Ugin: It's my job, not just a hobby

Alisa Barladyan
15 Jun 2022

B8 director Evgeny Erofeev explained why he left NaVi, a turning point in his life and work.

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Evgeny ugin Erofeev

- In October 2020, you left your position as manager and the Natus Vincere organization in general. Can you name your reason for leaving? What was it about?

- There were several reasons: at that time, there was a demanding schedule, which conflicted with my domestic situation, and the beginning of covid restrictions, which brought a lot of stress to everyone. I had to choose between family and work more often. However, I think if I were to name the main reason, I would say that it was time to move on. I was stuck there for too long and started to feel a kind of burnout.

- Have you kept in touch with anyone from the legendary lineup?

- Sure. We keep in touch with all the guys.

- Everybody is wondering what's going on with Edward and GuardiaN. Are you getting along with them?

- Ladislav is streaming actively. We keep in touch, although rarely. We're good friends with Ivan, I'd say. Ivan and Ladislav have come a long way, relying on their experience now.

- Do you currently keep up with the CS:GO world?

- Yeah, of course, I do. It's my job, not just a hobby.

- As far as I know, you currently hold the sports director position in the B8 organization. Can you tell us what your duties are?

- Yes, that's right, I'm with B8 now. I won't list the duties because there are too many. The organization is still young, and a lot must be done. I will only say that my primary responsibility is a good sports performance. I have to do many things to ensure that our squads develop and move up the rankings to the tier-1 teams.

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- Tell our readers what you used to do before you came into the world of eSports.

- It's pretty basic - I studied and trained. I did karate and was quite successful. I trained a lot and frequently went to competitions of various levels. But after I finished my degree, I started immersing myself in the world of cybersports, and I've talked about it many times in various interviews. I think this story began as usual: I entered a computer club, then it started, and then I surprised myself. I quickly realized that I wanted to achieve great results in cybersports. For this reason, I sold my own apartment then, so I could invest in opening a computer club to have my own training facilities without being torn between my work and my favorite hobby. I learned how to train in sports, so I was serious about it from the beginning, and we started to show good results, first in Belarus and later in tournaments in Russia and Ukraine. It was there that my growth began. I got to know all the "veterans" of cybersports, and this path eventually led me to where I am now.

- You have an economics degree. Did you ever have to apply it in your everyday life?

- Unfortunately, our economic education was very weak in my day. I just needed a diploma, just like 80% of the people back then. But looking back, I realize I still soaked up some basic concepts. At least I knew our tax laws and the peculiarities of business in the Republic of Belarus. I knew how to write business plans, calculate revenue, calculate profit, do basic accounting, and know what profitability was. I applied a few marketing skills in my own business, of course. But it was more of a practice thing.

- If you hadn't been into cyber sports, what would you have been doing?

- I've always been attracted to self-improvement, psychology, and philosophy. My training in martial arts taught me to explore my inner world. I am actively using this in cybersport now. I like coaching, mentoring, and psychological help. I like to lead people out of crises. I think I could be a mentor, a crisis manager, a coach, or all of that together. I'm good at teaching, coaching people, and figuring out their inner world.

Evgeny ugin Erofeev
Evgeny ugin Erofeev
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- What do you think of m0NESY? The guy's not even 18 yet and is already showing tremendous success on the stage. Can he become the best player in the world this year or at least get into the top three?

- Yes, the guy is very talented, but what matters here is the atmosphere in which he finds himself and how much he will be able to develop his talent further in the difficulties ahead, and they are sure to come. What kind of mentors and older people will be there at the right time. But then, he has every chance to be the best. It all depends on his intentions, diligence, and ability to learn. I doubt he'll be the best this year, according to HLTV.

- Is a cybersports job a dream job?

- I think a dream job is any job that is desirable and brings you joy in the process. If one lives for cybersports, enjoys it, and improves themselves while working in the field, then it's definitely a dream job.

- Tell us about a turning point in your life or career.

- There have been a few, and there will be more, I'm sure. I remember a time in 2015 when the CS players were in decline, and I was working with the Dota 2 squad at the time. There was an internal conflict, and the team split into two camps. The management and most players decided to replace Ivan and Daniil, and it became my task to do that and officially announce it to the team. But I confronted them and acted against the decision. I did everything to keep the team. I was warned that I would be fired if I do something of the sort again. After that, the guys had a month before the major in Cluj-Napoca. They narrowly failed to win the finals. From that moment, the team started its way up. After Zeus left and s1mple joined the team, we won our second tournament in New York. After that, we couldn't win anything for more than a year. It was a very hard time for the team and me personally as a mentor. I got a lot of experience working with guys in crisis back then. I think my leaving Natus Vincere and starting a new chapter in my life is also worth celebrating. I was out of my comfort zone, lost what I was used to, and lost a lot financially, but you could say I started living from scratch, and I'm gaining a lot of experience and development at the moment. My path is thorny; sometimes I'm moving in the dark, but my goals and intentions are bright and ambitious.

- If you had the opportunity to go back to your childhood, what advice would you give to little Evgeny?

- I believe that we have no other choice for any given situation because when we make the decision and take action, it's all set up for us to get in the best place for development. I think I did everything right, but if I try to look for regrets, I would tell him never to stop, not be afraid of defeat, and to press on in his endeavors. I'd tell him to listen to his inner voice more than the opinions of those around him.

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- Where is the hardest place to work? Is it in NaVi, which always fights for the top 1 and constantly goes to LAN tournaments around the world, or is it B8, which hasn't yet achieved the same results and mostly participates in online tournaments with a small prize pool?

- It can't be compared. But right now, there is a higher load of responsibility, more stress, and a lot more tough decisions for me than in NaVi. Working in Natus Vincere is something completely different.

- What are B8's plans in general? Are they training now?

- We plan to build a complete European English-speaking lineup since the organization has moved to Europe because of the recent events.

- At one point, B8 had a very long losing streak, which can be called an anti-record. What should an athletic director do in such situations? Have you talked to the players about it? Or is that not your area of expertise?

- Of course, I talked to them. The sports director takes responsibility for that result and just does everything according to plan and sees it through to the end. Whatever result we get, it is valid. And then, we analyze it, make conclusions and move on.

- Judging by captions to your photos on social media, you have a large stock of motivational words and quotes. Can you say some important words to our readers that will make an impact?

- You are where your thoughts are right now. Make sure your thoughts are where you want to be. Fortune always smiles on those who are prepared. And there are some words from myself - life is a mystery, and you'll never understand it, so don't waste your time, just enjoy it. Believe me, you are in the best place for yourself right now, just trust the flow of life, and it will lead you.

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