Written By: Steve Vegvari
Recently, I was able to speak to professional eSports player; Nikolai Seth. Online he may be better known as Kritikal. I got him to tell me all about what it is like playing PUBG in the competitive space.
Nikolai has quite the lineage of playing games competitively. Coming from a four year stint of playing Call of Duty for teams Mindfreak and Fright. While this has not been the first time I have heard the transition from Call of Duty to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, it is interesting to see the conversion.
Nikolai now stands next to Potato, Edge, and Champz on the Australian based Mindfreak PUBG roster.
Q: Give us a bit of an introduction.
A: Hey, My name is Nikolai and I am from Western Australia. I’m 25 years old and currently stream a lot of PUBG and play for Mindfreak in the OC region.
Q: What got you into competing?
A: I started about 10 years ago. First playing in some Australian online competitions for Call of Duty. It was very small but grew each year to quite a decent size. I was competing at LANs around the country and also played overseas at the CoD Championships in 2013. I’ve always been a very competitive person after playing soccer at a young age.
Q: At what point did eSports go from hobby to profession?
A: I wouldn’t outright call it a profession for myself at this stage. I have always generally taken it very seriously. With the release of PUBG, it has become a massive opportunity for many players to attempt to make this transition.
Q: What has the experience been like to play PUBG competitively?
A: It is very different to other games as you have a lot less control when in a PUBG match. So many things can happen. It’s definitely a very fresh experience, while taking it seriously you have to understand that not everything is going to go your way. You can only attempt to limit the randomness as much as possible by your own actions.
Q: With such a fresh landscape, how have you prepared youself going into each match?
A: The game is so new I definitely wouldn’t say I’m at a stage where I would say i have it worked out. For me, it’s stick to the basics, stay calm and do the best with what you get in the match. Of course it can be very frustrating when dealing with the RNG of circle and loot but you have to roll with it.
Q: Where do you see the future of PUBG going in the eSports scene?
A: Very hard to predict. I think it will be very successful as long as it remains entertaining for people to watch. So the spectator tools being improved on is a big deal but I think they have plans for that. I would like to see more solo tournaments as the current way the game plays seems more suited to them. Squads and Duos don’t necessarily work as well with the current circle meta.
Q: Do you see any competitive advantages for the game once it arrives on consoles?
A: Directly, probably not. It could provide a lot more eyes on the game. PUBG seems to have already taken up a big space in the industry and I’m sure a lot of people who watch the game don’t even currently play it – but they may when it’s on console. If it’s anywhere near as successful as it has been on PC then hopefully a lot more funding can go into improving the base game.
Q: What have you been doing to deal with the RNG during each match?
A: Staying calm and being ready to adapt to any situation. You may be dealt a horrible a circle situation but if you don’t panic and make basic mistakes you can still get through the RNG with a little luck! I think awareness is the most important skill in the game right now, so if you pick up on things quickly and have the mechanics to back it up, you will come out on top in most situations.
Q: What is an important tip you can give to any eSports enthusiasts out there?
A: Make sure you enjoy what you’re doing. From the outside, eSports can look very attractive. Just remember it’s going to take a lot of your time and often for not too much reward. So it’s all about making sensible choices. Be realistic!
Q: What can everyone expect to see from you in the coming months?
A: Most of my time is spent grinding for leaderboards on stream. Just out there to have some fun as well. I also play in most tournaments that are going on in OC. Currently ESU and soon the CyberGamer league coming up.
Q: Where can people find you online?
A: I stream almost every day over at Twitch.tv/kritikal_motion. You can follow me on Twitter @_kritikal and YouTube.com/KritikalMotion. I intend to keep playing PUBG and look forward to seeing where it goes as the potential is so huge.