Gambit's Redgar: "He who makes no mistakes, never makes anything at all"

Gambit Esports have defeated the strongest teams in Europe and Turkey, taking the crown at the Stage 3 EMEA Challengers Playoffs. We talked with captain Igor "Redgar" Vlasov as the team prepares for their first LAN tournament: VCT Masters in Berlin. In an epic Grand Final, Gambit Esports overcame a devastating map loss against Papara SuperMassive Blaze and crowned themselves champions at the second EMEA Challengers Playoffs. The CIS region’s rising star has steadily improved over the VCT season and gathered much support from the fans. With the community awaiting Gambit’s first games at VCT Masters with anticipation, we had the opportunity to talk with Gambit's captain Igor 'Redgar' Vlasov.

What emotions do you and your teammates experience after such a big victory? And how is the general mood in the team?

We had all had a surge of emotions after the game with the Team Liquid. Then they died down a little. In general, the mood is positive, and we are working on and preparing new tactics.

Why was the game with Team Liquid in the lower bracket so close, while in other games you were able to impose your own style?

It was a knockout game, so perhaps our nerves played a role. On the first map we couldn’t really play our own game, and we gave away a lot of rounds we should have won. I don’t want to talk about Icebox. After the 4vs2 round, it was hard to keep going, but in the end we pulled ourselves together and won.

What does it mean to you to be the captain of the top 1 EMEA team? Are you under pressure or has the victory brought you confidence?

We aren’t currently confirmed as the best team in EMEA, so for now I don't feel that way! Maybe it looks like we are the top 1 EMEA team on paper at the moment, but the main thing is that I know where I can improve and that there is still a lot to work on. You need to grow in order to earn even better results not only as a player, but also as a team as a whole.

How did you manage to build up so much individual skill?

I have always been like this, haha! But seriously, the daily training, focusing on playing for myself, not for the team, doing just what my role demands. If you are playing a support role, then play support. If you play the one who covers the flank – cover. Then, when everything works as it should and as you are used to the system, the whole mechanism moves as it should and the train goes forward.

In the last two matches on Haven, you played with duelists: Reyna and Jett. Was it just because you didn’t prepare this map or we are expecting more performances like this in the future?

I would not mind playing other agents on this map. We did not prepare for it, so everyone knows this. And we just played it our way, so we didn’t feel any pressure on it at all and could do things for which the other teams were not ready at all.

How do you feel in this role and does it interfere with your position as captain?

It doesn't really cause issues for me. It feels like it doesn't matter what role you're in. In general, when you gain experience, your playing and communication skills improve, and this helps you to do everything faster and better. Of course, there are errors, but as they say: "He who makes no mistakes, never makes anything at all".

What did you learn from the match with Acend in the upper bracket, and did this experience help you in your subsequent games?

This match was the one we wanted, since we trained a lot with them and it was always interesting to see how we could perform against them in an official game. I think in the match against them we identified certain mistakes and we are fixing them at the moment and will try not to repeat them in Berlin.

Tell us a little about the loss on the first map with SMB, how did you manage to come back from that?

They played a very good game, and we could not do anything, so when we lost 9 or 10 rounds, we decided that we would just try to do something different. If it didn’t work, we would still have other maps to make up for it. Plus, there was no pressure, because we had already qualified for Berlin and we were not so susceptible to the pressure and just played.

The Gambit team was supported by all of the CIS community during the Challengers stage. Could you feel the vibe?

Of course, we feel support when we revise the vods, when we read the chat, when fans write to us in DMs. All this gives me personally the warmth and strength to work even harder, even if it gets difficult. Therefore, we would like our community to grow in general, and for more and more people to watch the matches and support us, because we are trying not only for ourselves, but also for the sake of the audience!

Who do you think are your strongest opponents in the upcoming tournament?

All teams are strong at this stage, just like in EMEA Challengers. As I’ve said before – there are no weak teams, these are all the strongest teams from each region at the moment. So personally I would like to play against as many teams as possible, so that we can probe each region, and find out what each one is like.

At the EMEA level, the guys from SMB surprised everyone. Do you think there will be teams in Berlin who can also surprise like SMB?

To this question, I will say that I would like to see something like that, so I think yes, there will definitely be surprises.

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Photo credit: Gambit Esports / Riot Games