I had an opportunity to speak with Aurimas “Kvik” Kvakšys in the 4th edition of the Baltic Esports League (BESL) LAN finals to discuss the 24-year-old’s plans for his career and his outlook on the Baltic scene.
Kvik was part of the infamous Quantum Bellator roster which, against all odds, finished 8th in the 2018 Boston Major. Since then he played under the Winsitrike banner with few notable results. At the end of August 2019, he announced his free agency and departed the team.
One should also mention that the interview was done in Lithuanian and transcribed to English.
Why did you decide to enter the fourth season of BESL Pro?
It was just the right opportunity. I’m without a team and taking a break from professional Counter-Strike, trying to improve individually. Lukas “Lukjje” Balčiūnas invited me to his mix team for BESL Pro. As the game times were good, it felt like it was the right time for me to take place given the circumstances.
You mentioned that you are without a team. How do you spend this free time now? Are you relaxing and regaining strength, or do you use this time to develop your individual abilities further?
At first, I wanted to take a break from everything. For more than two years, I have constantly been traveling, playing tournaments, and I’ve become really tired. There was a feeling that the game became a little boring. I needed to “restart myself”. I had a break for a week, went to Turkey, and now I am working on my individual skills. I will try to join a team before or after CS: GO Major.
As you have already had some rest and regained your strength, did you expect any difficulties playing the fourth season of BESL Pro?
I wouldn’t say I was expecting it, but we knew at the beginning of the season that our goal was not to win, but to have a good time. Especially on this team, because we’re all old friends. After a while, we decided we could try and win this league. Then we made some team changes, picking up other friends. I still didn’t expect it to be that difficult, not only in the playoffs but also in the group stage. Some teams really surprise me, and overall, the Baltic teams have improved.
Which teams surprised you the most and why?
I was surprised by Domino Gaming [ed. Estonian team] team because they really play like a team. That is very lacking in Lithuania. I still believe that if there were at least a couple of teams in Lithuania that would really play and practice, there would be no one-off teams like us, Wolsung or 1337HUANIA. They could remain at the top of the Baltics and Lithuania. Sadly, there are no such teams, and Domino Gaming are the ones that surprised me. I didn’t expect them to have such a strong game and proper teamwork. Weirdly, they didn’t get to the finals, but that’s a different story.
Has the Baltic level changed drastically since you last played with Lithuanians in Playing Ducks?
There have always been strong players in the Baltics, but there were no teams, and there are no teams now. The exception being Domino Gaming. Individually, these players could play at the second or third tier of Counter-Strike. But the problems are still the same — a lack of teams. As soon as teams begin to emerge, there will be team captains who develop strategies and tactics, which will focus on team play and then can level up to the European level.
Because there is a lack of teams, would you advise young players to try and team up and improve, or go the FPL route and hope organizations like mousesports and CR4ZY spot you?
It is important to understand what you are aiming for. If you want to play at a global level, FPL is the easiest way to be spotted as a player. But if you want to improve as a team, it’s definitely worth starting with BESL Pro. Still, you need to understand your priorities. Want to play because it’s fun? Please! This is certainly possible at the Baltic level. However, it is difficult to play professionally in the Baltic region. The lack of organizational support does not help either. If individually, FPL is probably the best way.
You do not belong to any team or organization right now. I saw you tried qualifying to the World Electronic Sports Games with a Ukrainian team. Is it a one-time get-together or a long-term project here?
Here is a one-time get-together for just one tournament. At least for now. As we will continue to watch as we got together just two hours before qualifiers even began.
If you decide to return to the Lithuanian esports scene, what would you most expect from your team members?
Back to the Lithuanian scene (ensued by some laughter)? I do not know if I will do that because it is very difficult. You see, there is a lack of in-game leaders in Lithuania to review the demo’s of games played, coordinate the game plan and devote time to this role. I know I could not be such a player. I lack the character qualities to do this, and it would take a long time for me to develop. At least for now. Maybe in the future, but not in the near future. What would I expect from my team members? There is a lack of dedication in Lithuania. Devotion to the game. Probably because there are no good conditions for that, players are afraid to sacrifice so much time because they know it will not be paid or will be paid very little. Basically, [ed. organizations] do not provide salaries here. If you get them, they are small; it would be impossible to make a living, especially when you have to spend all your time improving.