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Interview with Emil “kUcheR” Akhundov

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At Ukrainian-Russian Qualifications to ESWC 2014 our guys won a hard victory. kUcheR told us about his impressions of the tournament, playing with a new teammate, about new maps and preparation for the next LANs. Have a nice reading!
Hi, Emil. What are your impressions of the tournament?
They are positive, as always. We played at home – we practice on these computers. Everything is cool. It was the first time of testing the teleconferrence mode of broadcasting, thanks to two big clubs in Moscow and in Kiev, for me personally it is the first time experience. The most important thing – there are no cheaters here (laughing).
How do you estimate the playing level of the opponents?
The level of opponents play is medium. We may notice only dAT team (a.k.a. ASUS CyberZone), all the others play at the same level. I just do not know the half of their nicknames. But everybody tried, it is nice to see that.
How much helps the fact, that you played on the same computers, on which you do practice every day? 
I would not say, that too much. But it helps indeed. You play like at home, got used to everything. But generally, I would not say, that it is a great advantage.
What about the play of your new teammate – s1mple?
He joins our team by big steps. But there are still many mistakes anyway. We know, what to work on and he knows too what to change in order to make his play better. I think everything will be alright and he will fully join our team. 
Have you rebuilt anything due to s1mple’s joining?
We have changed many positions. I, personally, began to look at many different points. I went to small plants, at B, though I have never looked on them before. Many other players also changed their points. The style of the game did not change at all. We have had some rounds, where we play by skill, and there are some planned moments. We often use s1mple as an open-fragger. 
You played several times against ASUS CyberZone on de_overpass. How well the professional teams learned the map? 
Teams know this map well. We also are getting used to it, though we lost many official games. Every defeat helps us to develop our play further. The most noticeable was the defeat from Na`Vi at Game Show League. We made some conclusions of it and it helped us in the game against dAT. Overpass — a very neat map for tournaments. 
What about the Сobblestone?
I have no idea, we did not open it from the moment of release. I have not played even a matchmaking. We did not waste any time for that. We decided not to play on this map and still keep this decision until now.
The new de_season released recently released. What can you tell us about it? 
We played this map at the very beginning. And played it only because we participated in ESEA league, and there maps are assigned by the stages, so we ought to play it. I even remember how Na`Vi were overplayed on de_season. Similarly to cobblestone, we do not play on it and do not practice it. Have not heard about the new “season”, I only know that it is white. I have never been there yet. 
What do you think if Valve adds another two maps at Dreamhack Winter?
If they do that, all players will suffer hard times. Two months to learn two new maps is very complicated. I do not imagine if they need to replace two maps for two another ones. But saying fairly, I would vote for that. But I hope they will not do that (smiling).
What are the nearest tournaments, which will be attended by your team?
We won the quota for ESWC in Paris. Also we participate in Fragbite Masters Season 3. We came out of the group and got into the upper grid of Play-offs. Four teams there get into the LAN-finals in Stockholm. And, of course, our main goal — Dreamhack Winter 2014. All forces after the Paris will be driven to prepare for that tournament. There will be six slots at qualifications: I think we will handle that. This will be the last LAN for us this year, in case something new would not be announced. 
How will the preparation to ESWC go?
We will take some time to rest, one week will be enough, we will visit our homes on Monday. And after that, we will gather in Kiev and start to seriously practice for ESWC 2014. It is a good tournament: 24 participants, all of them are top-teams. We will train hard, but after a small break.
What is the benefit of online-tournaments?
It is a great one. It is like a practice but with more responsibility, not like on regular pracc. Any online-match has to be approached with responsibility. 
Does DDoS bother you?
DDos – is ridiculous. First, I met DDoS attacks after we started to play at Arena. First time my team was DDoSed then. It is terrible. It was very offensively when we were DDoSed in the match against the Swedish fnatic. We were winning with a good score on the third map. It was a nighttime. Due to DDoS-attacks, we could not finish the game and to complete the king-of-the-hill challenge. It was so sad, because the fnatic considered as top-1 for now.
What are your goals for nearest future?
I think it is top-3 at ESWC in Paris and also to complete qualifications for Dreamhack Winter 2014. It is very hard to play online, there many tuff teams, which play well at home. The most important goal is to pass through to LANs. When we do that, in process of preparation we will set the new goals.
Which tournaments can be sacrificed for the sake of DHW?
For the sake of the Dreamhack we will sacrifice any tournament, which will be standing on the way of our preparations to DHW.
Do you have anything to say to your fans and sponsors? 
I would like to say hello all our fans, my parents, who watch all my games and cheer for us. My special thanks to fans, who cheer not for stuff, who do not offend us and continue to support even when we lose. It is very pleasant for us. I would like specially to thank ASUS and Kiev Cybersport Arena.