Degster's hard path to esports: wasn't taken seriously because of age, dodged drugs, proved himself to conservative family
The history of Gasanov's love with CS is familiar to everyone: an older brother showed him the game and took him to internet cafes. And then the entertainment mixed with the dream of a career: Abdul thought over linking his life with the games for a long time.
I discovered Counter-Strike when I was six. I was always asking my brother to take me to the internet cafe, we played de_mansion there, I adored that map.
I couldn't reach my keyboard and mouse at the same time, so he moved and I shot. In general, I always liked to play computer games. I think this is what made me different from my peers.
<...> CS was an ordinary game for me until I started watching professional matches and following the stage. Then I realized that I want to get better and better every day. And so, step by step, I improved, and at some point, I realized that I want to try myself against the best players, the best teams in the world. But it was all a long process, not a momentary decision.
At the age of 14, Abdul began to participate in tournaments in Makhachkala. Before parents were just worried that their child was sitting at the computer too much, but after that they started a fierce confrontation with CS in his life.
At the tournament in Makhachkala, there were matches until late. My father called and threatened me. I asked the seniors to explain that everything is fine... This is the Caucasus, it is actually very difficult to explain there what I do and what I want.
<...> My parents were skeptical about my hobby. It was hard for them to believe that the child would earn money by playing on the computer. Now, of course, it is easier to do so, but during my childhood, there were simply no convincing examples that I could point to. Moreover, at that time I was still in school, so I did not need to rush into making a decision. I asked my parents to understand me, and as an exception they let me go to a LAN in Moscow.
Degster's uncle was the toughest against esports: during one of the quarrels, he even threatened to hit his nephew. But when Abdul started playing at a high level and winning tournaments, his uncle was the first to admit that he was wrong. And became degster's main fan.
The oldest of my uncles (my father has ten brothers and sisters) came to me once and said: "What you’re doing is shit, all these computer games, they'll scam you there. And why are you looking at me like that?" And I had this angry look, I never hide my emotions. If someone speaks to me like that, I show what I feel. And so it was like that with my uncle. He said: "Why are you looking like that, I’m gonna beat the shit out of you."
I asked my family to give me a year to prove myself, and if I will, they’ll stop bothering me. My father came and said: "I’ll give you that year, I believe in you, do what you think is right. And don’t mind his [uncle’s] words." Well, now when I speak to this uncle, he has the most respect for me, out of any people I know. He always admits that I proved my words.
Degster recalled that people from Moscow or acquaintances of teammates had an advantage on joining teams. Since Abdul lived in Dagestan, he rarely visited LANs in central Russia and could not prove himself initially. Over time, his parents began to let Gasanov go to tournaments, and the players stopped being bothered by the fact that he lives in Dagestan.
There were many situations when people leaned toward their acquaintances, people from Moscow, and those who are closer to them when choosing players. The fact that I am from Dagestan made a lot of people think twice, let's put it this way.
There were a lot of such situations. I don't want to get personal now. Let's put it this way: mostly likely it wasn't just about Dagestan, but about the fact that no one knew me, no one listened that I want to break through somewhere there.
By the way, degster also had problems in Makhachkala: no one invited him into the teams because of his age. This is how Abdul abandoned Dota 2 and switched to CS.
There was a computer club in Makhachkala. I still remember it was called Cyber Arena. And during one of its tournament drafts, I wrote to every team that needed a player. I liked to play carry or mid back then. The most understanding guys didn’t ignore me but wrote: "It’s all cool, bro, we believe you are good, but you’re way too young while we swear a lot."
I was so upset I stopped playing Dota. At all.
In the end, I bought CS:GO during a sale. I started a match: I run, I shoot, but the guys won't die: “This game is shit!” I did not know that you must control your spray. So I abandoned CS for a year. I returned when I learned that CS tournaments appeared in Makhachkala.
<...> I trained for 8 hours on AIM and played MM only for 2 hours. We played against the top 1 of Makhachkala, I picked their best map. They smashed us, all my teammates were angry at me.
Degster calls a trip to a LAN to Moscow a turning point in his life. It was a birthday gift from his parents. The team didn't win, but Abdul joined the CS crowd: starix and Boombl4 gave a couple of useful tips.
I understood that this was my opportunity to meet people from big esports. The Winstrike roster with Boombl4 came to that tournament then, also starix was there as well. I understood that LAN was a great opportunity to prove myself. This could show people who had not taken me to the team before, because I am not from Moscow, but from Dagestan, that they were wrong.
Probably degster's most unpleasant moments in life happened with him in college. At school, Abdul was withdrawn, but in college, he immediately joined the new community. The reality of student parties was not for him: the girls were “ready for anything,” and friends were taking drugs. Degster prefers a more chill ways to socialize, CS, and career success.
College, 6 months. I made friends with everyone, even those who were the most violent. And, accordingly, I became a part of the party life. I was taken to different places. There was a guy, his father was a general. He hosted huge parties.
On these parties I saw how the beautiful girls, about whom I had a super-childish opinion that they couldn’t do anything wrong, were ready for anything for any nonsense. At that moment, a lot of things around me were related to drugs. Childhood friends suggested them to me, were telling stories how they see Sponge Bob and Squidward. They really loved that shit.
It was hell and I knew I would never try it. And I remain true to my opinion, never tried drugs, and never plan to. I have a lot of pleasures in my life, I'm on cloud nine from everything. Even from just talking to people, like on this podcast. I don’t need drugs for a high life.
Degster's first tournament as a regular OG player will be BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2022. What can we expect from Abdul?