News of Daniil "Zeus" Teslenko and coach Mykhailo "kane" Blagin's parting from Gambit Esports came as a shock to the community, especially since it was days after their victory at The Kraków Major 2017. Given the situation, theScore esports reached out to the Gambit Esports' CS:GO manager Yerkebulan Kurishbayev to provide additional insight on who was involved in the roster change decision and why they couldn't find a compromise.
This interview took place before the news that Bektiyar "fitch" Bakhytov joined the team.
The decision to terminate kane was made before the start of the Major, which was unchanged even after Gambit Esports’ Major victory. Why was this the case? Why change the dynamic of the team if it provided a big return?
kane didn’t fit our team at any time from the beginning of his career in Gambit. He always had his own vision of the game which we respect, but the players didn’t accept that.
Also, disciplinary problems and not wanting to learn simple spots on many maps made us make such a decision. Winning the Major is the main goal of any pro team in CS:GO, but being consistent is the best you could wish for and a friendly environment is not the least thing we wanted to achieve.
What could have convinced the roster to stay as it was?
We could keep Zeus in roster, but it was his decision to leave after the coach. No chance we could keep kane and continue work with him.
Given that the public perception is that this was a poor decision on Gambit’s part, what is the organization’s response to put the fans at ease?
Obviously fans and whole community found our decision irrational but we as an organisation have long-term plans with a professional approach and high demands from the team and the coach. Unfortunately kane is quite unsuitable.
In Zeus’ HLTV interview, it seemed like he was the lone person arguing for kane. Was the final decision made by the other players, the organization or a combination of both?
kane is Zeus’ friend. Of course Zeus was arguing and was trying to convince us to keep kane. The decision to part ways with kane was mutual by the organisation and players, there were no conflicts at all.
Even if Natus Vincere provided a big buyout, if Gambit don’t win the next Major (or perhaps if Na`Vi wins the next Major), how much of a regret would this situation be?
If Na`Vi wins next major we will be extremely happy for our friends. Of course we understand that this scenario would cause a lot problems from our fans and community. But anyways there’s no place for regret, we have a lot of work to do and we’re excited to face new challenges!
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
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