One of the debutants of ELEAGUE Major and Gambit player Abay "HObbit" Khassenov has shared his feelings about being new at the major and what makes Las Vegas appealing.
As far as I understand, that has been your first American tournament. Did you take time to go sightseeing? What was Atlanta memorable for?
Yes, that has been my first time at the tournament in the USA. We walked around the city, did shopping in different malls. We planned to come to an oceanarium but decided to postpone it. Generally, I liked it, it was cool!
Many know the story of you getting visa. Tell me, how big the chances that you wouldn't come for the tournament were?
Yes, that chance that I would miss the Major was big. I've only got my visa from the third attempt.
How is it to be new to the Major?
When I was strolling around the venue I saw everyone knowing and speaking to each other, but I knew no one and was just observing. Of course, then I presented myself and got acquainted with the people. That's an interesting process, so it's cool to be a rookie!
Tell me, how did you handle anxiety and did it take place during the matches?
Yes I was very nervous in the first match, I didn't know how to calm down, but with the next matches there were no anxiety and stress. I just tried to stay calm and help my team win.
Are there any special rituals you do before the important matches or any talismans you take with yourself?
No, I'm not superstitious, I believe in God and that is it.
Who from your teammates provided the biggest moral support for you?
To be honest, we always encourage each other and it was just the same during the tournament.
The elimination part of the tournament was run in front of an audience at Fox Theatre. Tell how did an audience support Gambit.
During the game we were wearing the headphones and heard nothing. Our manager, who cheered for us, told that mostly people supported us and cried loudly "Let's go Gambit!"
What was the most memorable victory at ELEAGUE Major and why?
The victory over FaZe. Because that was a difficult game and after it we knew that our minimal goal is achieved - we are already in the playoffs of ELEAGUE Major.
Can you tell whether you're satisfied with your debut at the Major? Which conclusions did you drive to after the first participation in that big of a tournament?
Generally, I'm satisfied, but I know that I could perform better and help my team to get to the semifinals. I made the conclusion, that in 80% of cases my game is built upon self-confidence.
On the whole, what expectations do you have concerning the trip to Vegas and this tournament?
I hope we will win, I believe in it!
Soon you're going to the entertainment capital, tell us, have you ever played poker or gambled?
Yes, I've already been there once and I liked Las Vegas very much. I'm not into gambling, but the city appeals to you with its theaters and with one of the most terrifying attractions in the world.
How much are you going to spend in a casino?
I'll spend $50-$100 out of curiosity, nothing more.