Starsky speaking of creating Starseries lan
We present you the massive interview taken during Starseries from Russian caster Boris Starsky who speaks about loads of things in PUBG.
StarLadder is coming to an end already, most things have already been done, tell us how did the tournament go for you?
It's been quite hard for me. I took part in organization, handled the coverage studio, so of course the preparations and the first days have been difficult.
There are solid reasons for that. Such tournaments are harder to arrange - it's not Dota or CS with 2 teams on stage.
You should imagine how much is done behind the scenes. Backstage and productions are extremely difficult.
And since we all love PUBG and what we do, everyone wants it to be perfect. It doesn't always work this way though.
After these 3 days of the tournament I can tell that I'm satisfied with the results and I'm glad to be a part of it.
What is your general opinion on the analyst desc and commentators on this tournament
Of course for many people that have been chosen by the community it's the first experience.
They have never worked in front of cameras, never ever been to such studios. And if we keep that in mind, they succeeded, that's for sure.
Of course we had some things to fix as the event was going and before the streams have been launched as well, but looking back I realize that I'm glad it's this exact team of analysts that worked here.
Where did the organization find the idea of making a $100,000 PUBG tournament in CIS
As far as I know the idea itself mostly belongs to Stepan Shulga, who doesn't work at StarLadder anymore, even though he used to be a vital part of it and did a lot of important things for the CS community itself.
He also was one of the first people to ask me questions about PUBG back in June or July 2017.
Then I had a talk to him and said "Hey, it's a great game, but we don't have a way to play separate". I wasn't a PUBG partner back then and couldn't make custom matches.
And we had players that wanted to join. I knew personalities and teams that really wanted to play with each other to practice and create their history as pro players.
With such PUBG success esports part was just a matter of time, everyone knew that. So I took Stepan's custom matches and launched series of tournaments called "Evening Pochinki" that has been on StarLadder for quite a while now.
As the time passed and vectors of development changed, I ended up being the only one handling Evening Pochinki and it eventually became one of the biggest training camps for CIS teams.
How much changed between you having the idea and this moment
First, nobody has even been thinking about a $100,000 tournament. We planned it as online leagues as they exist in CS and Dota.
You know, the idea of a tournament is a mix of lucky opportunities. We had even chances of launching and not launching the tournament, you know.
We got lucky, it's not good just for CIS, the whole PUBG world should be happy this tournament succeeded.
PUBG Corp. is here and they like what they see, they said it's something completely different from what they've seen on IEM and it's cool.
I hope we'll see a new vector of development in PUBG that will be tied to tournaments. Big tournaments, just like ours.
We know there's much to fix, many technical difficulties involved, some of them being connected with observing the matches, but the view of what it can become and what we can make out of it keeps us on track.
I understand how incredible PUBG can become in a couple years. It'll be the most epic esports discipline. Dota and CS will be nowhere near in terms what's happening on screen and how it can be displayed.
In terms of production, a tournament is a place that attracts new players, makes them stick to the scene, play the game more.
We all know that a tournament is one of the tools to keep the ecosysem of the game stable. PUBG has incredible opportunities in that matter. No other games have anything like that.
Speaking of production, it's worth noticing that the scene is very beautiful. Do you know anything about how they built it
I don't know anything about building the place, unfortunately. I only know it's been built in one night!
As you may know, recently there has been a CS Major here, so building these 2 floors and making this scene is an incredible work done by StarLadder.
A viewer will not be able to comprehend the whole amount of work behind it, people won't even see 10% of the scale. You can only see it from backstage.
It's great to have specialists that really care about it. Making such an incredible stage in like a single day costs more than just money. That's just impressive.
Many people remember Kiev Arena as a place with 4 or even 2 spots for teams, as they were playing in one place and the bar was on the other side, now it's a whole different stage.
They did a complete remake of the building, they turned it upside down. I believe everyone understands the reasons why a tournament like this is hosted at "home" StarLadder arena.
In future the scale of the tournaments will only get bigger not by just SL's means but I think this experience will give a boost to the well-known international organizations.
The only thing it lacks is viewers. If only there were like 2-3 thousand viewers, it'd be pure madness in the best sense of it.
It would be a whole new tournament. We just lack the people and emotions they create.
We of course do have some emotions in other places, for example in Twitch Lounges watching their favorite teams. Speaking of which, did your expectations of results from different teams change as the tournament was going
Well, you should split it in regions, that's for sure. There were regions that I expected something from, there were regions that I didn't have expectations of.
There's a number of Chinese teams, they are used to play in 3rd person mode, all their tournaments and leagues are 3rd person too. First person is something new for them.
Speaking of our teams, most tournaments and pubs are 80% first person. It's completely different from China. I didn't expect anything from them.
And when you see them rise and shine, when you expect them at the very bottom and they are keeping at top 7-8 you realize that we still have amazing players that can switch like that.
It's a different game for them, I expected top 10-16 to be full of Chinese and Australian teams. And when you see someone come out of the bottom of the charts, it feels great.
Europe didn't surprsie me at all. I knew they were favorites on this tournament. I knew about their expeience and strength, so it's nothing special.
I was also hoping our guys would give a good fight earlier, Vega and Avangar are teams of almost the same power for me, maybe Avangar is a bit higher because of the experience MuMiNo and keeN possess.
It's worth saying that these two players are older and have more experience, the number of tournaments they visited is counted in tens. It's the experience Vega lacks right now.
It really did hurt, I know these guys for a while, we've known each other for a while. I commented their games on Evening Pochinki, GLL, PGL, and it was Vega that has their own fans, that plays it's own game, that consists of great players.
But during the first days of the tournament I didn't see my Vega. During practice matches Maxiz0r killed 4 Faze players in 2.5 seconds, you can see clips on YouTube. That's what I expected.
But then I saw him die first as the scout - that doesn't sound really wise, the best shooter being the person to scout - I understood that it's not my Vega.
Now I'm glad they found their game, we'll see what day 4 brings, I really hoped they would reach top 5-6, I hoped for more in my heart but my brain kept telling me top 3 and higher is a little too much for them now.
Top 5-6 is their place, I thought, they're one of the best teams in the whole world. I'm not trying to enhance it, it's the way it is.
I expected Avangar to reach top-3 after their success in Katowice. I understand that Drainys got sick, I realize that such distances are hard, I know that after doing your best it's hard to do better, but still.
A great example would be Team Liquid. They win 3 maps in day one, then take one more next day and from this moment their results get worse and worse.
People tend to think that PUBG is not esports, that is's random and everything is in hands of PlayerUnknown, but in fact mr.Green has nothing to do with it, it's all about skill.
The skillcap is even higher because of that randomness. The importance of a captain, be it FiftyFourth or MuMiNo, it impossible to descibe.
Without them you can't just form a lineup of great shooters if you want solid results.
In CS it's all about looking in the scope and making a shot first. It doesn't work this way here. You won't be given such an opportunity.
If you're camping, you get a bullet to the head from Kar9k and that's that.
This game really requires a lot attention, responsibility and decisiomaking from captains. I think that's why I loved PUBG that much.
What is your opinion on the set of teams that have been invited to the tournament Do you think the choices were right
First, I'm glad StarLadder gave an opportunity for each region to present their best teams. It's very important.
We all understand it, in order to build a complete, great community no discrimination can take place.Also, it's hard to judge from one tournament if the team is worth being invited or not.
In the first two days usual "fans" from other games were like "ugh, you called Vega and it's top 16 now". From this point on you realize that none of those smart guys took their time to check the scene.
They just don't see the team is just having a tough time. So instead of supporting the players, people prefer to hate.
I'm sure sometimes players look at the chat and see all the dirt that is poured on them, the dirt they didn't deserve.
This is why it's hard to judge from just one event. You should call them two or three times more to see what they are on distance, in different countries, different conditions.
If their results are bad - then you can judge about their skill. You can even judge the region if you want.
I just don't see it happening. I'm sure there will be a couple great teams in each region that would give a good fight for the top places in the world charts.
Considering the importance of these matches, are you satisfied with the media feedback, the number of people watching the tournament and their reaction in social media
You know, I won't announce the official opinion of StarLadder on that topic, I'll share mine.
Looking at the tendency, the number of people watching the tournament in Twitch and VK should reach 30k mark by day 4, counting the CIS viewers only. That would be great.
As I see it, the scene is improving, but since there are other games that have a power of their brand, for example Counter-Strike, Dota 2, League of Legends, it will take some time.
Generally speaking, there are different factors - I know how many viewers were watching the first IEM and the last one, I know how many people were on my Evening Pochinki half an year ago and how many there are now.
I comment many different tournaments and I see the numbers growing from tournament to tournament, even in a scale of one month there's growth.
It may not be huge, even if it's 15% I still don't believe you can't build great audience quickly.
So I'm glad that there are fans just like me, people who watch smaller tournaments. Their active in chat, they leave amazing feedback, they support every team with no hate involved.
That's the community any popular game lacks now. A community you feel great being part of. When you're not afraid of saying "I like PUBG!".
For example, it's harder to say "I like Dota, I spend a lot of time playing it". PUBG personalities, top streamers and even the chat, they're all amazing.
What, in your opinion, should the next step be from StarLadder side to boost the number of viewers and increase the interest from the audience
I think it has to be methodical, we don't need just a huge tournament once in a while, there have to be leagues or coverage of the foreign tournaments.
You should give users the idea that when you visit PUBG section in Twitch there's some tournament from StarLadder for you to watch on regular basis.
And these tournaments are cool, there's plently of them, our teams are playing there all the time. Many of them you may not have seen before, for example M19, ForZe, there's more. They all need support.
You should know the scene better, it's worth it. I believe it has brighter future than CS or Dota.
Let's move to the personal questions, shall we
Before PUBG you were a part of Dota community.
When did you realize you want to switch disciplines and why did you make that decision
It's a good question actually. I think that you can only become a professional and create great content if you love the discipline you work in.
Unfortunately my love to Dota is gone and to some extent it's the community's fault. It's hard playing the game when you're queued with 4 random players that have different motivation and skill.
Someone might be just having a bad day that will affect your game eventually. It's horrible.
Unfortunately, playing Dota is just not fun anymore. I lost interest to the game with time. In the first month I played for like 600 hours, I got lost in the game completely, fell in love with it.
Right now I'm sitting at 2.5k hours for over 7 months while I only scored 5k hours in 6 years of Dota. PUBG just got me. It gives me incredible emotions, I play it with my friends or even solo, I pick who I want to play with.
That's what CS and Dota lacks. You can't just fight in ranked without random players being in your team. It's just straight out difficult to find 4 more players to play with you all the time in CS or Dota.
Of course, when my old mates from StarLadder call me, let's say Bafikk messages me "Go Dotka", I still try and find some time to play, because it's fun when you know each other.
I also love watching Dota tournaments. If there's a Major or Minor going with great teams, I'll easily spend 6 hours watching the games.
I still love it, but the peak of love is long gone. There's PUBG and it got my heart.
Do you look at amateur commentators in CIS
I'd love to if there were some. Unfortunately, the problem with PUBG now is not being able to observe the game if you can't host custom games.
You should either be in touch with tournament organizations or just deal with. You can't just connect to the game as it is with CSGOTV or DOTATV and cast from there.
It increases the entry threshold into PUBG commenting. There are of course people that voiceover someone's VOD's for practice, but it harder this way.
A good caster should work as a spectator for a while as well just to see how it's done and what you should show people. It's important for viewers.
Right now I'm pretty much the only commentator in Russia to work in the scene on that level, I'm close to the 400 games mark right now. I think it's just more than everyone else together in CIS.
And if their number starts growing all of sudden, what would be your main advice to the people that want to be a part of it
First of all, you should understand the game in order to speak the right things. If you're working alone, you should also work as an analyst, predict some events, viewers love that.
For example, you tell people that events may end in two ways and eventually one of the patterns works and the viewer realizes that he's on an educative stream.
You can describe reasons why things are going this way and not any other and also show it the right way.
"Showing" part is all about experience.
First 150 games I casted were poorly observed. When I watched replays I realized that I miss a lot of stuff and people lose the sense of integrity.
So another hint would be - watch your replays. Make sure you like what you see, check if you're missing anything important.
If it's a tournament - it is also important to know what place this or that team takes because while you're showing top-15 and top-16 fighting you may miss the top-1 team dying.
And even if you missed it, you should make a note of that in kill-feed.
Because if you don't do that, later in the game viewers will just question where did their favorite team go all of a sudden.
It's awful when that happens and it really affects the impression of the stream. Casting PUBG is hard and it's even harder to do it on your own.
Still, we work with what we have and gain experience.
Speaking of game coverage, PUBG is in a bad state in early game. When the teams are looking for loot, it's boring, so many casters find it really hard to commenting this. Maybe you think the developers should change something here
No. Developers shouldn't change anything because it will affect the game. We love it as it is now. I believe that changing the approach to commenting the game is the key here. I think the way organizations do it now, including Starladder, is not quite right.
Splitting the stream into analyst desk stage and actual gameplay with casters is wrong.
I'll not tell you what has to be done, though, I will just try to make it work in one of the upcoming tournaments so you'll see a different approach to casting PUBG.
I'll leave the usual "box" format behind and move on. However, the analysts are doing their job just right. For the discipline like this most analyst teams are showing a decent level, it's great to see and hear, it's cool.
Coming back to early game, on this tournament, like many others, many things in the game depended on what the first circle would be.
As you know, Vega almost didn't have circles in Sosnovka where they like to loot as well as Chinese team called GoL. How fair it is in your opinion considering that Sosnovka isn't that small after all
In fact, this is one of the primary reasons I explain Vega's early failure with. It really is devastating when you play game after game and Sosnovka just doesn't show. You always think "well, maybe next time".
And the next time never comes. Viewers don't know about that, but in practice games before showmatches we didn't see Sosnovka's as well.
And after 20 games with no spot that you know how to play around and win, it's demoralizing.
There are tournaments when things a complete different. Sometimes there are 4 Sosnovka's in 5 maps and if it was the case, Vega would be sitting at top-1 without even thinking what's happening around them.
It would be cool, but we have to deal with what we have. This randomness is different from pseudo-RNG in Dota.
If someone doesn't know how it works in Dota - if you have a 10% chance to bash a hero...
No, that's a whole other story. So, with 10% one of the ten attacks should bash. In Dota every non-bash attack increases the chance for a bash. For example, second attack is 20%, next is 30% and so on.
So, the tenth attack will be a guarranteed bash, but it also means that you have a chance of bashing a hero twice in a row.
It's the same with Sosnovka. I hope today Sosnovka will proc at least a couple times so Vega would return their lost nerves. This way they would get their chances back.
Playing around Sosnovka and Novorepnoe and getting no circles there is hard. It has never happened before on any tournament.
Right now you can't name even 10 CIS teams that take part in such leagues as Auzom, GLL, PUBGOnline, do you think our region has everything to form and develop new teams
We lack only one thing and it's invites to the leagues you named.
The problem is - when at 22:00 one of the organizers opens the registration we end up sitting with 3 registered squads and 15 being left behind.
I don't know why teams like Vega Squadron, AVANGAR, M19 or GRUBIE, teams that already showed themselves are not being invited directly.
AVANGAR only made it to IEM qualifiers from the second attempt, that's beyond my understanding.
You have that team that made it from the very bottom, why don't you invite them next time? No, they still have to go through this massacre and end up winning the tournament.
Since AVANGAR showed decent results in Katowice it might get better, and even here, on StarLadder, they're showing the power of CIS teams. Both teams should be sitting in top-6.
That's how I understand it, they're capable of doing that. If they do that, then maybe the organizators will finally realize there is plenty of teams in CIS that can display decent level of gameplay.
Moreover, 4 or 5 of them deserve an invite. Especially if we're speaking of major tournaments, major leagues with over 40 teams present.
Can't they just give 4 invites to the CIS? They definetely can. Maybe it's due to communication reason or the cheating problem that CIS is famous for, but people can't believe we can play great.
This is why AVANGAR come to Katowice and just annihilate everyone. I hope that CIS team's success in online and decent results on LAN tournaments will eventually lead to invites being given to us.
It's what our region really needs. We've got plently of teams taking part in Evening Pochinki, I have a queue of teams that come to me and ask me for a spot because they won this, this and this.
They know it's the best way to practice in CIS and they just want to show themselves. And I try to find a spot for them, many participants stay on the tournament after playing once.
Speaking of cheaters, and it's not only our problem, it exists in Europe, in NA and so on, after the events that we all know about it's going to be extremely hard to win open qualifiers. What can you say about it?
I think that open qualifiers to any tournament should be cancelled. There are facts that display that PUBG.Corp are not always able to deal with the number of cheaters that exists.
It's not PUBG.Corp problem at all. It all goes down to honesty of people. For example, a grannie walks home at night all the time, it's your choice if you want to rob her or not.
Same goes to cheats - they exist for every game, it's just a matter if you understand fairplay and become a professional or use these cheats. A person makes this choice.
Unfortunately, there's a huge number of people that drop very low and start using cheats not only in CIS. This is why all the open qualifiers should be cancelled for half a year or so.
Every region has it's own tournaments like my Evening Pochinki, so major organizations can contact us and ask who would we recommend to take part in the closed qualifiers.
Closed qualifiers, even if they're big of size or have many stage - they will work. At least it's honest. In such qualifiers everyone knows each other, cheating is easier to find there.
Moreover, if you invite 3 new teams to the 7 old ones you can focus on the newcomers and see if they cheat or now. "Oldies" are watching each other.
FaZe always keep track of what Liquid are doing, Liquid do the same with Vitality and so on. They need it to understand the opponent and of course they mention something inappropriate easily.
Secrets always become clear, we know that from the latest events. I just hope that cheating problem in professional PUBG will just stop it's existance in the upcoming half a year.
New teams are going to have a tough time. Sometimes teams message me with good results, but I already know that their honesty is in doubt.
These opinions come from professional players that I know are not cheating. I've seen these teams on LANs or casted their games.
So, I try to listen to the "tested" teams. It's like a "private club" of teams that I listen to.
If they think some teams are not honest, I'll not call them to Pochinki and I'll investigate their gameplay on other tournaments.
I think right now Evening Pochinki is one of the most cheating-free tournaments. Everyone knows it's just for practice.
People are just not motivated to win with cheating software. People practice in order to compete for real money somewhere else.
So, new teams are in trouble now. I think teams from open series will have a truly tough time getting higher.
Do you think it creates additional problems? For example, there are teams that people don't know about.
Sure, the community is getting bigger and bigger, people communicate all the time... but let's imagine a team just doesn't communicate but is still strong. So, they will not be able to reach the closed qualifiers?
It may be but we have to choose the lesser of two evils. Unfortunately, if noone knows who you are, it might just be one of the cheaters with the new account.
So such fair but unknown teams might end up getting under this crazy "rink". They won't be invited to tournaments, that's just the lesser evil.
Right now open qualifiers are just impossible to make fair. They do not define strongest teams.
Let's finish this with a simple question then. Or is it even simple? What was the craziest game you casted?
In PUBG? The tournament is not over yet, but so far it's a game when the team Grubie were fighting for an invite to PGL Bucharest.
It was when Vega Squadron basically destroyed a team that were fighting for the top-1 with Grubie. It happened below top-5 of the charts, so with that team kill they knocked them out of the tournament.
This map was crazy for me in terms of emotions. Vega Squadron guys (it doesn't matter if they did it on purpose or not, I think not) were made to push after FiftyFourth got knocked down.
And they managed to kill the whole Exalt Gaming squad, it blew my mind at this moment. I understood that it's an invite for Grubie and incredible gameplay from every single Vega Squadron player.
They were coming from the downhill which is harder, they just played classy and looked like Vega that is capable of fighting for the top-1 itself.
Of course, there were several reasons guys didn't make it this high, I heard they were trying out new tactics and different calls and something wasn't right, but still they displayed amazing gameplay.
And on top of that, team Grubie were just stomping everything for 4 maps in a row, it looked incredible.
Add FaZe players to that and some other stuff and you'll just see a game that is worth seeing on LAN. It was very close, teams have been fighting for every point like it's their last time.
When you see this PUBG match - and it's just the beginning of competitive PUBG, it's hard to cast it for now, it'll only get better - you just realize you want more of it.
Even though it was Miramar.
I even think Miramar is more competitive unlike Erangel. Erangel was made to sell the game, it's beautiful, but there's an issue - if the second circle moves, you have to look for compound somewhere close to the center of the zone.
You just have to play around houses, it's hard to play around lowgrounds, the whole Erangel map has a maximum of 10 high-quality lowgrounds that you want to play around.
I like Miramar more in that aspect. It has more paths that were added in one of the patches, it has many good covers. You can be running through open space and still find a bump that makes you invisible from uphill.
This map just gives you an opportunity to use any approach you want - if you don't like houses - forget about them, if you dislike the zone that procced - flank or play around terrain.
I really look forward the moment Miramar appears on LAN's. I really think it's more honest and it's that exact map that defines the true skill of any team.
Amazing. Thank you very much for the interview. I think viewers will find out a lot of new stuff from it, especially about what is feels like being inside of this tournament.
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