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Frag eXecutors from inside: pasha

Napisał lecho, 11/02/2011 17:15

After (too) long break I'm back to my series of features which will bring you a closer look on Frag eXecutors' players. This time we will see how our sniper, Jarek "pasha" Jarzabkowski, has started his esports career and how long was his road before he made it to the "The Golden Five".

A D V E R T I S M E N T


Along with AGAiN signing for Frag eXecutors, the team made their first permanent change since bringing in kuben (2006!). Lukasz "LUq" Wnek was replaced with fellow sniper Jaroslaw "pasha" Jarzabkowski. On that time pasha was considered a leader of second best Polish Counter-Strike team, D-Link PGS, and also recognized as one of the best Polish players, a potential candidate to play for "The Golden Five". But how his early esports career looked like, before he started to be a recognizable figure in Polish esports? Let's take a closer look from the inside at this extremely interesting person and player!


Nasielsk beginnings

Jarek's first experience with games wasn't very unusual. After childish fascination with consoles such as Nintendo (- "I've had a Nintendo 64 and was going around with some guy on skiis" - he remembers) the time came to discover early XXI century's classic place of multiplayer initiations - internet cafes. Nowadays they are rather forgotten in Poland, but these gaming places raised many talents with Counter-Strike being widely spreaded amongst them, also because it's reasonably low (comparing to Quake or Unreal) system requirements. That's why counter started taking over cafes from Quakers and those who remained had no option but trying the new, interesting game. That's exactly what Jarek did.

- "Ten years ago it was Quake, I don't remember which one, I've got into it and played a lot since new game appeared in the cafe - CS. I've switched instantly" - says pasha. Counter-Strike attracted him that much that he had witnessed another typical esport players syndrome: - "Since then, for many years I haven't played any other game. Well, I've played some Diablo, but only a little bit." Pasha's first amateur clan was a team of his colleagues named Dolarki (Dollars), which soon after started competing in ClanBase, very popular at that time. It quickly proved that Jarek's skills quickly surpassed his teammates and his debut in a widely known team became only a matter of time.


Cheater, cheater!

It was 2004 and he came to STER, which at that time was recognizable team in Poland. Our hero never really was a type of "geek". Tall, portly and self confident player didn't have any troubles with his more experienced teammates. - "I don't have such attitude that I come into a team and act like a newcomer, I rather say what I think and play my game" - explains Jarek. But anonymous, well performing players are always suspicious. Maybe those were the reasons behind naming pasha a cheater - something that was behind him for a long time. The thing becomes even more interesting when you learn that first person which accused Jarek of using some external help was his STER and Infernal Connection teammate - Longbow.


JJarek during his debut - TwinLoc LAN 2006 in German city of Magdeburg.

Source: pasha


- "It wasn't only Longbow, I think that everybody accused me of cheating" - tells pasha and instantly sticks a pin to Polish "community elite" of that time. - "It was like: you don't go to a tournament, so you're a cheater. And I wasn't going on LAN-s because I was too young, fifteen or something, no way I would go to a tournament." But these accusations never affected Jarek, who - as we can see - from the very beginning of his esport adventure realised how variable supporter's love can be. Bullied, banned from servers and named on various blacklist, he never paid attention to such things. He consequently played his game. - "I was thinking: okay, let them talk" - he remembers.


LAN debut... in Germany

Finally the time came to make a debut in offline tournament. It was October 2006 and Jarek was playing for Team Wilta.positiVo.pl, which he joined after quitting Infernal Connection to replace Damian "phoen1x" Bonislawski. What is uncommon is that pasha's first LAN was no minor Polish event but... German TwinLoc, huge LAN party which took place at the end of the month in Magdeburg! - "I never saw a Polish LAN but went abroad, to Germany" - he laughs.


With XxX on TwinLoc's podium - second place in 2v2 tournament.

Source: Figh7Club


In Magdeburg it quickly became obvious that Jarek's talent doesn't need any illegal help. Albeit Wilda team got kicked out of 5v5 tournament rather quickly with a single victory in the bag, in two versus two competition pasha and Dawid "XxX" Plonski made it to the final. Although they lost it to German duo bLAMeR and daNiel, second place was still a great and valuable result. In the same time our hero became a specialist at winning all type of aim and AWP competitions, which helped him to become more popular as a potential new talent with huge capabilities. Jarek himself thinks that one of the things that helped him to develop as a player was playing 2v2 games. - "There was a time when I played a lot of 2v2's with a friend from my town, over a dozen per day" - he says. - "It also helped me - I could practice maps, AWP or something else."


Happy Five Server Friends

A thing as much important as first achievements for Wilda was the fact that in this team Jarek for the first time became a part of a harmonious pack which had the ambitions to mark their place in the community. Together with forementioned XxX and also Wader, madrail and dARKSWN, only a month after their trip to Germany Wilda travelled to Poznan for PGA 2006. They've secured a spot in the main tournament by beating Delta in extremely tight qualification matches. But Poznan proved to be inhospitable for pasha and his colleagues. TW.positiVo.pl won only one game (against... Frag eXecutors!), suffering pretty heavy defeats in the remaining ones. But the players didn't chose the way of changing the lineup entirely, which was common for their domestic rivals. Instead of that they started to work hard in order to to improve their game.


PGA 2006 - Team Wilda playing The Netrunners.

Source: uysy


One they did change was... the employer. At the end of January 2007, right before the start of another Counter-Strike tournament season, pasha's team ended their cooperation with Wilda, joining Team Delta instead. Team's lineup remained the same. The only rotations were between six players: dARKSWN, madrail, phoen1x, pasha, Wader and team leader XxX. - "XxX was keeping us together and for a long time we've had a pack of 6-7 lads. We weren't living in the same city though" - says Jarek. The fact that players didn't leave nearby makes it even more impressive that they still - of course with some minor changes - played together to 2009!

But let's get back to Delta and the main goal that pasha's team has set for the season - performing well at the Electronic Sports World Cup Poland 2007. It turned out once again that plans are not always becoming reality. Delta qualified to Poznan tournament but the capital of Wielkopolska again proved to be inhospitable for Jarek and his team. Losing in every of their five games meant that they were placed last, but the team still managed to put a decent fight against EasyTeam (BEn, izzy, jOOLZ, psita, ths) and ULTRAFRAG (ham, hollow, rDh, rOM, SHEEN).


During PGA 2006 with Wilda manager mario_O and PawelS.

Source: uysy


Because of this defeat pasha started to consider another options and a short period after ESWC 2007 he decided to join rebuilding EasyTeam lineup. Though he haven't stay for long - after only a month he decided to step aside for Mateusz "motyw" Oryl and took a sabbatical from CS. Moreover, it wasn't his only break. - "I've had these breaks when I was going abroad to my father: for four months, then for another four, then I've took another trip before coming home and started playing again" - Jarek explains. - "It was never like I stopped playing because I was bad or I didn't like it, or whatever"


There is (almost) no place like Delta

In September 2007 Jarek returned to Poland - and to CS. Warm place awaited him at Delta in which he reunited with his old friends plus Krzysztof "ruthless" Bartnik, who was replacing him during his inactivity period. New-old Delta kept playing on their level, being more or less close to Poland's elite. It was more difficult as temporary roster changes came more often - with i.e. Rafal "sm1te" Halaczkiewicz joining the "rotation players" group. It didn't affected the team's management though. Jarek always valued Delta high, considering it a better team comparing to these he had played for before joining Frag eXecutors. - "Delta was a good team. The others were promising much, but doing s**t instead - he cuts.


PGA 2007 - pasha in Delta's colours in the right bottom corner next to Mit0s.

Source Counter-Strike.pl


During PGA 2007 pasha finally got rid of the "curse of Poznan". Team Delta was one of the tournament's revelations: they advanced to playoffs after defeating GSM-punkt, then lost to Frag eXecutors but outplayed strong UNITED team. The final was out of reach though as sensational performance by Fx forced PGSPokerStrategy.com to play in the losers bracket and the champions gave Delta second (after group stage) CS lesson. Nevertheless third place was a mark of progress after previous results (no qualification for WCG Poland 2007, "traditional" 5/6. at HLC 2007)


Little exile

Considering that it was even more surprising to hear that Delta isn't to continue cooperation with their team in 2008. Jarek and his colleagues became "homeless" players, but this state didn't last for long - just few days after parting ways with Delta our sniper worn Polish eXtreme Gamblers tag. But... he didn't play any single official match for them and after only a month together with phoen1x he joined his old Wilda buddies: Wader and XxX, also new in the pack Daniel "myth" Bukalski, to create a team named MODECOM. Madrail quickly followed their trails and old Wilda lineup reunited again to fight for their place on Polish CS scene.


In BVG's blue, team still the same as in Wilda or Delta.

Source: Cybersport.pl


The team encountered bad luck in ESWC Poland, losing qualification to FF.X-Fi with two 14:16 defeats. They also failed to qualify to WCG Poland 2008 LAN finals. Because of that before another important tournament they decided to capture very promising Lukasz "drive" Snopkiewicz and with this change MODECOM became a revelation of Heyah Logitech Cybersport 2008 league phase. Right before the finals they ended the cooperation with current sponsor and changed team name to vokaL. In Warsaw pasha demonstrated his potential again as the team finished on very high fourth place. Again Jarek had the bitter opportunity to suffer a defeat from his current colleague's hands - vokaL lost heavily to Meet Your Makers in the semifinal. But overall good performance by the team was noticed by BVG managers who were used to this kind of chances and contracted the promising lineup immediately.


National representative on gas station

With his new team Jarek did very well on their debut at AlleGra 2008. New BVG division finished Poznan's event second only to Frag eXecutors. They've convincingly beaten Delta though, which have been named Polish second force together with Fx. It's worth mentioning that Meet Your Makers skipped AlleGra. Thanks to his good, steady performances pasha was spotted by Polish national team captain, Mateusz "OzoN" Glowinski, who was in the middle of team's selection for ClanBase Nations Cup and the most important event of international season - the European Nations Championship.

- "Making it to the national team was another step" - recalls pasha and honestly adds what was his main target at this point of his gaming career. - "Slowly, silently I was making my small steps to get into the famous five - thinking that when for some reason one of them will quit, I could step up!" Apart from building his reputation as Polish scene's top class sniper Jarek had also started to show his skills abroad. A trip to Goeteboerg with Betsson Voodoo Gaming for KODE5 Sweden in April 2009 was a great opportunity to do so. But not everything there went like he thought it will.


Goeteborg, KODE5 Szwecja 2009 with BVG. The luggage is also there :-)

Source: Netgaming.pl


Firstly, "Dolls" were drawn into a hard group with mousesports, Begrip and Blank (with face and SpawN). It's easy to realize that the Poles weren't the favourites: they've lost all of their games and were eliminated right after the first stage. But the "best" was yet to come. It turned out that BVG managers had a little suprirse for their players. - "We went to Goeteboerg and it proved that we don't have any hotel booked" - Jarek narrates. - "We had to sleep on the railway station and spend our day on the gas station". Now our sniper tells it with humour, but back then tired and downhearted players certainly weren't laughing about this.

Our player was never hiding his disappointment about Polish organizations. - "I could use "Nasielsk" tag and pay domestic trips by myself, these aren't very big money" - he thinks. It is hardly suprirising that Swedish incident marked the end of pasha's team adventure with BVG. Another interesting offer from much more reputable team came into sight, and that team at that time was D-Link PGS.


Second force

In May 2009 drive, myth, pasha, phoen1x and ruloN joined PGS. They've made a real enter of the dragon in their new colours. In the first official Cybersport League match they've sensationally took dust2 away from "The Golden Five" which played for WICKED eSports! The team started to play brilliant Counter-Strike with pasha being its unquestioned leader. - "Rarely you can find people with such an ambition" - pasha praises his PGS colleagues. - "We wanted to compete and to win. We were beating everyone except from the "Golden Five" guys, although we took a map away from them." As it turned out - not the last one.


Jarek and Artur "dOK" Kaleta holding Polish flag on ENC podium.

Source: HLTV.org


PGS was outplaying their domestic rivals in a way not far from "The Golden Five". Jarek himself developed his game to the point in which he started to be considered as a player whose skills matched Polish champions. This confirmed when "ninjas" sniper became a first selection for Polish national team, which spreaded their wings in ENC qualification. White-and-reds won the slot in the final four with no problems. Captain OzoN had no choice, but to select pasha to the lineup for LAN finals. In Cologne Poles: dOK, Loord, Neo, pasha and TaZ showed good performance and won bronze medal. Germans were too strong though, but French team had to give up and lost third place playoff 0:2.

One of the main architects of this success was Jarek, praised for his efficient and brave play against internationally famous players. It ended discussions about his cheating for good. - "I showed what I am capable of and people stopped their smacktalking" - reckons pasha. Also in Cologne he had his first occasion to know "The Golden Five" players better: - "I instantly got into touch with Neo, we found our own language and it stayed like that since now." Surely pasha's good performance at the ENC had affected the personal decisions that were to be made in AGAiN at the end of the year.

But before this could happen, D-Link PGS team again marked their presence, this time at WCG Poland 2009. The tournament was meant to be an easy pie for four time world champions from "The Golden Five", who were getting back to their winning form, but it turned out to be the most intense battle since SpecSter and Aristocracy times. G5 and PGS teams battled in the grand finals and the supporters couldn't believe what they see when "ninja" team, who were on the momentum after vital performance with Delta (22:19!), were dominating the world champions and found themselves on the verge of victory! And then the lights came off.

- "We were in a good situation, winning rounds, had a lot of cash" - recalls Jarek. - "The referees didn't give us back our money though, they didn't fix the economy. We've lost one round and had to play eco when normally we had funds for three more - I think that was the reason." Despite being in the lead PGS lost 13:16 on nuke. On dust2 AGAiN won 16:11 and could start their practicing to gold performance at World Cyber Games 2009. But Jarek still thinks it could've gone either way. - "For sure we should have won nuke and we would have to win another map. I don't know how could it go but when we were looking at their faces it was obvious they felt serious threat" - he says. - "We've put some serious resistance against them and it felt like a little bit more and we can take it. If we only could have one more player..." - he regrets.

Unfortunately, bad times started for PGS. The team's financial situation became worse and worse and it affected players' motivation. One by one gamers were leaving the team and soon also the Counter-Strike team was on the crossroads again. But Jarek is still happy that he had a chance to play with such talented group: - "If I could have the experience I have now and was as smart as I've become during this year, we could put up a fight."


PGS team before DreamHack 2009.

Source: mariO_o


And he did - but not anymore in PGS. The team's last tournament they appeared together with pasha was DreamHack 2009 when this lineup showed its potential again, fighting like evens with H2k Gaming (6:16 @ de_dust2) and Meet Your Makers (13:16 @ de_train, 8:16 @ de_dust2).


- "To China?!"

In the meantime pasha had the opportunity to make his debut in the Intel Extreme Masters IV playing as Fx.mix with fellows from PGS and Delta. The team proved to be the revelation of the groupstage with bold, although lost display against fnatic and winning against all other rivals - which was uncommon to other Polish teams in international competition. The fairytale ended with Meet Your Makers proving to be too strong in the match for direct qualification to the finals, but the Poles gave them some hard times even without any regular practice. Polish CS fans saw this potential new Frag eXecutors lineup as a possible rival for AGAiN and there were ideas to keep them together.

- "For sure we would be number two and maybe we could fight agaist the guys" - says pasha. - "There were offers for this lineup, some German team wanted us, also someone from Poland... But nothing really serious." - reminds Jarek. Also the players' loyalty to their current teams appeared as a potential problem. - "Something about friends, how it will look like, whatever", and Fx.mix proved to be a one time mix. But pasha had his own plans - it turned out that his small steps method is working and he will finally be able to reach his goal. At least temporarily.


Hand shake with Patrik "cArn" Sattermon after losing the WEM semifinal.

Source: aAa


Right before the World Esports Masters 2009 smashing news came out that Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas won't come to Beijing having to deal with his university exams. AGAiN had to find a replacement, who will deal with pressure and get together with the team - and had to do it quickly. - "It was odd. I was sitting in front of my computer and then, in the same moment, Neo and kuben messaged me. They said: if you have some time now, join us at Ventrillo" - recalls pasha. - "I've joined and they straightly asked me if I want to go to China with them. To China?! They've said that they will arrange everything because we are leaving in four days. Okay then. I agreed!"

AGAiN and pasha didn't even have the time to practice but despite that they started the tournament on a high passing through MYM, TyLoo and TitaNs. In semifinal though the Swedes from fnatic had a partial revenge for WCG 2009 and the Poles were left on... 3/4th place (there were no third place playoff). Also future Frag eXecutors team had an opportunity to spend two full weeks together in the Central Country. And also all of the rumors about possible "state of war" between pasha and LUq, who Jarek was to replace in AGAiN's lineup, are not true.


Best Polish snipers' Christmas :-)

Source: pasha


- "We had one fight in China, but it wasn't anything important. Plus some smacktalking, you know, like in a team" - says pasha. - "It was cool, we partied together, drank some juice. We spent two weeks in China and had our juice four times. We found our common language!" Residing together in China also allowed pasha to find this language with other "Golden Five" players. It was common enough that when after almost four years of playing in basically the same lineup the team felt the urge to make a change, the Polish champions already knew who they are going to pick.


Golden Five plus pasha

- "There were no hesitation. The guys told me that they want to play with me, why would I refuse to play with them?" - pasha recalls his AGAiN transfer, which made him sign a deal with Frag eXecutors. As we all remember, the beginnings were tough. Suddenly LUq fans started to flame Jarek, who obviously wasn't responsible for the change in any other way than his good performances. Instead, the concert of pointing out his mistakes started.


[/tabe]
- "They got on me, don't know why, I though that I was a player they like" - tells Jarek about this early criticism. - "I was in PGS, we took a map away from the guys, were owning everyone else and so forth. Then I moved to Fx and they started to hate me." The flaming didn't help and the revised team were performing below the expectations. But the new "fifth element" didn't even thought about quitting. It wasn't in his style. But the attacks hurt and were making it more difficult to familiarize in the new surrounding. It's a big difference between being a full-time player rather than being a stand-in.
[table]

With Frag eXecutors after their first international victory - e-Stars Seul 2010.

Source: HLTV.org

The beginnings were difficult but now - if needed - pasha can step in front.

Source: Frag eXecutors


- "You can't ignore criticizm. I was stressed and the first tournaments were weaker - well, they were weak. But with every appearance my confidence grew and this is how it is now". And how it is? Since ESWC 2010 the teams' - and Jarek's - form was systematically improving. Then came victory in e-Stars Seul, podium finishes at GameGune and WEM and WCG 2010 bronze medal. It turned out that pasha is not only on the same level as the others, but he also can step up and in a difficult moment add this little "something" to the game, just like everyone was hoping for from him. Also the Frag eXecutors supporters saw what he can bring to the team and are starting to show their sympathy towards him.

This is why it isn't strange that Jarek Jarzabkowski's target for his second full year of playing in one of the best teams in the history is simple: - "Win as much tournaments as we can!"


A D V E R T I S M E N T


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