DreamHack Winter 2012 gave us several close games and some surprising results. It was a great and much anticipated tournament for Quake with a rather unexpected winner – Evil from Russia. I sat down with the freshly crowned QuakeLive champion for an interview to get a peek at his history, his recent achievements and his future plans.
Hi Evil! Could you please introduce yourself to the people who may not know you?
Hello =) I’m Orekhov Sergey, currently a student at the university. I’m 24 years old and I like sports!
Were you always into FPS games? How did you get introduced to Quake? Were you inspired by any existing players?
No, not always. My first game was quake2 after which I played Half-Life followed by Counter-Strike. At the same time, I also tried out StarCraft, WarCraft 3 and Quake 3. Finally, I decided to focus on only one game. This game was Quake 3 Arena! About last part of the question, I was inspired by some good old-school movies. These would include Polosatiy’s movies, most of all his Quake 2 trick movies. Another example would be the famous Quake 3 movie – Fragged by Lexer. The Eurocup movie with Stelam and Toxic also inspired me a lot.
How was the Quake scene in Russia when you started playing?
I got conditioned for the Russian Quake scene not from cyber sports portals, but by playing in LAN tourneys. I mostly attended non-pro tourneys in the beginning of my career. The first tourney was very funny because I didn’t know that the games will be played with dedicated servers. I also didn’t expect semi-pro players like c58|Lloyd to show up there. It was my first game (single-elimination) and unfortunately, it was against Lloyd! I lost to him in a very close game. After that I started to prepare for the next tournament on dedicated servers. In this tourney, I reached the Grand Final but was defeated by a good player called Garinich from the DarkSide clan.
How was your rivalry with Cooller?
Cooller? Hmm… Who is that? *Smiles*
First time I played Cooller, it was at a not so big LAN tourney in Moscow. It was not an official game because I had missed the last date of registration and came to the place quite late. At that time, I already had a good clan named Red Devils and we used to practice a lot. But I was unknown to the quake community because I had won only one non-pro tourney and that was it. I ended up winning that game versus him. He didn’t expect me to be good and probably played up to only half of his strength/skill.
The next big tourney that I won was Asus Cup Summer 2003. However, in that LAN, I did not play either Cooller or uNkind because they were invited for a show-match (winner of WCG 2002 vs. winner of ESWC 2003). But still, there were a lot of good players at the ASUS Cup. We used to train with c58|morfez at that time. However, he lost to Fortune in semi-finals. I then went on to win vs. Fortune in the winner bracket and then in the Grand Final.
There was a funny incident related to this. Cooller had won the show-match 2-1 but got less money than me for the first place (money + video card). So, he offered me a duel for the video card in a best of 3 maps to show that I had won only because he didn’t play. But I don’t like provocations, so I declined the offer! After that, we had a lot of rivalry on different LANs, big and small. Mostly on Asus cups.
What’s a normal day in the life of Evil?
I try to do morning jogs around the area and do different exercises. I’m mostly free during the day-time. Early in the evening, I try to play some games but not always. I also make sure to meet up with my friends or stay at home and spend some time on the internet watching movies, listening to music, chatting with my friends etc. Twice in a week, I also try to visit the nearby swimming pool. This week, I mostly stayed at home because of the weather.
How did you prepare for DreamHack Winter 2012? Did you make any changes to your cfg? What was your training routine?
I didn’t change my cfg at all. But after bad results at the Adroits LAN, I decided to prepare for DH very seriously. It seemed that at Adroits, everything was okay about my game in terms of aim, but something was missing – something important! For DH, I decided to watch some old demos. I watched Polosatiy vs. uNkind and Cooller vs. Cypher from Quakecon. These games reminded me of something that I already knew, but had overlooked at Adroits. I mean, after watching these games I realized my mind-game at Adroits was not good enough compared to my aim. I also watched Rapha demos, which helped me in the grand final.
Which mouse, keyboard and mousepad are you using these days?
Mouse: SS Kinzu v1, Keyboard: SS 6gv2, Mousepad: SS QCK Heavy
In your group stage match you won 3-2 vs. k1llsen. The scores were Ztn: 24-1, Hektik: 11-15, T7: 8-6, Silence: 2-12, Toxicity: 6-9. What went wrong on Ztn?
In 1st game, I had some technical problems with video settings and my headphones. But after game #1, I fixed those problems. But anyway, k1llsen played very well.
Do you think k1llsen had the chance to finish first in the group?
Of course, he had that chance! He was a bit unlucky.
Please describe Cypher as an opponent.
He is a very tough opponent and with him, you must always play your best. You can’t win any other way. Cypher has one special characteristic – if the enemy starts to fear him in-game and avoids a shootout with him till the end, Cypher will exploit this thing very hard! So, you need to fight with him in any combat and never run away without a fight. But in general, he has a very aggressive style of play which is very cool to watch.
The final score in the semi-final was 2-3 in your favor (Ztn: 5-8, Furious Heights: 1-7, Lost World: 2-1, Aerowalk: 9-8, Toxicity: (-2) – 16). What was your mindset going into this match?
First map, I played up to the best of my ability. By the end of the second map, I was not as focused as I needed to be. I was a bit relaxed and more confident. This is a very dangerous thing for any competition – when you’re feeling confident and then relaxing a bit at some moments in the game. Afterwards, it has a snowball effect and eventually kills the confidence. On the 3rd and 4th map, this proved to be a decisive factor. It was only at the end of the 4th map that I got a feeling of complete self-discipline and played the 5th map precisely in this sense. I saw some comments on cybersport portals, where people wrote that on the last map I tried to humiliate Belarus (sort of a standard Russian-Belarusian quake rivalry). I only wanted to play my best at this moment and Cypher probably was a bit upset about losing the last map. Due to my confidence and him being upset, I was able to pull ahead with such a big score.
What was your reaction when Rapha beat Av3k 3-0?
I was focused primarily on my own game and did not think about who will win in the semi-finals. This was not important to me. What was important to me was to show my maximum potential and only do things I could control i.e. focus on my own game. The only thing I could say though is that Avek’s mindset was not at its best level before the game with Rapha, at least the first two maps. On the third it worked, but in the end he lost. He was unlucky.
Your game vs. Cypher on Aerowalk was very close. Take us through that game.
I rarely remember my game entirely, but rather some key moments. In this game there were 3 such moments. The first moment was in the middle of the game, when he hit four rails in a row. I think so because during that moment, I played passively. Of course he is skillful! The 2nd moment was at the end of the game, when I made a comeback to 1 frag difference. I had map control and started an aggressive search of him on the map, but this aggressive search was punished by him by taking the correct defensive positions. Then I had a chance to kill him again, but I needed to make a choice – either attack him now with a not so big advantage of health and armor, or get back and attack later. I chose the second one, but didn’t calculate the time left.
How did you feel when you beat Cypher and advanced to the grand final?
I felt very confident. I was very happy to be victorious and had a good feeling that finally I played my best game. Usually, in my earlier tournaments/games, something was always missing: lack of sleep, external problems that prevented me from concentrating on my game, etc.
During your game with Cypher, he remarked “lohu povezlo”. How do you deal with smack talk during games?
That’s no good at all! Thanks to these emotions because then I knew he had expressed his real feelings about me. Before that, we communicated pretty well. Btw, he apologized for that.
What do you think of Rapha as an opponent?
I think that unbeatable fighters do not exist. I’ve defeated him before. Against Rapha, you need to know the things he starts his game with. He calculates a sequence of armors (spreads around in a circle within their proximity) and likes to take advantageous positions. He plays very standard, dry game, without special aggressive moves or focus on specific weapon(s). We rarely see him hitting four rails in a row. More likely he will use rocket-shaft combo and play safe. He seems to be like Cooller in this case. This is very effective against weak players, but against strong it is very predictable.
You beat Rapha 3-1 (Ztn: 9-3, Hektik: 0-26, T7: 11-0, Lost World: 7-4, Toxicity: -). Were you expecting a 3-1 victory? What was your biggest fear vs. Rapha?
Yes, absolutely! No, I had no fear whatsoever. Sorry! *laughs*
You’ve played T7 rather well in this tournament. Would you say it’s your strongest map?
No. My strongest map depends on what is my opponent’s weakest. I prepared for all the maps here really well. But versus pro players, my Hektik was pretty weak at this tournament. I haven’t quite figured out how to play it well yet.
How would you explain your experience at DreamHack overall? (The tournament, Sweden in general, the food, and of course the girls)
I have managed to visit DreamHack thrice and already feel at home with these tournaments. I really like the competition because for us (Russian players), it offers very good conditions like powerful computers and most importantly the monitors with 120 Hz support. I like Sweden very much. There are no races on the road like in Moscow. Almost everyone rides/drives with a comfortable standard speed. Also, the food here is very tasty! I was searching for a nice place where I could get good soup here but couldn’t find one. Yeah, girls here are very cool and beautiful. However, I think majority of them come to DH to hang out more likely, than to cheer for someone, as it seemed to me.
So now that you have won DreamHack Winter 2012, will you take a break or just continue practicing?
No, I probably won’t take a break and will continue to play. However, I won’t practice as hard as before because I’ve managed to win a major tournament already. I will continue to participate in online cups. And before the next major championship, I’ll start to prepare harder!
What’s the next big tournament we will see you at?
Honestly I don’t know what major QL tournament will be next, but I heard that soon there will be one and I’ll try to be there for sure! I’m also considering playing Shootmania and it’s still possible for me to take part in some big tournaments in this game!
The final words are yours. Any shout-outs?
Thank you for this interview! Thanks to those who know me, for their support! Thanks to my team Deliberate Murder for helping me travel and attend a lot of European competitions!
For making this interview possible, big thanks and shout-outs go to:
Dmitriy “nicerdicer” Khoriev – For getting me in touch with Evil and Morfez.
Андрей “morfez” Рачников – For taking the time and effort to get the answers from Evil and translating them in English.
Orekhov “evil” Sergey – For taking the time to answer these questions and just being awesome!