Prior to the start of LCL Summer Gambit ADC Daniel "Blasting" Kudrin was interviewed by mail.ru. Blasting talked about his first tournaments, family support and his current team.
Daniel, do you like to give interviews?
Not really. Because in interviews you’re usually supposed to speak your opinion about one or another team. I don’t think anything about them. And I don't feel like sharing my impressions or something, forget it.
Don't worry, I will not ask about that. In your profile for Virtus.pro, you said that you spent all your youth in Latvia. And when did you first come to Russia?
In general, when I was still young, every summer I went to my grandmother's place and spent three months in the village. I also have relatives in St. Petersburg amd in Moscow Oblast. Well, in general, all over Russia, I would say.
How does life in Latvia differ from life in Russia?
I would say that Latvia is closer to Europe, roughly speaking.
In what way?
Slightly better standard of living. Personally, I'm more comfortable in Latvia. I do not know how to describe it.
If you could live in any country, where would you live?
Most likely in Germany. I really like Germans, I like their mentality and how things are arranged. Everything is strict and clear. I like it when people are decent.
Okay. Let's move on to the games. Your first competitive game is Dota. Right?
When I was 12-13 we played a lot with friends. I was okay in Dota. We did not want to go to the League of Legends for a long time. Simply someone among friends told that LoL is not really good. There were quite childish grounds, in fact. And I did not see a reason, why not try it. People just do not want changes and so on, probably it's all because of this.
Do you remember the day you first turned on League of Legends?
Honestly, I don't remember this day very well. But I remember exactly that my first characters were Sivir, Garen, Irelia. I remember building two crit items and Warmog on Sivir. I wanted to win but I was mechanically weak, I was 13, so I just pushed the right button and killed everyone. I've been playing LoL ever since there were no seasons. Then the game just came out of the beta.
Was there the moment when you strongly decided that you want to become a pro gamer?
No, I didn't have a moment like that. Honestly, I just played and I liked this game more and more. I liked the competitive part. That is, I first played with my friends, then I realized that this level is not enough for me. The first season I was in Bronze, the second in Silver, the third in Gold and then Plat. And in the following seasons I was Master/Challenger.
What was your first tournament like?
My first tournaments were on lol-game.ru. Somehow it happened that I always had a team - we gathered local guys. And we were already trying to break through with our own forces and so on. We reached top 3 finishes. I always did everything on my own.
How many tournaments on lol-game have you won?
Honestly, I did not win tournaments there. My first big prize was not there. It was, it seems, on WePlay. I won a mouse, Logitech G500. I’d been used this mouse for a long time, but then I found out that for some settings in the game I needed a slightly different one. So I had to replace it. But it is still one of my favorites.
"At first, my parents did not support me, but after the first prizes they allowed me to do it." What kind of prizes are we talking abut?
My first prize was that mouse and some money - $400 approximately. This was my first big jackpot. And I realized that "yes, you can earn money this way". So for now I'll just play, and then we'll see how it goes.
What's their current attitude?
Now they are proud of me.
Was Team Just your first professional team?
You said that you spent one split as a substitute. What happened?
Honestly, I would not want to say something behind one’s back. In fact, I am grateful for this experience, it taught me what a contract is. And in general, what Esports is, how you can get fooled and so on.
Did Team Just fool you?
Well, something like that. But, frankly, it turned out to be advantageous. First, I was able to finish my studies. Secondly, I immediately got into Virtus.pro. I was given a very good offer, and so I would have played all the split in Vega Squadron and not the fact that I would have won it.
Vega Squadron called you to join them at IEM Paris, how was it?
For some time before that, I wanted to join their team, but could not because of my substitute contract in Team Just. That is, I missed that season, although I was supposed to play with them. And right after the split I was offered to join the team for Spring 2017. IEM Paris was before that. Whether they take me or not - depended on how I would show myself there. I played with the guys, helped them to get to Korea and immediately faded away, that's it.
How do you like Paris?
Paris is beautiful, but I do not like that no one speaks English. And even if they talk, then with this nasty accent, which is impossible to listen to. I have mixed feelings about Paris. I would say that this is a city for entertainment, for young people. But to come there for work - so-so.
VP made you an offer before you got a chance to sign with Vega. Was it a large offer?
Vega Squadron offered me the same amount. They just offered it not on paper, but verbally. And because of my experience with Team Just, I realized that what is said means nothing. And Virtus.pro offered me everything on paper, so I decided to rely on the documents.
What qualities did you develop in Virtus.pro during the previous split?
I would say that a split in Virtus.pro helped me understand people better. And that each person needs an individual approach. And this is probably the most important thing.
Let's talk about Brazil. Ignore the result. What are your impressions about the country itself?
Again - no one speaks English! You have to resort to explaining yourself with gestures. This is super inconvenient. I like it when you can find some kind of common contact with people, talk. And in Brazil there was neither. Well, I could also call it a third world country. Because every time you walk down the street, you have a feeling that you can be attacked, robbed and so on. Therefore, we always have to look around and be observant.
Was the decision to leave Virtus.pro easy?
Yes. Very easy, I'd say.
What pushed you to do this?
First of all, I realized that we have reached our limit and can not develop further. Here the problem, roughly speaking, is in people. Naturally, I have my own issues, but I saw more problems in others. Lack of initiative and so on. They were not lazy, just lacked the ability. That's all.
First of all, I wanted to play this split with EDward. Because my own convenience and well-being are important to me. If it is convenient for me to play on my own lane - I will get more pleasure from the game and I will play better. I will have more passion for the game.
Does EDward provide this?
Yes. And the rest of the players as well. They know what they say and have their own opinion. And it is very pleasant to play with them.
Did you and EDward together agree that you would go to Gambit?
Yes. I think that's the way it was.
Many now call your line-up a star team.
Funny expression, really. I agree with it, but it does not mean anything. Star team does not mean that we will beat everyone or lose to everyone. We'll try to show what we are capable of.
Do you feel any pressure from playing with players like EDward, Diamond or PvPStejos?
No pressure at all. I treat all players as "players", and no more. The fact that they were famous, does not matter. Because as soon as you start losing no one needs you.
Is there any person in this world who influenced you the most? It does not have to be a player.
Yes. I would say that these are my best friends, one of whom now lives in Germany. We have been communicating for four years, but met only two or three times. These are the two people who influenced me the most.
I would say that they have improved me, as a person. Starting with advice, and ending with just friendship. It's hard to say, honestly. I am grateful to these people for everything. And for them being there for me.
"If I wasn't engaged in Esports, I would study psychology." Do you understand people?
People can not be understood, let’s start here. Even if you say that you understand a person - this is not so. It is impossible to imagine what a person thinks about. The way a person perceives the world.
Why would you like to take up this profession?
Because people are my main passion. Their communication, their character. How in one person all these things can fit: mind, thinking, behavior, character, attitude to things, temper and so on. Accordingly, the study of these things brings me incredible pleasure. And every time I communicate with people, I pay attention to these factors.
And the last question. Do you have any kind of dream, not related to Esports?
Honestly speaking, I can not imagine my life without Esports and I would not like to imagine it this way. Let’s say I'm living in the moment. Kurt Cobain, 27 years old, hello.