p4sh4: «R6 is CS:GO but slow»

- Being another Pasha in Virtus.pro’s history, are you feeling any pressure to continue the legacy of your predecessors?

- It gives me confidence since all my namesakes were champions. At the same time that responsibility is here - for the same reason. There is some pressure, but it gives me energy for the most part.

- I asked one of my friends who plays R6 to describe this game. He said that “R6 is CS:GO but slow”. How would you describe this game to those unfamiliar with it, but with experience of other competitive FPS?

- I like the “CS:GO but slow” description. Considering the game’s current state, many American players like describing the gameplay as a “utility removal” meta. You spend the majority of the time clearing away piles of utility, and only start making any moves 2-3 minutes into the round. That’s on Attack. On Defense, it’s the same except you’re the one waiting for the enemy to clear stuff out.

You could also say that R6 is the Dota of the FPS games. There’s a heap of characters, gadgets, tons of variability. I’d say that R6 is something in the middle: both “CS:GO but slow” and “Dota but FPS”.

- You mentioned that you don’t need to have incredible aim to succeed in R6 in your interview for our YT-channel. What do you need to be consistent in this game?

- I meant that you don’t need to be a strong aimer relative to the pro scene. If we leave the pro scene for a second and think about how an average player plays their ranked games - their gameplay consists solely of shooting with little tactics. You do need some basic shooting skills to become a consistent player, but that’s just the basis which you then build on by learning the maps, watching the pros play, and using their tricks. At this point shooting is still important, but tactics are up there, too. You need to strike a balance between them.

- Let’s leave the ranked playlist and talk about the pro scene: what’s the difference between tier-1 and tier-2 teams?

- In tier-1 teams, all players know what decisions their teammates will make. You don’t have to rely on your aim alone, you can just relay info to your teammates and have them play according to it. There are some maps I barely fire my gun on. I work with drones, give tons of info to my team, and make calls on when to push and when to close rounds out on Attack.

- What tier would you classify your team as? What’s the criteria that distinguish tier-1 and tier-2 teams in R6?

- There’s the newly announced league, European League, and all 10 teams-participants are tier-1 teams - they have nothing to prove anymore. There’s the Challenger League - that’s tier-2. National leagues, like Russian Major League, are tier-3.

- You’ve joined forZe as the coach at first. Was it because you weren’t 18 at the time?

- Yes, I wasn’t 18, but I was passionate about getting better at the game and meeting new people. I loved the game and knew it could become my future.

- What were your responsibilities as a coach?

- I was responsible for practice schedules and strategies. Wasn’t without stealing some strats, but I did make some myself, too. Mainly the first, though, because we were green and inexperienced in a game that has been out for around three years.

- What are your teammates’ personalities? Who’s the funny one, who’s the serious one, and who’s the in-game beast?

- wTg is both the funny one and the serious one. I have no idea how he combines the two! Amision also talks a lot and makes tons of jokes. Rask is the in-game beast, there’s not even much commentary required - his in-game stats speak for themselves. Shockwave is an old guard vet. He’s the most experienced one and he’s always calm.

- Rask said that you keep making up new strategies and that other players respect you lots. Are you a natural leader?

- I wouldn’t say that. Back when I was the coach, wTg was the captain. He’s not big into innovation and follows the old and reliable methods. I, on the other hand, am different in this regard. If I see something not working, I try to change the whole thing. I like taking initiative, but if the situation doesn’t call for it, I will not change things for the sake of changing things.

- How is the communication built in your team (and in the discipline in general)? Is there an in-game leader like in CS:GO, or is every player responsible for their own thing?

- There are some teams where everything works like a well-oiled machine. All their strategies get executed round after round - teams like that don’t need any in-game leaders. But there also are teams that improvise their strats. Let’s say, they may have a certain plan for the round, but as soon as they encounter any obstacles they start solving them on the go. That’s where the in-game leader comes into play. For instance, the Attackers have tons of utility, but you can’t always use it all optimally as some other people may not hear what they’re asked to do, not be in position, etc. IGL needs to coordinate all that. In Defense, you don’t usually need an in-game leader: all teams just play the ol’ reliable defaults.

- Are you the “by the book” team or improvise team?

- We’re somewhere in the middle. “By the book” is my own vision of that. I can use Team Empire as an example. Almost everything they do is by the book - and they make it work. They’ve proven that this gameplay is viable if you’ve got something to back it up. Improvisers are someone like G2 with Fabian. I’m not even sure if they used any defaults at all. They’ve played in such a wild, unpredictable way that watching their VODs was just a waste of time. You see one thing, you load into the match and see something completely different. I don’t know what they’ve been up to lately, but I’m sure they’re still improvisation-heavy.

- You keep using Twitter to find scrims. Is that a normal situation in R6?

- Rainbow didn’t even have Discord channels for scrims at first! So, yes, that’s normal.

- Do you have any consistent scrimming partners?

- Even the consistent partners only last a season in R6. We can run scrims with one team for 3 months and then they’ll just stop playing with us.

- Players keep complaining about bugs on Twitter. Which bug annoys you the most?

- They’ve fixed lots of them by now. I remember there was a bug that barred you from reloading throughout the entire round. Also, I had my drone drop down through map textures in one of my scrim games yesterday.

- Did you see any bugs in the official games?

- Yes. One memorable bug was during OGA PIT Minor qualifiers against Team Secret. We started the first map on Attack - we had to get rolling. I started up the anticheat, the game, and the headphone audio was reversed: the left ear hears what’s on the right of me and vice versa. I was totally confused and died because I couldn’t hear an enemy right next to me. I had to restart the game completely. But we won that map!

- How has the quarantine treated you?

- You go crazy at some point. I could go somewhere to relax before, but now I can’t. At least it became somewhat better after I’ve arrived at the bootcamp.

- You have an Instagram post where you proclaim your love of the USA. What do you like the most about that country?

I love that country as a phenomenon, not some separate aspects of it. I love its people: they’re so carefree. I can just give an example: when we arrived in the US, we all badly needed haircuts. So we go to a barbershop at around 11 AM. Once my hair was done, I asked if I could pay with a card. But the granny giving a haircut exclaimed: “What ApplePay are you talking about?! This is a cash-only establishment!”. She just had no idea you can pay with anything but cash! I approached the manager to fix that problem, and throughout my entire stay that granny was like: “Who this Russian thinks he is”? When it all ended, she walked away from the barbershop, sat on her bike and rode away with a deafening engine roar. She came in, gave two haircuts, and walked out at 11:30. That carefreeness had me stumped. And I loved it!

- You gave interviews in English before. Did you learn the language in the game or by yourself?

- I learned it at school first, but without much enthusiasm. When I first started R6, I realized that there aren’t many Russian content creators. I wanted to learn the game, so I started watching many English-speaking bloggers. Then I entered the pro scene where English was a must. I started learning little by little.

- Three best pro scene teams currently?

- Virtus.pro, Spacestation Gaming, and G2.

- Three best players in other teams?

- Rampy, AceeZ - I hate this guy, he keeps beating me - and Geoometrics. 

- What’s your main goal in this season in the ranks of Virtus.pro?

- Advancing to the Major and R6 Invitational. Then the top-4 finish in it. We have what it takes.