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pTKKK, 4glory:”[This organization] is on a whole other level”

A couple of days before the A1 Adria League playoffs, I sat down with Ivan “pTKKK” Popov to talk about the team’s new organization, practicing with the team and the A1 Adria League.

4glory is a familiar name in the region. Counter-Strike veterans probably remember the regional domination of 4glory, as well as the three World Cyber Games tournaments they played on (2006, 2007 & 2009). pTKKK and the Shock Bomb team were the ideal squad for the organization that was looking to make its comeback to the scene, so they managed to come to terms and sign a deal.

Can you tell us a bit more about the organization?

As you could see yourselves, the organization is new, and they decided that we were going to be the team they pick up. Fans of gaming, especially Counter-Strike, had the chance to watch 4gl in the 1.6 era where they dominated for years, and here, we got our chance to represent the organization in the best possible light and give our best at the moment.

Did you reach out to the organization or did they notice you?

Actually, the organization contacted us, they were looking for a team. With the help of good friends in the world of gaming, we managed to connect and we came to an agreement.

Ivan had only good things to say about the new organization. He mentioned that they provided the squad with full support since the beginning and that they have yet to see an organization that has given such good conditions to its players.

How did the negotiation period go?

They knew what they wanted and what they didn’t want. When we talked about things that were to be expected from us in the future and the things happening now, we came to a mutual agreement.

Fortunately and to the satisfaction of both sides, this is one of the rare organizations in the region and we have full support in everything that we do, they are getting to know us and vice versa and we are hoping for perfect cooperation.

One of the problems of regional Counter-Strike is the lack of organizations. Even the slightest support the players get is welcomed by open arms so we are seeing that new organizations and already-existing ones are trying to bring stability to the Adriatic region.

In this time, when the majority of the Balkan teams don’t have organizational support, the appearance of 4glory on the scene and the potential good results will even further motivate organizations in investing in our teams.

How much does the support of an organization mean to you after so many months without a home?

As you know, the general situation in our region is very weak when it comes to organizations and what they can offer, so even the slightest amount of support could be life-changing. But 4glory is on a whole different level that I haven’t seen or heard anywhere else in the regional [Counter-Strike] scene.

We instantly got all the support we could’ve gotten, right when they said they wanted to sign us. We are currently doing a bootcamp in the Relog Media center, probably the best bootcamp in the region and we got everything that we to bring our game to the next level which without the help of an organization wouldn’t be possible,

What are your plans for the future, now when you have a new home?

Our plans are the same. Our goal is to constantly improve and to play big tournaments in the future – we got invites for the Nine To Five 7 Dawn and we will play it starting on the 1st of December, and you will be able to watch us on the ARENA ESPORT TV Channel or on the Relog Media Twitch channel.

The season six CS:GO champions will be determined TONIGHT!

The second CS:GO season of this year is coming to its final stage. A1 Adria League’s sixth season featuring the best FPS competitive game in the industry will see its playoffs stage finish today.

After a great fifth season, lvlUP and Blink, the highest-placed teams secured a direct invite to the sixth season. With €11.000 on the line, lvlUP and Blink, along with the six qualified teams were ready to begin the SWISS portion of the season. The main difference besides the prize pool was a slight, but very important, format change.

ALL matches in the SWISS league were played as BO3 series – we felt that this format is the best way to determine the teams that really deserve the chance to compete in the playoffs. We as viewers had plenty of fun during the last months, and the players had the chance to once again take a part in the greatest regional Counter-Strike league.

With the fifth SWISS round coming to an end, the teams for the playoffs were known. Shock Bomb, now playing as 4gl, upset the favorites – Blink and lvlUP and finished this stage with a perfect 3-0 record. Two Kosovar teams, EAGLES and Blink followed suit, and in the end, the reigning champions beat Good Game to snatch the last playoffs spot.

A Kosovar derby will start the day. At 14 o’clock Blink and EAGLES will face each other – two brothers on opposite teams, Serdar “cerber” Mahmuti against Sener “SENER1” Mahmuti for a spot in the finals. The other matchup won’t disappoint either. Luka “c0llins” Živanović will face his former teammates in lvlUP. As the season 4 & 5 champions will be parting ways with Miloš “dEE” Marčeta and Dimitrije “DiMKE” Veljković after the playoffs, the pressure is on 4gl to deliver. Expectations are high, especially now, when the team signed a contract with 4glory.

A single-elimination four-team bracket will determine the season six winners. While the third-place decider will be played off-stream, the Grand Finals will be available for everyone to watch on A1 Adria League’s Twitch & YouTube channels (20:00).

lvlUP and their road to the sixth A1 Adria League season!

A1 Adria League has been a talent factory since its very first season. Each game featured so far saw players go a step further and reach the next level in their competitive careers. That still hasn’t changed..

The sixth A1 Adria League season recently began. Four games, countless talented players, and an impressive prize pool worth €11,000. The competition is fierce, but there are competitors that stand out and are considered favorites for lifting this season’s trophy.

lvlUP going for their third title in a row

The Serbian side has been a force to be reckoned with for the past two years. The team consists of the core of Miloš “dEE” Marčeta, Filip “aVN” Belojica, and Dimitrije “DiMKE” Veljković along with the newer additions of Nemanja “Impulse” Stankić and most recently, Andrej “Necrogenes1s” Mancheski. These four veterans and the young Macedonian talent, Necrogenes1s, are already establishing themselves as one of the best teams in the lower Europe tiers.

dEE has been a part of the A1 Adria League since its very beginnings. The first season saw Miloš compete as a part of Zonic eSports. His team managed to secure a LAN spot in the online playoffs, but two disappointing 0-2 losses against Valiance and KlikTech put the team in the fourth place. dEE had already improved before the start of the second season. He spearheaded GamePub to a second-place finish and a €3,000 reward in Zagreb.

DiMKE wasn’t so successful in the earlier seasons of the A1 Adria League. He and Impulse finished dead last in the first A1 Adria League group stage and second-to-last in the second season of the League. UltiCoin, the team that he was playing for during the second season had a talented lineup with the likes of Luka “c0llins” Živanović and Pavle “Maden” Bošković under their name, but the squad ultimately failed to deliver.

GamePub

aVN has been a part of the regional scene for quite a while. From the AdriaMasters competitions to the First Serbian League, the player has played for a number of teams and has reached a certain level of success. He also took part in the first season of the League, but his team, proWince, finished at 7th, right in front of DiMKE’s Resistance.

Impulse played the first season of the League as a part of Resistance. A team consisting of the likes of Nikola “Lobanjica” Mijomanović, Nemanja “k1Ng0r” Bošković, Jovan “N1GHTMARE” Derebanoski as well as DiMKE, really seems like a dangerous squad on paper, but in the end, the team couldn’t even play out the entire season. Impulse then had a short stint with the Spanish team, x6tence, and after that, he took on the AWP role in Valiance. Valiance & Impulse didn’t have much trouble in the second season of the League and a victory against GamePub secured them the first place.

Akopalipsa started a new adventure

At the beginning of 2019., a new name appeared in the regional Counter-Strike scene. Akopalipsa was formed by five phenomenal regional players and we instantly saw great results. DiMKE, dEE, and Nemanja “sarenii” Šarenac were the core of the team, and they were joined by Petar “HOLMES” Dimitrijević and Maden.

HOLMES’ team was constantly improving on the regional and European CS:GO scene. Even before the start of the third CSadria Clan Championship season, they were considered the favorites, and they affirmed their dominance in Split. A great showing during the Good Game 2019 qualifiers as well as their first-place finish in CCCS3 brought the attention of some organizations to this Serbian team.

Akopalipsa - CCCS3

After negotiating the contracts with the German organization, BLUEJAYS Sports, dEE & co. signed six-month contracts. The signing of the contracts was supposed to bring stability to the team, but that didn’t happen. Soon after the signing, sarenii left the team, and aVN filled his shoes. This combination of players didn’t show promising results, so the IGL of the team, HOLMES, decided to step down from BLUEJAYS. sarenii returned to the team once again, and this time, the young player took on the IGL role.

Four months after the signing of the contracts, SMASH Esports bought out the Montenegrin player in the team, Maden. BLUEJAYS were once again left without a fifth player, and this time, the position was filled by c0llins, a young Serbian player that was looking for a team at the time. Together with c0llins, BLUEJAYS won the third iteration of the Belgrade Open tournament and they also managed to secure a second-place finish in the tenth ESL SEC season.

Of course, the team achieved their biggest accomplishment when they were no longer a part of BLUEJAYS and were using the ex-BLUEJAYS tag, during the fourth A1AL season. A fantastic season from the team culminated in a spectacular Grand Finals versus the Kosovar team, uNiQUE. ex-BLUEJAYS came out on top and bested their rivals in the third map of the finals, lifting the trophy in Zagreb.

ex-BLUEJAYS - A1 Adria League S4

Two weeks after the LAN finals, Juggernauts (ex-BLUEJAYS) went through another change. Recently before the change happened, Impulse decided to leave the British organization Fierce Esports because of disagreements with the players. Juggernauts offered him an ideal chance to continue with his career, and Impulse gladly accepted the offer.

The team didn’t secure an offline finals spot in the first Relog Esports League, but they easily outplayed the competition in the WESG Adria LAN. Unfortunately, because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the team never got the chance to play the main event in China. Besides Qi Banja Luka and WESG Adria, the Serbian quintet played a number of online cups in the free time they had between LANs.

The new year brought new challenges

Juggernauts didn’t really start the year in a good light. Most of the qualifiers they played ended badly for Miloš “dEE” Marčeta’s team, but they had their good moments as well. In the third qualifiers for the first FLASHPOINT season, they managed to finish in the top 4. The bad form from the team continued in the following months, and in the end, we saw yet another change take place..

In the beginning of May, sarenii announced his departure from the team via TwitLonger. We were approaching the A1 Adria League S5 qualifiers and there weren’t a lot of good regional players without a team, so the team decided to go with an unusual signing. David “devoduvek” Dobrosavljević, a Serbian player that lives in France and has spent his CS:GO career playing for French and international teams joined a Serbian squad for the first time.

Juggernauts qualified for the fifth A1 Adria League season in their first try. Their first match against Athaim (Karavan) ended in a loss for the reigning champions. That was the last match that devoduvek played for the team, and the empty spot on the team was filled by the team’s coach, Darko “soLo” Mitić. This change didn’t hurt the team by much, so they managed to finish the SWISS stage without any more losses.

During the fifth season of the League, Juggernauts received an offer from a Serbian esports organization, lvlUP. This offer came in the right time for the team that had been playing without the support of an organization for months prior. The people behind lvlUP didn’t have to wait much for results because the team won the A1 Adria League just a couple of days after the signing was made official. They beat Blink twice in the playoffs and were also better than the Macedonian Good Game squad (QSKE Gaming during the fifth season).

The sixth A1 Adria League season

After the fifth season ended, the players had a player break that lasted for a month. DiMKE and the team continued playing online cups like Eden Arena: Malta Vibes and the Nine to Five tournaments organized by Relog Media, but also spent their time looking for a potential fifth player. And they found him..

The twenty-one-year-old Macedonian, Andrej “Necrogenes1s” Mancheski is the newest addition to lvlUP. While dEE was a part of the Relog Media podcast, he stated that they noticed Necrogenes1s while the player was a part of Adaptation. Necrogenes1s formed Adaptation together with Anel “NENO” Ceković and two Israeli players, Shiran “shushan” Shushan and Shahur “flameZ” Shushan. The quartet was later joined by Sebastian “Basso” Aagaard, and this mix team accomplished great results in the short period that they spent playing together.

Before receiving lvlUP’s offer, Necrogenes1s often played with NENO. The duo won the Macedonian A1 Game Fest tournament in the end of 2019., and in the tournament’s final they met the current Good Game squad, without Jasmin “JasmiNhs” Murič. Necrogenes1s’ team played in a similar competition during MESA’s Quarantine Online tournament, but Jane “aidKiT” Apostoloski’s squad managed to dominate the veteran team.

Going into the sixth season of the League, lvlUP may have their biggest challenge in front of them. Good Game and Blink have the potential to upset the Serbs in a BO3, and GODZ1337 and Shock Bomb have the surprise factor by their side. The other teams shouldn’t be written off too, but these four rosters have the highest chances of beating the current champions.

Will the lvlUP players win three seasons in a row or will a new roster rise up to the challenge? You can watch lvlUP’s potential road to a third title on our Twitch channel, and the team’s next opponents are the Kosovar team MiKS…