Gambit Gaming's Dmitry "hooch" Bogdanov is a veteran of Counter-Strike 1.6, but his career in CS:GO has only just begun and he's already qualified for his first Major. That coupled with the fact that MLG Major Championship: Columbus will be the first CSGO Major to feature a $1 million prize pool is a big deal for the dark horse squad.
Before the Major, hooch took the time to speak with theScore esports about how his team came to be and his preparations for his first Major.
What's it like leading players like Mihail “Dosia” Stolyarov and Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayav given their pedigree and the fact that they are Major veterans?
I have been the in-game leader since we started playing together as it was originally planned like that. I have played with AdreN before and Dosia was always my rival in 1.6 era, so it wasn't a problem at all.
The roster has been stable for almost four months now. Why do you think the team has stuck together for this long?
We have good chemistry, a good organisation which supports us and we know that changing the lineup is not the only way to fix some problems.
Since being acquired by Gambit Gaming, Alexander “beAst” Yakovlev was brought in as the coach. Why make this change? Was it a welcome one?
Alexander is a good friend of mine, but it wasn't the main reason why he joined the team. He has been an in-game leader for k23 (with AdreN and Rustem "mou" Tlepov) for a long time and we have played in some teams before.
A coach can fix a lot of problems, so it's a very necessary thing in professional CS:GO; it wasn't a hard decision.
How has beAst changed things for the team? How has he changed things for you specifically, as the team’s in-game leader?
He helps us to prepare for specific teams and helps us to change something in-game if something goes wrong. He also helps me to make calls sometimes and we talk a lot about our game and cooperate to make it better.
Outside of beAst, what else has changed for you and the team since being picked up by Gambit Gaming? If anything.
I haven't played on any professional team in CS:GO, so I've kinda missed professional playing. Now we have everything to become better. I am truly thankful to Gambit organization and especially Konstantin “groove“ Pikiner for making it come true.
What kind of preparations are you guys making ahead of The Major? Are you guys changing how you’ve prepared for previous events?
Well we are bootcamping in our gaming house in Saint Petersburg. I know we've been a dark horse before at qualifiers, but now teams can watch our demos and don't underestimate us so we gotta bring something new. We are working on that now.
This is your first Major, what does that mean for you?
It feels amazing, but it won't be nice if we fail, so I want to prepare good and to show some good result.
In an interview with HLTV’s stich at the MLG Major qualifiers, you mentioned that you took advantage of the fact that you guys were relatively unknown, such as picking Train when you banned it out previously. Will you bring any more surprises to the Major?
We'll see, we'll see.
You guys have been grouped with Astralis, Team EnVyUs and Counter Logic Gaming. What was the team’s reaction when you first found this out? How do you feel about this group?
Our group could be worse or could be little better. It's a Major and the best teams are playing, so you can't be happy with any group. We have second, fifth and fourteenth ranked teams (according to HLTV) in our group, so it's a tough one, but it will be nice to bring some upsets.
What are Gambit’s or your plans for the future? Any final thoughts?
For now. everything is on Major. After that we have a couple of online leagues where we compete with more to come. Thanks to Gambit, our sponsors and our fans. #GOGAMBIT.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, Dungeon & Dragons and first-picking
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