The Balkan region has a large player base that has only recently started to get a foothold into tier-one CS:GO.
BLIX.GG Journalist Sebastian “Horizzon” Lalic spoke to huNter- about the Balkan region and why it took so long for the region to reach the top.
Sebastian “Horizzon” Lalic, BLIX: You've come from the Balkan scene, where there's a lot of talent but not many players breaking through. Is there a reason for that, or is it just a matter of time?
Nemanja “huNter-” Kovač: "I think there is a bit of both, the first reason why kids are not showing their talent is that they don't have support from their parents. Because nowadays it's not easy to have a PC or good gear, it's really expensive and salary is not that high in our countries in Balkan, but it's getting better and maybe in the future we'll see more talents playing tier 1 events and winning tier 1 events."
BLIX: Is there a player currently coming up that you think is the future of Balkan CS?
huNter-: "I think there's kind of a lot of players coming up, I mean not a lot but there's Partizan and iNation that are doing good as well, even though they just made up their lineups. I think ROGA from Partizan is doing well and he's the AWPer. In all our countries we didn't have a single AWP player that did really well in the tier-one scene and that's heartbreaking for me. In all other countries, we have a lot of good AWPers. It's kind of the easiest role to play and it's a star-player role."
"So I think ROGA and DEPRESHN from iNation, both of them it's up to them now. I think if they work hard and listen to their coaches, and IGLs, and watch other players play, they can be good. "
BLIX: Is it sustainable to have a team only from that region or will they be destined for an international roster?
huNter-: "For now, I think you need to go to an international roster if you want to be really good. Because even back then in the days we were CR4ZY/Valiance we tried everything for a full Balkan roster but then we needed to bring in a team (with) like EspiranTo and ottoNd. We had NeiL_M in the end with nexa together and then Emi as a coach."
"We did really amazing with CR4ZY qualifying for the major and almost making the Legends stage after losing to Na'Vi and Astralis who then won the Major, and we nearly beat both of them. So, you still need something international, there can be three from the Balkan region but they need two players from other countries if they want to succeed, I think. But who knows, for the future we have me, NiKo, nexa, and Maden, he is good as well, maybe we'll do something in the future but for now, not yet."
BLIX: We're seeing fewer Open Qualifiers, for example, the Major has only two now. Are Open qualifiers essential for those starting teams?
huNter-: “I think it is because more qualifiers mean more chances to qualify for the event, especially the Major. So, we need more (open) qualifiers.”