XANTARES: Ping problems are our biggest enemy

Alisa Barladyan
14 Sep 2022

Professional CS:GO player İsmailcan XANTARES Dörtkardeş talks about playing for BIG, eSports in Turkey, and his preparations for the RMR tournament.

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İsmailcan XANTARES Dörtkardeş

- Tell us a little about yourself. What are your hobbies besides computer games?

- My family is Macedonian immigrants, but I was born and raised in Istanbul. I'm a gamer who has been into FPS games since I was a kid. Computer games are one of my biggest hobbies, and I also really like watching movies and TV series.

- What are your favorite movies and TV series?

- Game of Thrones, Vikings, Supernatural, The Witcher, Ozark, Darkness, Breaking Bad, Lupin, Sandman.

- How did you get acquainted with computer games?

- I first became familiar with Counter-Strike when I went to an internet cafe with my friends. At that time, it was version 1.3. I was very impressed the first time I played it. I didn't have a computer at home, and even though our financial situation was not so great, I convinced my family to buy my first computer, and after school, I played Counter-Strike until night. This game became a part of my life; my professional debut was in 2012.

- Tell me about your level of English. As far as I know, you didn't speak English very well before. How did you improve it?

- I didn't speak English very well because I had only played for teams in Turkey before, so I can't say my English was very good back then. After joining the BIG team, I had the opportunity to practice my English every day. I can say that practicing English every day plays a big role in improving my level.

- A funny video of you went viral all over the Internet: "XANTARES, how are you feeling?" Do you remember that incident?

- Yeah, I remember it. It was awkward for me: I couldn't say what I wanted to say at that moment because of excitement, and then it became a meme.

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- I saw that you were constantly online in the game this summer. Were you on vacation at all?

- Yes, I was on vacation, but like I said before, this game is part of my life now. I remember playing CS:GO for 15-16 hours daily when I performed for BIG. I try to play DM whenever I have free time. Remember, if you want to improve a skill, you have to dedicate all your time to it!

 - When you played for BIG, you learned German. Why did you make that decision?

- There were more German players on the team, so we decided that I needed to learn German for faster and better communication.

- Why did you leave BIG? Did you have a bad relationship in the team?

- No, I have a great relationship with the team. I love everyone there, I just decided to choose a new path for my career as well as for myself.

- How and who came up with the idea to create the Turkish team you're currently playing in? Who brought you all together?

- Woxic and I wanted to do a project in Turkey because Turkey was starting to regress in CS:GO. The Turkish community really wanted it, and we started taking steps to implement the plan.

- Your team made it to RMR through open qualifiers, and you're one step away from the major. If Eternal Fire doesn't make it to the major, will we see any lineup changes?

- No, we aren't thinking about it at the moment. Like I said, I believe we'll do a lot of good things for our team.

- Who is your main rival at RMR?

- Everyone at RMR is our main rival because I see all the teams are very successful. I think my team has a good chance of making it to the main tournament of the year, and I trust our team. We are working very hard every day to win a slot in the major.

- Tell us the secret to your shooting. Your fans are making tags "XANTARESPEEK" in the game because they admire your shooting.

- First of all, let me say that I hear this question a lot. I would say that the whole secret is to practice a lot. My daily practice is as follows: when I first sit down at the computer, I play DM, then my team and I play pracs for 7-8 hours. Other than that I play surf and kz. If I have time left, I end my day watching demos.

- It's pretty weird, but you've never been in your life's top 20 of the year. Do you have a goal for making that list?

- Unfortunately, I've never been in the top 20. I can say that I was very close to making that ranking in 2020, but for me, team success comes first, and if you can be successful with the team, being in the top 20 is inevitable. So I focus more on the success of the team.

- Let's talk a little bit about xfl0ud. Why did he leave Eternal Fire? Was he inexperienced?

- I don't think xfl0ud is inexperienced. On the contrary, he is the most talented young player in Turkey. We're just trying something new, and remember that xfl0ud is still a part of our team!

- Where does your bootcamp take place?

- Our bootcamp takes place in Turkey, especially before big tournaments. But we also have a plan to do a training camp outside of Turkey because of the ping differences.

İsmailcan XANTARES Dörtkardeş
İsmailcan XANTARES Dörtkardeş
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- How do you expect your team to perform in ESL Pro League?

- We are very fortunate that the ESL Pro League tournament is in LAN format. I think we play better on LAN and I trust my team. We'll see what comes out of it.

- What do you think of device's transfer price of 600,000 euros? Is this price justified for a player who hasn't played on the professional scene for a long time?

- First of all, he is a great player, he's been playing at a high level for many years and he is considered as one of the best players in the world. I think he deserves that kind of transfer fee. Even though Nikolay has been away from the pro scene for a long time, I think that when he comes back, his form will be great, just like in the good old days.

- Why aren't there many strong players in Turkey? And is it difficult to become a professional player in the country?

- Playing CS:GO in Turkey is really harder than in other countries. There are ping problems because there is no server in Turkey and it's very difficult to buy computers and computer components because of high prices. These are the most fundamental reasons for the lack of good players in Turkey. If you became a professional player in Turkey, you do face ping problems and high prices. Like I said, ping problems are our biggest enemy right now.

- What are the conditions for playing CS:GO in Turkey? Does your country host LAN tournaments?

- If you really want to play at a high level and you're talented, I don't think conditions matter. Yes, ESL organizes LAN tournaments in Turkey regularly. In the past, StarLadder and BLAST held a LAN tournament in our country.

- Have you thought about developing eSports in Turkey in the future, opening special schools, or creating your own organization?

- Such organizations would be good for Turkish eSports, but right now, I am focused only on my career and my team. I don't know what will happen in the future.

- Give some advice to our readers.

- If you want to succeed in life or in game, you must work hard and try different things. That's what will bring you success!

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