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Nemiga Gaming: Professional cyberathletes from Belarus

Cybersport has come to life in Belarus, too. Belarusian cyber-sportsman Kirill Tsarev, 27, has played counter-strike for more than 13 years. He and his team have won many times the Belarusian championships and left to try luck at international tournaments.

From 2024 cybersport may become an Olympic sport.

Kirill "hitMouse" Tsarev plays in the team Nemiga Gaming. At the age of 14 he won his first LAN tournament among the teams of Belarus. Since 2004, Kirill has been traveling to world tournaments. He changed 7 teams.

Kirill Tsaryov: Yes, the game takes up all my time and is the main source of income. On average, for two weeks I am directly in the game, I spend about 120 hours. I get up at 10 in the morning. Shower, breakfast - and by 12 we are already sitting at the computers. Before that, we discuss all sorts of nuances about the past days, sort out mistakes, and study the theory. At two o'clock we agree and start playing against teams. At 16:00 lunch is served. Then again we play up to nine. The training day itself ends at three in the morning. The number of training days per week varies. It all depends on how many tournaments are ahead. Approximately, we have one or, at most, two days off per week.

Q: Do you train all together or are you at home?

A: Basically, the guys are all playing remotely. Sometimes we go to bootcamps - this is a separate house or apartment, where we all together live and communicate. My current team has been there for 10 months, and during this time we have trained at bootcamps three weeks out of four per month.

Q: What goals do you set for the team?

A: With this team we want to reach a new level. Break through as high as possible - to tier 1. There are different categories of teams, different divisions. That's where we want to gain a foothold. Before that, basically, we had tier 2 tournaments. But on November 21 we are leaving for Barcelona, ​​there the tier 1 tournament there.

Q: What are prize pots at CS tournaments?

A: There are a lot of tournaments where the prize fund is $20K. This is for eight teams. There are also $500K tournaments. In Barcelona, ​​for example, there will be 20 teams, 12 of them will go to China to the next stage of the tournament, which will take place in March. At the qualification in Barcelona, ​​the prize fund will be approximately $100,000, and in China - $1.5m.

Q: The biggest prize that you raised?

A: To be honest, we take a higher bar than other teams, we don't focus on small tournaments. We take part only in large ones, but we've not taken big prize money so far. Very serious rivals, very high competition. So far, we have not had outstanding achievements. In Belarus, we do have many achievements. Many times we won championships in Belarus. By the way, more and more people learn about Belarus at international tournaments, and this pleases me.

Q: What is the structure of the team?

A: The standard structure of the team looks like this: five players, one coach, one manager. Sometimes there are also psychologists among the staff, but here each team has different ways. We have a standard scheme. The youngest player is 20 and the oldest twenty-eight. In the world, as far as I know, from the popular players the youngest is sixteen, and the oldest is thirty-two years old.

Q: Why is Belarus not that strong in the international arena if everything you need is a PC and Internet, which Belarus does not have problems with?

A: Originally there was a very large abyss between us and the rest of the world. We have to catch up with the teams who have long been involved in this business. Just over time, the gap is decreasing and Belarus will shoot to prominence sooner or later.

When I started, it seemed to me that all I need in CS is just reaction, thinking and memory. Minimum tactics, maximum firing. But in my time I ran into the problem of psychology: you are nervous prior to important tournaments, you need to prepare, including psychologically. If you don't prepare psychologically, your training is a waste of time. And the talent factor is present too. But often talents just fade away because of lack of diligence.

So now more important is your morale and lack of fear of the opponent. When you sit at home, it seems that it's easy, but in the game, nervous breakdowns sometimes lead to failures and losses. Hands can be trained, but do not forget about the brain. This is a long and painstaking process.

Q: What about your health?

A: I have a good sight. The main effect is on the spine. But this can be avoided.

Q: You are 27 years old. At what age does cyberathlete retire?

A: If there is a possibility and a desire, then there is no age limit. Of course, I will not play until I'm 40. Perhaps I will stay in this sphere, but I will do something else. But I'm not going to leave yet.

Nemiga: Professional cyberathletes from Belarus. How they train, work and rest