Moscow 5, Moscow 5, Moscow 5
Moscow 5 was a League of Legends eSports team that had received much love from their fans from over the many years. The team that represented Russia as their region in the Esports scene, and won the IEM season 6 World Championships. They left their own mark on the era. Moscow 5 was a team strong enough to be recognized at even the early stages of season 2.
As time went by their player roster changed. Experiencing a huge change, Gambit Esports (previously known as Moscow 5) could not retain their position as one of the strongest international teams in the world. However, there are still things that have stayed true for the new Moscow 5. Their relentless determination to become the best has never faltered. In constant attempt to regain the throne they once sat in, Gambit Esports is now trying their utmost to climb back.
On the 12th of December, Gambit Esports came to Korea for bootcamp. We got some insight into their vision and future plans to make their dreams of going to the World Championships a reality.
¤ Could you say hello to your fans and introduce yourselves?
PvPStejos: Hello my name is Alexander Glazkov or PvPStejos. I’m playing for top lane in Gambit Esports but previously I was a jungle role in the summer split of 2017. I played League of Legends since 2010 when I was 14 years old. I really like the game. I think I climbed to 2500 elo in season 2. Afterwards, I tried playing competitive in small tournaments. When I started in the Russian League, I joined Starwater and then moved to M9. Later I moved to Albus NoX Luna. I don’t usually change teams, but I decided to leave the team and join Gambit Esports in the summer of 2017.
Diamondprox: Hello, my name is Danil Reshetnikov and I play for Gambit Esports as a jungle. You might know me by my in game name, Diamondprox. I am here in Korea for the second time, and I really like Korea. The Korean fans are awesome.
Kira: Hello, my name is Mykhailo Harmash. I am a mid laner for Gambit Esports. My nickname is Kira. I got this name from Anime Disco if anyone wants to know. While playing in the Korean server, I really like playing with the Koreans. From my professional experience in my games, they are really good. I don’t know how the Korean fans react on our games, but I guess they recognize too.
Blasting: Hello, my name is Daniel Kudrin. My nickname is Blasting and I play ADC for Gambit Esports. Right now, we are in Korea. I like the food, and I absolutely love the Korean solo queue.
Edward: Hello, I’m Edward Abgaryan. I play support for Gambit. Pretty much, we are here in Korea to practice for the LCL and to get ready for the season. I think Korea is the best region. This is the first time an LCL team has come to Korea to practice. This is kind of something new for us. We are going to perform well, so this is the first step for us to perform well in MSI if we win LCL.
¤ Did you guys know Gambit Esports is famous in Korea?
PvPStejos: No, not really.
Edward: I think before as a team, Koreans knew us as Moscow 5 and Gambit Gaming. This is because we won a lot of games against the Korean teams. We know that they know us here but we don’t know how much.
¤ First, I want to ask about the bootcamp in Korea. Some of you guys this is the first time in Korea for bootcamp and for others it may be the 2nd time. Can you guys tell me in what ways the bootcamp affects the team’s ability and how it helps the team?
Edward: I think this is the first time for Blasting, Stejos, and Kira. I was here once in preparation of IEM Cologne with my previous team. Diamondprox bootcamped here once when he was in an NA LCS team. First of all, we came here 5 days ago. We didn’t have time to do any team practices yet. We had kind of a vacation before coming here. We are now trying to get in shape on a personal level. Afterwards, we are going to play scrims against the other teams. So now, we are just trying to get good individually.
¤ Do you guys have a schedule already for scrims with the other teams?
Edward: Not yet. Some people asked me to scrim already such as challenger teams. However, we didn’t book any yet. I think we are going to play in the last 2 weeks of our bootcamp.
¤ (To Diamondprox) So, you said you have been to Korea twice. How has it helped you?
Diamondprox: The biggest part about coming to Korea to practice is the solo queue. I think this solo queue is the highest skilled solo queue out of all the ones I played in. I have played in Russian, European, Northeastern, European Western, North America, and China. Korea is by far has the best solo queue. Masters in Korea is already better than high challenger in most regions. High challenger in Korea… there is just nothing comparable to it.
When you are practicing in Korean solo queue, you can tell that most people are very talented not only in mechanics but also in their way to always think of how to play better. This is why you can learn a lot of things from them. I think how you should learn the game is to look at other good players. When you see someone doing something good that you didn’t know about, you learn it and try to copy it. When I played in Europe for example, I can find something every 3 games regarding to something I can learn. In Korean solo queue, it happens almost every game even in tiers like Master level and not even Challenger.
Solo queue definitely helps but also team practice. Because Korea is so popular right now for every league, every team wants to bootcamp in Korea and scrim. You can book scrims with all the teams around the world. It is good to see how everyone else is doing and what the meta is in other regions. Practicing against the best teams is the best scrim. Some Korean teams, for example, will scrim against European teams or even Russian teams.
¤ Whenever we see a Russian team play, their macro gameplay is extraordinary. Can you tell me why Russian teams are so good at the macro aspect of the game?
PvPStejos: I’m not sure if you are absolutely right about all Russian teams being good at macro. Usually the structure of a Russian team is one or more smart players who control the other players. We don’t really have a good coach in our region so usually the level of calls within the team is made by the ‘brains’ of the team. If the smartest person on the team is intelligent in the macro side, the team will excel in the macro side. If the person calling the shots is not good at macro, we go into a clown fiesta and play like an aram.
¤ If this is so, does your team have a good shot caller?
PvPStejos: Usually the shot caller is me or Edward. We do well in macro but sometimes we start not the best fights. Our macro sometimes is wrong, so we are working on it.
¤ What would you say is Gambit Esports’ style of play?
Edward: I think mainly, Russian teams are known for teamfighting. 90% of the Russian teams are bad at macro, so they fight all the time. This is why Russian teams are so good at teamfighting. For us personally in Russia, we play pretty much any style we want. We play split push, 1 to 1, 1 to 4, etc. We don’t really have anything specific style of play.
PvPStejos: We play a lot of play styles because against some teams you may need to teamfight or just outplay in the laning phase. Otherwise, we will just get wrecked.
¤ (To PvPStejos) Why are you doing the shot calling and not someone else?
PvPStejos: I was the captain in my previous teams like Albus NoX Luna, and I have very good experience in watching the map. I just have a lot of experience in rotations and what actions needed to be taken in the game. This is why I tell my teammates what to do.
¤ (To PvPStejos) Since you were a jungle role before, you must have good synergy with Diamondprox.
PvPStejos: Yeah I do, I have synergy with Diamondprox because I can understand him and he knows that he can get free 300 gold if he comes top.
Edward: This is why Diamondprox only ganks top.
Edward: When Stejos says 5 ganks is enough, the 6th gank goes either bot or mid.
¤ I also want to hear Diamondprox’s side to the synergy between jungle and top.
Diamondprox: Stejos understands the jungle very well. Because of this, he helps me gank his lane better than the other players on the team. He communicates the best path to go to his lane. This makes it easier to gank his lane compared to other lanes. On top of all this because I used to play with Darien and Cabochard, they were really aggressive players. Since Stejos is also aggressive, I was already used to ganking the top lane. When we just joined as a team, top lane was the easiest lane to gank because I was so used to ganking top before.
¤ Does the bot lane have any complaints not getting as many ganks as top lane?
Edward: I think we are already used to playing like this (laughs). Sometimes you can’t do anything. If Diamondprox ganks bot and Stejos tps, that could be our present. Most of the time, it is not like Diamondprox only ganks top. Recently when we were practicing for Worlds, we would focus and play around the mid lane. Afterwards, mid lane would go either top or bot. Bot lane is the least likely to get a gank. However if we are 100% sure can grab a kill, Diamondprox always comes bot.
¤ (To Kira) What is your playstyle and how do you synergize with other lanes?
Kira: Previous meta was about mid control. It was about pushing the lane depending on the jungler. If a mid laner had better vision control, they can start pushing first. It was really hard for me to play in the previous meta if Diamondprox had lost vision control. This meant that I couldn’t push the lane or roam to help other lanes. To solve this, I just took teleport so I can just tp back to lane.
¤ (To Kira) Which lane do you prefer to roam to?
Kira: Bot lane of course, because I can get 2 kills.
¤ Do you think your team’s style represent the Russian style of play?
Edward: All Russian teams have the same problem. They see hero kill hero. I think we have the biggest difference between the Russian teams with our macro. Even though we play with a clown fiesta style once in awhile, I think we have a big difference between the other teams in Russia.
¤ So what is your overall team goal?
Edward: Our goal in the summer split of the LCL was to win the LCL league and also go to Worlds. We won LCL pretty easily other than the finals this year, but we played really bad at Worlds. Now our goal is to keep improving and show a good performance at MSI. If we do well at MSI, we are going to keep the roster and keep doing well for Worlds.
¤ Since you said Gambit performance not as well at Worlds, did you find the problem causing this performance?
Diamondprox: I would say it was just time management. We had to spend a lot of time applying for visas prior to Worlds. We had 22 days until Worlds but 3 of those days were spent going to China. The practice that we got in China was really bad also. We couldn’t really scrim much. We decided to go to China earlier, but I think that was a mistake. Since we were early, we didn’t have many good teams to scrim with.
We had a poor draft as well. We didn’t consider Maokai as a good pick, but it was apparently one of the best in the meta. On top of all this, I only had 2 champions that I could play well with the team. The 2 champions would either get banned or would not matter if I picked them like the game against Team WE. It was really hard for me. We also had problems with shot calling, but I think we found out what all our problems were.
¤ (To PvPStejos) What are your thoughts on this?
PvPStejos: I think our main problem was our draft as well. We did use the best champions in the regular season of the LCL. We picked all sorts of champions against different teams, etc. After this, we tried using these specific champions just to try one strategy. I think this is why we had a lot of problems at Worlds. Since we prepared a lot of strats, we didn’t prepare anything perfectly.
¤ You guys have been in Korea for a few days now. Is there any funny stories you guys want to share?
PvPStejos: We did go to a Korean BBQ place, but I don’t think there were any funny stories. Maybe I am just missing something.
Kira: I don’t know about funny stories, but we did do a video for our fans at Lotte World Tower. I was there with my manager, and we did a video there.
¤ I was wondering if you guys have tasted Soju (Korean Alcoholic Drink) before?
Edward: Yeah, I have. It tastes like sweet vodka.
PvPStejos: We don’t drink before we play solo queue so.. (laughs). Please stop making the joke of “We don’t drink before we play solo queue”. Please trust us. We are not drunk (laughs).
¤ Have you guys met any impressionable player in Korean solo queue?
PvPStejos: We already played with kt members and Crown. I vsed Untara’s Gangplank and he was really strong. Every Korean player we vs plays like a superstar.
Kira: I played some games with Marin, Bang, Wolf, Crown, and some others. It is quite enjoyable to play with them. When I played with Bang, he said he loves Russia. In that game, Bang didn’t play that well and he thanked me and Stejos after the game. He said “thank you for carry”.
¤ What about you Blasting?
Blasting: I usually play alone and my elo is not that high. Some of my teammates are already Master, but I am stuck in Diamond 1 (laughs). I just need some time to adapt and climb, that’s it.
¤ How did you guys decide your Korean account nicknames?
PvPStejos: We just use Gambit Support, Gambit Marksman, etc.
¤ (To PvPStejos) Since you have your nickname in Korean, did people think you were Korean?
PvPStejos: Yes. However when people search up my op.gg, they see my big face in the picture and realize I’m not Korean. I need to write English first to let them know I don’t know their alphabet.
¤ Could you guys say some last words for your fans?
PvPStejos: I want to say to the Koreans that you guys have a very good country. I enjoy being here. I want to let you guys know you guys are great. Continue what you guys are doing.
Diamondprox: First, I want to say that Korea is my second favorite country right after Russia. I really enjoy being here, and I really like the environment. I went to a lot of good places when I first game here. Although I only played solo queue while I was here, I am planning to go to other nice places that I missed before. I hope the practice in Korea will do us good, and I hope it will take us to some big championships. If you guys see us there, please cheer for us.
Kira: Thank you for everyone who cheered for me, especially my family. We will try to get in the next international tournament. I hope to show you guys a better performance and not like last time.
Blasting: I just want to say that I am thankful for all the Koreans being shy and quiet. It really fits well with my mentality. Because of this, it is really comfortable for me to stay here. I also like it how Koreans are always try hard in solo queue.
Edward: First of all, I want to thank Joyluck from Ever8. He helped us with everything to do here regarding bootcamp, apartments, internet, and computers. Joyluck helped us overall become a better team. Korean people are really friendly and respectful. I think this is the best environment for eSports teams to come and practice. I also want to thank all the fans who supported me and Diamondprox for all these years. I hope we can make it to the next international tournament.