The currently on-going ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND 2019 has been witnessing bucket loads of competition, with the best teams from China, East Asia, Middle East, SEA, South Asia and Oceania coming together to see who walks out as the champion.
The Mongolian giants, AUGUST after starting out well and making their way to the playoffs, had a rough quarterfinal match-up against TYLOO which witnessed an end to their journey.
We were lucky to get an interview with the entire line-up right before their match against TYLOO, sitting down to have a great conversation about the story behind the team's name, the rising counter-strike scene in Mongolia, what Zilkenberg was up to after his stint with 'The MongolZ', and much more.
Hey guys! How about a quick round of introduction?
Erkast - Hey! I am erkaSt from Team August along with my coach flyNN and teammates neuz, kabal, Zilkenberg, and dobu.
AUGUST Waiting For The Interview To Begin
Who came up with the idea of starting this all Mongolian roster? And how did all of you come together?
ErkaSt - The team was brought together by dobu, kabal and I. We just wanted to create a really good Mongolian roster, to achieve something big for ourselves and the region.
Why the name AUGUST? Does it have any significance?
ErkaSt - We were trying to figure out a team name and it was becoming really tough to come up with a good one. As the team came together in the month of August, we thought of going ahead with it. Also, the team’s sponsor is Chinese and eight is a really good number for them, while also translating to “something really powerful” in the Chinese language. So it just made sense to go ahead with it.
That’s a really great backstory to a simple name as August. So the team is currently located in China, how is that working out for the team?
Dobu - Three of our players have stayed in China for a while, they have been playing in the region for some time now. Also, everything works out better for us over there, we have better pings while playing from China than what we get in Mongolia, great environment, and it just works out for us better in every other way.
What is the daily routine like for you guys?
ErkaSt - We practise six days a week, leaving Sunday out as a holiday. On a normal day, we wake up by ten or even later, we go to the gym and are back by twelve, have our lunch and then start our practice at one in the afternoon. We practise till about six in the evening and then take a small dinner break, continuing our practice from seven till ten in the night. After that its light out and we go to bed.
Tell us a bit about the counter-strike scene in Mongolia.
Dobu - So recently the CS:GO scene in Mongolia has been growing a lot. Ever since erkaSt went on to play the major, the scene in Mongolia has been booming because everyone has got that belief now that if they play seriously it is possible to reach that stage.
Now Mongolia finally has 4-5 decent teams with their own partnerships, sponsorships, etc. The companies are starting to see the potential and have started to work with us. So the scene is growing quite well.
Dobu Talking About The Counter-Strike Scene In Mongolia
What is the final aim? Where do you see yourself in the coming year?
ErkaSt - We talked as a team and the nearest goal was to make it to a Major. Just a challenge to ourselves to place in the top two in the minor and make our way to the Major, that’s the ultimate goal. As for the upcoming year, we will try to qualify for more events and try to gain more experience and just play a lot more counter-strike.
What was the atmosphere like in the Grayhound camp when everyone got to know about your visa issue? How did you personally take it?
ErkaSt - In the beginning, everyone was calm because people thought like surely it won’t happen and that I would get a visa, but eventually, somewhere in July we kinda realised that there is actually no visa. So it wasn’t a particularly bad scenario but all of them were quite sad because I had become really good friends with everyone in Grayhound in real life.
The news broke out in the middle of the Berlin Major, so did it have any effect on the team’s performance?
ErkaSt - We actually knew about it sometime in June, during the Pro League in France and I told them that I would be leaving the team after the Major. So when we were playing the Major, we all knew that it would be my last tournament with the team and it didn’t really affect our performance.
ErkaSt Talking About The Time His Visa Got Rejected
You played with 5Power for a really long time, how did it feel leaving the team? What are the things that you might have learnt during your time with them that you bring to this line-up?
Dobu - First time that I joined 5Power I was a really young player, it was very tough to play in an international team because everyone would speak in a different language, so I learnt a lot from my time in 5Power. From there I bring a lot of my experience to this team, 5Power had really helped me grow and now I pass on the same here in this team.
Are you enjoying your time with AUGUST? What makes this time stand out from the other Asian teams?
Dobu - We build this team to fulfil our hopes and dreams, it is not about the money or any other such benefits. I think it is very different because we build this team ourselves for the sake of achieving our dreams, represent Mongolia, and to try put us out there amongst the best.
You have stuck around with Dobu for a long time now. Who would win a 1v1 between the two of you?
Kabal - I think I can defeat Dobu, it is so easy to win against him. When you play in a pug match, we play against each other and he is always like “fucking kabal”.
Kabal Taking A Dig At Dobu
After playing for Mongolz till 2017 there was a gap between you coming back to the competitive scene. What is it that you did between this period?
Zilkenberg - After leaving Mogolz I thought of changing my life and went to study abroad, I also started working side-by-side to sustain myself and pay for my education, but it took a toll on my health. Working for ten plus hours a day, six days a week, along with studies started affecting my health and my kidneys got damaged due to the lifestyle. After that, I thought I really love the competitive CS:GO scene and felt like it was time for me to go back to what I enjoy doing.
If AUGUST were to reach the finals who would you like to play against?
Neuz - I would like us to go up against MVP PK.
You have been coaching the team for a while, so what are your thoughts on the team? And what do you think is the future of the team as a coach?
FlyNN - The most important thing is that before the minor, the players have to understand each other more, so after achieving that we have the capability to be the top team in Asia.
That was our time with AUGUST, unfortunately, their journey in ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND 2019 came to an end after a harsh loss against TYLOO. With the team keeping their focus on making its way through to a Major, let's see how they perform in the coming months.