electroNic on Cloud9 exit: “I guess if the team needs some changes, probably it’s me”

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Heading into BLAST Premier Spring Final, Virtus.pro can’t seem to catch their breath. Having added Denis “electroNic” Sharipov from a Cloud9 roster that was on the brink of capitulation, the Russian lineup has struggled to find their feet with results not quite going their way. As the season draws to a close here in London, the finish line is in sight and a chance to reset is near.

Before Virtus.pro can rest, they have a chance to end on a high and head into the off-season with a smile on their faces. We had a chance to catch up with the former NAVI and Cloud9 star, discussing the struggles that he has endured in his new environment as well as his shock departure from the North American organization.

There’s been a lot of events going on lately for you guys. You joined at Pro League and you’ve jumped from event to event with BetBoom and Dallas. What’s it been like trying to settle into the team considering how many events you’ve been going to on and off now? 

I mean, it feels like I’m out of energy but still we have to do something. I didn’t have a lot of weekends this year but that’s fine. We didn’t practice that much with the team, we practice for four or five days straight then we go to other tournaments in the schedule. I don’t know, we just have to work with it. 

With how packed the schedule is, is there a plan to do a boot camp at any point for you guys as a team to really settle in together? 

Yeah, we just want to do as much as we could as a team in terms of discussing our things, how we’re going to play, what we’re going to do. Our minds are all in CS, I would say. I don’t know. I don’t know what to say, honestly. 

It seems that it’s been pretty much like a one-for-one switch of the roles that you’re comfortable with. How have you found it like fitting into the system on the fly with not as much practice considering how similar the roles are going to be for you? 

I don’t know. I will say I found myself 100% but I am still in this process, so I want to find myself better. I played a lot in this game. I have a lot of experience and it’s kind of not that hard for me to change the role. I just need some time and understand what I need to do in this role, what my team wants from me in this role. I don’t know, just trying to do my best, to be a valuable player for the team.

And like in terms of fitting into those roles, the person that you’re probably closest to in the team would be Fl1t. Has there been much movement in the roles between yourself and Fl1t trying to figure out what’s going to work for you guys? 

No, I don’t think so. We didn’t change a lot of positions with Fl1t. I don’t know which map we did. I did change positions but I mean, I’m not a guy who wants to take the roles from the players, because they have to prove themselves. I have to prove myself in the other roles. It’s not about the roles, it’s all about the team, teamwork and how it works inside of the team and if someone feels bad about his role, I want to help him, we can change your role, I can change, I can try what could be better for our team for this moment and stuff like that.

Moving away from the IGLing that you did with Cloud9, did you find it difficult at all to come back into a team and not be the main voice of the team again?

No, I don’t think so. I’m still pretty loud inside of the game. I’m always trying to put my thoughts in the game. What should we do, like how we can do that, why we should do that. I’m pretty sure that now I feel like we understand each other much better. 

In terms of the system that you’re coming into, like you’ve played under a lot of great IGLs. What’s it been like playing under Jame so far in the short time you’ve had with VP?

I mean, as I said before, every IGL has their own playstyle to lead the team. So yeah, I won’t say there’s something specific. I just need some time. As usual, you need some time to get into the team, to understand everybody in the team, what they want to do, why they want to do this, how they want to do this, and stuff like that. So yeah, I guess it’s all about the time. So yeah, he’s doing a really good job. He’s trying his best. I can see that. I guess he’s already one of the best IGLs in the world. So yeah, why not?

In terms of your own form then, it’s taken a bit of dip with everything that has been going on. Considering the experience that you have, do you ever find it difficult to keep yourself positive and think that you can get back to the old Electronic and the levels you hit previously?

I mean, I feel like I’m still the electronic that I was before, right? You can look into the statistics, everybody looks into this, but I’m not looking into statistics. You can feel it. I can feel my power, what I can do. Can I play on tier one level or I cannot. I will prove to everyone that they’re wrong. I’m pretty sure. And there is no doubt about this. I feel like I’m still a good player, one of the top players.

In terms of your former team Cloud9, they are still yet to rebuild and I think everyone would agree that your move to VP came as a massive shock. What can you tell me about that transition into VP?

I mean, we just needed to do some changes in Cloud9 and my thoughts were like, I don’t want to change any player in this team because every player in this team, I mean the old Cloud9 roster that I played in, they’re really good players individually. So we needed that fresh blood and I was like, okay, I don’t want to do any changes.I guess if the team needs some changes, probably it’s me to be that change. I didn’t know that they’re going to rebuild the roster that much, the whole roster. It will be hard for them to start from scratch. It was like we needed that fresh blood and I wanted to change something in my team from my, from a career perspective, and this is something totally new. I never played with the players in this team before. For me, it’s totally new. New organization, new people, everything is new. So yeah, this is a challenge for me also. 

Was that an easy decision then to make to come to VP or was there any other teams, maybe even an international lineup that you considered joining when you were making your way out of Cloud9? 

No, I mean, it was only VP, the team that I wanted to join. So no, I wasn’t. Probably in the future, I will try to play or maybe coaching some international team. But not now, now I enjoy myself, with my native language and it’s much easier for me to get that vibe in the team. And for me, it’s important to get that vibe, I don’t know, that emotion from the team that everybody is on the same wave.

We’re pretty much halfway through the year, we’re leading into the second half, there’s obviously a major towards the end of the season. What are your expectations for yourself as an individual and also for the team as a whole? 

We just want to be one of the best teams in the world. We want to go to the playoffs all the time. For my personal goals, I just want to be as good as I can. I am going to do the work and I guess we will reach our goals. These are the main goals, be one of the best team, if not the best, and be the good player that the team needs. I want to be this guy that the team needs,


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