Hey everyone, my name is Leonid “chopper” Vishnyakov and I’m playing for Vega Squadron. I started playing Counter Strike in 2004 or 2005, back then my friends came to me and said, let’s go, we need a stand-in for the tournament. I came there, played a couple games and then spent around 5 years playing it afterwards. Before that I did sports but after some injuries I just couldn’t go on. Approximately at this time I got myself a computer. I decided that I should play something that would make me satisfied, something to enjoy. I saw people playing CS in our city and started doing this as well. So, I’ve been playing Counter Strike actively since 2009. A year passed and I won a tournament in my city, I never won 5×5 but have been winning the 2v2’s all the time. Back then we had a channel called cisgl in mIRC and everyone wanted to get there, every solid CS 1.6 player was invited there. Since I was from Kurgan and noone knew anything about me I started searching for teams around me, from Ekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk and so on, I was interested in playing 5v5. I found a tournament in VK with a team from Ekaterinburg. I joined them and we started playing with them. A month after we won many tournaments on Imba Arena and other placed with free tournaments and did our best to be invited to cisgl. When we found the right people and got the invited, we went berserk, we played more than 10 hours a day, with mixes and even stable teams, we searched for opponents all the time, it was great at the time. Why did I start playing better? I think it’s because when the game started getting popular (2013-2014) I was playing a lot, around 10 hours a day, talked to everyone and so on. Just a bookworm, I did my best to gather as much information as possible and play with everyone. This is why I somehow made it to some solid level and managed to stick to it and only grow higher with time. Did I ever quit playing because I wasn’t good enough? No, it never happened. There were moments when I had to drop playing because I wasn’t able to. I had problems with my parents. Many people in CIS community knew the guy that players great but won’t be able to if it’s after 10 PM. When I first quit for the first time (it was in 2015) I got a message from El Patron saying Nirvana is hosting a tournament in Moscow and they’re giving invites to the best teams in the regions. Ekaterinburg was in the list among Moscow, Kazan, players were gathered from all around Russia. So, I was told it’s a free invite, we didn’t have any contenders and that I need to attend. We weren’t a team, it was a mix, but it was my first tournament on scene, in Moscow, not anywhere near close to my city. It was a whole lot different. Emotions were much stronger, you feel the pressure and responsibility a lot better, don’t want to fail, you need to make a good impression. So, it was very hard playing on such tournaments back in the days. In Counter Strike I like Counter Strike itself. Everything together is just right for me, nothing stands out separately. If I saw myself as I am now as a 12 year-old boy and knew my way, I would have never discouraged him from playing Counter Strike. Because this is what I wanted, of course it was a hard way, sometimes it was working out, but… You know, it’s not even a finished way, it’s just the beginning. My dream is the same as many players’ one – I want to win a Major with my team and stick to this level. I don’t set time limits for myself. I’ll be playing as long as this game exists. If it gets closed and there will be another version – I’ll move on to it as well. I would like to thank our sponsors, eSports.bet and MSI for supporting us along the way.