young carry player, namely n0rb3r7. He had little experience, but we were ready to teach him what we know, meanwhile his main goal was to frag as best as he could.

"As for our fifth, we had a really difficult time deciding, because we were doubtful; we subsequently decided to reintroduce Kvik into the starting roster, because I saw his potential in our previous team (QBF), and understood that he could start playing well in a new roster, which ended up happening.

Boombl4 was key in Winstrike's creation

"Having assembled a full roster we had our tactical coach, Pipson, join the roster. He had experience coaching in China, as well as previously playing alongside WorldEdit and WayLander prior to them joining Winstrike. I am really happy with the work we do as a team of seven, and that we have two coaches that fulfil their specific roles. Iksou is more of a life coach that gets the team out of bad situations, in addition to having a solid understanding of many in-game aspects. Pipson, on the other hand, helps us with preparation for opponents and the structuring of our game, more specifically preparation of rounds and structuring of various playstyles.

"I am very happy with our results after such a brief period of training and existence of the team, in general. We set our goals high and will do our best to achieve them as soon as possible."

Through perseverance and determination Winstrike have ascended the ranks in rapid fashion, now set to participate at the imminent New Challengers Stage of the Katowice Major. Constituent members of the team may differ in their experience playing the game, but if one thing is certain about the roster, it's that the team is aligned and looking to deal damage to anyone they end up facing.

The first roster to be tested by Winstrike will be North America's NRG, largely considered to be one of this stage's favourites, also given their current fifth place in the ranking. The two sides have not yet faced one another in an official match, producing a dynamic where an upset could be a real possibility.

Russia Kirill 'Boombl4' Mikhailov
Kirill 'Boombl4' Mikhailov
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
464
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Russia David 'n0rb3r7' Danielyan
David 'n0rb3r7' Danielyan
Age:
17
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
166
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.73
APR:
0.12
Lithuania Aurimas 'Kvik' Kvakšys
Aurimas 'Kvik' Kvakšys
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
587
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.14
Russia Georgi 'WorldEdit' Yaskin
Georgi 'WorldEdit' Yaskin
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1029
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.12
Ukraine Yegor 'markeloff' Markelov
Yegor 'markeloff' Markelov
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1143
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.15
Ukraine Vladyslav 'bondik' Nechyporchuk
Vladyslav 'bondik' Nechyporchuk
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
1038
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Russia Jan 'wayLander' Rahkonen
Jan 'wayLander' Rahkonen
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
542
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.13
Ukraine Andrey 'B1ad3' Gorodenskiy
Andrey 'B1ad3' Gorodenskiy
Age:
32
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.83
Maps played:
899
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.73
APR:
0.16
Ukraine Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Age:
21
Rating 1.0:
1.23
Maps played:
952
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.11
OMG
2019-02-11 23:00
#51
 | 
Russia AyYyYyYyYyVv 
THE GENESIUS!
2019-02-12 02:48
Genisys
2019-02-12 04:22
good read. let's go godLander.
2019-02-12 05:39
Wasted article Shitty team and a 4/10 sticker rating
2019-02-12 08:34
-100/10 katowice 2018's sticker design
2019-02-12 09:24
#97
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:08
as always
2019-02-18 16:11
Winstrike article > asstralis article Winstrike = inspiring story
2019-02-12 10:03
#91
 | 
Brazil ragemasterBR 
Shit team ? OMEGALUL Kkkkkkkkk U r ridiculous bro
2019-02-12 13:59
nah they are shit. (how to trigger Brasilian) KAPPA jkjkjk
2019-02-18 16:10
#135
 | 
Brazil ragemasterBR 
Shit Allu, how to trigger any finnish KAPPA XD
2019-02-18 19:33
sorry, fam. My sincerest apologies to you.
2019-02-20 10:48
besting many established teams along the way, including the likes of a dead team, a dead team and the previous iteration of a dead team.
2019-02-12 03:01
lmao
2019-02-12 04:24
#98
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:08
+1
2019-02-12 12:11
+1 so true
2019-02-18 16:11
#115
 | 
Brazil SecondKS 
-waylander +dimasik fast!!
2019-02-13 05:03
kVACk
2019-02-16 05:24
#2
 | 
Lithuania andy_ 
GOD KVIK
2019-02-11 23:00
#24
 | 
Lithuania dozzah 
GOD KVIK
2019-02-11 23:30
u mean bot kvik.
2019-02-11 23:34
+1
2019-02-12 06:22
#99
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:09
-1, he makes a lot of impotant frags
2019-02-14 18:23
impact frags don't replace the fact of consistency, a point is proven=bot kvik.
2019-02-18 16:13
U mean that bot?
2019-02-12 07:11
Kvik nukkye EspiranTo in the same team please
2019-02-12 11:29
#93
 | 
Brazil SecondKS 
And pounh
2019-02-12 16:29
would be epic tbh.
2019-02-18 16:13
#3
TACO | 
Portugal MSANTOS 
I tried at least God Boombl4
2019-02-11 23:01
hehe boombl4 is chubby JK
2019-02-18 16:14
NO chance
2019-02-11 23:00
#100
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:09
#5
ZywOo | 
Brazil Jordan21 
Second
2019-02-11 23:00
#6
ZywOo | 
Brazil Jordan21 
Fail
2019-02-11 23:01
Kvik
2019-02-11 23:02
bot
2019-02-18 16:14
boombl4 go to the gym m8
2019-02-11 23:03
Can't outrun bad diet
2019-02-12 04:44
I'm dying he is hella chubby
2019-02-18 16:15
#83
Hentaii | 
Bangladesh drvken 
-40kg already
2019-02-12 11:19
#101
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:09
rly?
2019-02-18 16:15
yes, he said in interview to zeus
2019-02-18 18:26
#14
 | 
Russia Tenker 
Legkiy rofloturik dl9 Davida
2019-02-11 23:04
#15
 | 
Lithuania SH4NKER 
ez 4 winstrike
2019-02-11 23:09
ctrl+f'd "draken". no results found. 110k id new hltv reporter found mediocre.
2019-02-11 23:15
lol
2019-02-12 00:23
#102
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:09
#18
k0nfig | 
Germany Trax_ 
GOD n0rb3r7 !
2019-02-11 23:20
I read Genesis and expected Land of Confusion to sound but ok
2019-02-11 23:21
wayLander still in a team in 2019...fuck
2019-02-11 23:21
#28
 | 
Romania AdryaaN 
he is better than you think...
2019-02-11 23:38
No. He isn't.
2019-02-12 01:04
#62
 | 
Kazakhstan alpamyS 
Better than Skadoodle, even if he won a Major
2019-02-12 06:18
#84
Hentaii | 
Bangladesh drvken 
hahahah ntnt waynoob sux
2019-02-12 11:21
Oh, goodness, the bait. Whatever should I say.
2019-02-12 16:00
BIG OOF
2019-02-18 16:16
#103
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:10
#94
 | 
Brazil SecondKS 
-waylander +dimasick
2019-02-12 16:30
#21
Summer | 
Germany ZeNe 
lul
2019-02-11 23:22
#22
 | 
Russia RossHolloway 
B<3<3mich teammaker 😎😎😎😎😎😎
2019-02-11 23:22
#104
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:10
#25
 | 
World bigb1rd 
WorldEdit was one of my favourite awpers for a while, glad to see him back in a decent team and at a major. Hope he plays well
2019-02-11 23:33
nah, they are kinda bots
2019-02-18 16:16
I hope that they put on a good show and do better than expected, enough to keep them around in the scene.
2019-02-11 23:37
#29
mrhui | 
Japan HikkaN69 
WHO?
2019-02-11 23:39
#31
 | 
Italy CESPU 
Really wanna see them at the major
2019-02-11 23:51
#105
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:10
#33
 | 
CIS dypsoman 
Idk, they didn't do anything at all, to be relevant at least for now. It's like flipsid3 and Vega, we only see them at majors, bcs cis minor and previous majors, where you could play 1 map 3 times and be a legend are a joke. No tournaments except those majors throughout the years. And Jesus Christ, waylander and worldedit in 2019?
2019-02-12 00:23
if you look at their games worldedit almost always top frag and waylander plays well but is insanely inconsistent
2019-02-12 00:40
#35
 | 
Ukraine TheVodkaGuy 
Who? Are they going to the Major?
2019-02-12 00:28
gg
2019-02-12 00:42
#106
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:11
Wow waste a whole article on the worst team in the entire major gj man.
2019-02-12 00:44
#65
 | 
Sweden Lagge15 
Didn't see Vici mentioned once!
2019-02-12 06:36
Vici>winstrike
2019-02-12 07:13
#75
 | 
Sweden Lagge15 
The only time they met eachother Winstrike won.
2019-02-12 08:33
#107
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:11
winstrike tier3 team... i dont know how they go to major... mousesport,valiance,north,heroic and many more teams >>>>>>>>Winstrike
2019-02-12 00:56
#46
 | 
Myanmar xdcc 
North lost to Vici... twice. They are responsible for throwing away 3rd EU spot not Winstrike.
2019-02-12 02:20
By qualifying unlike aforementioned teams.
2019-02-12 17:11
nice article
2019-02-12 01:11
#108
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:11
Good read
2019-02-12 02:19
well, at least they tried, and obviously it's a potential team.
2019-02-12 02:34
#49
 | 
Iceland caverat 
0-3
2019-02-12 02:46
#50
 | 
World dammo 
my 0-3 pickem team 😎
2019-02-12 02:47
Well written, interesting article to read. I expect every team from the major to get their own article about their situation and how these teams expect to deliver in Katowice.
2019-02-12 04:12
#109
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:11
#57
Twistzz | 
Ireland IX! 
It's insane how well-spoken Boombl4 is, was he interviewed in Russian or English for this?
2019-02-12 04:36
#61
 | 
Latvia latvianguy 
They translate every interview, or if it's in english, they make it grammarly correct.
2019-02-12 05:46
#59
 | 
Qatar FeelsDadMan 
Trash
2019-02-12 04:49
ViCi - Winstrike MAJOR FINAL
2019-02-12 07:22
#85
Hentaii | 
Bangladesh drvken 
astralis players join vici, liquid pls join winstrike and i believe
2019-02-12 11:24
#110
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:12
#69
xartE | 
Finland timppati 
0-3
2019-02-12 07:25
Ppl like u said the same shit about QBF Stupid overdog worshippers.
2019-02-12 07:35
#71
xartE | 
Finland timppati 
Bronze pickem confirmed
2019-02-12 07:59
#72
 | 
Russia anleet 
XD u doesnt know how CS works right?
2019-02-12 08:15
#111
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:12
rip ur pickem
2019-02-13 23:21
Greyhound 0-3 4 me im master baiter
2019-02-14 07:16
#73
 | 
Russia Ne1son 
#Boomld4 1Love
2019-02-12 08:25
0-3
2019-02-12 08:42
#80
 | 
Romania SkipLD 
Flipsid3 V2
2019-02-12 09:27
#81
f0rest | 
Russia 1.6 FTW 
Norbert vnature batya, eboshit dai boje
2019-02-12 09:33
nt
2019-02-12 11:33
#112
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:12
#89
 | 
Germany Pellinskii 
I never thought that I could be a fan of a Russian team but Boombl4 is such a nice guy impossible not to like him
2019-02-12 12:33
i hope they will win whole thing.. or vici :D
2019-02-12 17:36
#113
Golden | 
Dominican Republic ITrik 
+1
2019-02-12 18:12
#114
 | 
United States ph3n0m3n 
ez 4 Boombl4
2019-02-12 21:43
#116
 | 
Russia v1p3rrr 
Neon Genesis Winstrike
2019-02-13 15:01
#118
 | 
United States boxed 
God WorldEdit
2019-02-13 23:26
Kick two bots wayblyander and worldedit everybody knows they r trash players
2019-02-18 01:44
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