Rustem "mou" Telepov is the primary AWPer for Gambit Esports and is less than a week removed from winning the Kraków Major 2017, the first Major win for the Kazakhstani player.
With Kraków now in the rear view mirror, mou took the time to answer some questions from theScore esports about his recent victory, speaking about the key factors in Gambit's Major win, and the team's preparations for the future.
First off, congratulations on winning your first Major! Have you been able to calm down after your victory? Thinking back on the tournament, what were they keys to your and the team’s success at the event?
Thank you very much! It took two to three days to realize what really happened; we’re absolutely overwhelmed with this trophy!
Actually being underdog of the tournament made us to relax and play CS:GO how we like. We didn’t have any pressure in any of the matches. The main goal was to qualify for the playoffs and show the best we can do, so the main key of success was our calmness!
Ahead of the Major you guys played a ton of CS, allegedly twice as many hours as other teams at the Major. Is this more than Gambit would normally grind before events? How big of a factor was this in your level of preparedness?
We did play a lot of CS, but we weren't quite sure if it was going to help, because, as you know, we lost every single practice to different kind of teams.
After winning the Major, we can tell that 900 hours of preparation before event helped us, but in that period of time, we were exhausted as hell and thought nothing was going to help us.
In an earlier interview with me, your teammate Abay "HObbit" Khasenov said that every team should have a sports psychologist. Did you pick one up in secret for the Major? Or did you guys have training sessions focused on mental strength?
Every team experiences psychological problems during event, before or after. And sometimes you just need to have a rest or talk to person who can sort your brains out.
Now after winning a Major we definitely need a sport psychologist, because the hardest job is coming: to stay at the top!
One of the biggest factors for Gambit has been the addition of Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko. How much has he transformed the team since joining it? How comparable is Zeus to any of your previous teammates, or friends within the pro scene?
Obviously Zeus helped us a lot. The main thing he brought to us is we started to realize that we can win any tournament, against any team and we’re not worse than anyone. That winner's mentality is vital. We started to believe in our main goal, our dream: the Major!
However, let’s not skip HObbit’s factor. His play style and his zeal for the wins is what all of us had five-six years ago. After he joined us we were kind of nostalgic for those times when we wanted to win and participate every single tournament.
Let’s talk about online CS matches. In previous interviews with me, Virtus.pro’s Filip "NEO" Kubski has blamed his team’s difficulties on outside factors such as Poland’s poor internet, as well as motivation issues playing from home. Astralis’ Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz also notes motivation issues for their online matches due to oversaturation of events.
With that said, why are Gambit struggling online, such as in Mountain Dew League (ESEA Premier)?
That’s a big question. We don’t lack of motivation during our online leagues, but we do struggle every match.
We have a lot of losses, but we actually got used to +40 pings. LAN events we do much better. LANBIT, you know.
You’ve got your fair share of adidas Ultra Boosts, NMDs and Tubulars. It’s not just you and your teammates though — a lot of CS:GO players are sneakerheads. How did this start for you? Are there any players outside of Gambit that you chat shoes with?
That’s weird. We don’t really chat regarding our clothes. It’s just really comfy and stylish. We travel a lot and we just need comfortable shoes to wear. But if adidas would like sponsor us, we don’t mind, haha.
Assuming you guys are taking part in the one-month vacation from CS:GO, how do you plan on spending your time?
As you know, most of us are from Kazakhstan, but we live in Ukraine because of bad internet in Kazakhstan. During our training process or bootcamps, we’re not at home, so when vacation starts, firstly we prefer to go home and see our families.
Last time we had one month vacation, we spent two weeks at home and two weeks chilling at the sea.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
Oracle my Souvenir Negev Discipline Priest Pharah a silenced Cavity 9mm Ryu. You can follow him on Twitter.