1. Hello ZEKO, first of all I’d like to thank you for taking part in this interview. Could you please introduce yourself to the people who do not know you? If I am not wrong, you reached great success also in PUBG next to COD4.
Hi, My nickname is ZEKO and I have been playing Call of Duty 4 since the start basically, but I started being decent around 2012/2013 and that is the time I entered my really only real team - team sniip. From around 2013 to 2017 we won a lot of LANs, but they were only local ones and a lot of second places while running toe to toe against old Gunrunners team. We really didn't have the finances then to attend something international other then Budapest because we were young and without work. After 2017, when PUBG was released , I left the team (CoD4 was almost dead before you guys revived it) and I had huge success there where I qualified for a major with my team and I also coached team entropiq to win their first major and we went to World championship tourney in Dubai last year as well, I retired there because my real life work doesn't allow me to spend as much time on PUBG as I did before.
2. Currently you are playing for team NFY and your line-up changed in one position compared to the last offline tournament. Could you tell us the story why did you change player in your roster? As I noticed, you have 4 permanent members, but the 5th player is changing event by event.
This team always had trouble with their 5th player even before I arrived , core members consisting of BENA, Denci, dejo were always finding other players last minute and stuff. It is hard because you can't implement someone that easy when 3 of you know each other for 10+ years. That new player will always be a "dark sheep". Since I arrived, one LAN denci couldn't attend (his daughter was born) and then we mixed BunZ0RRR. After that, Denci could play again and we attended Budapest where we did okayish but we got notified by Denci that he will be quitting COD because of his real life issues. He said that 3 weeks before last HOG LAN and we didn't have much time finding 5th so we asked matt who everyone knew from before. After last LAN, I was already talking with ks3l and knowing his reputation and skill from before, it was basically a no brainer for us to ask him.
3. One year passed from the last COD4 LAN, what do you think, is the team performance better now than last year? What is different in your team compared to last year? How would you rate the chemistry inside your team now?
Team performance is a lot better than last year, we are taking it more seriously because we think we are a lot better then we showed on Playoffs Stages on LAN. Difference from last year, is that we have ks3l, who helped us a lot with strats & especially he fixed our nades a lot, which were non-existent before. We only relied on pure aim and that could only get us through group stage.
4. In 2022 you played on all three international COD4 LANs in Zagreb and in Budapest with NFY and your performance was really outstanding during the Group Stage, but Sundays (Playoffs) didn’t go too well. Why did your performance significantly dropped during Playoffs, while you are a beast during the Group Stage? How did you felt on these LANs last year in general? How would you rate your performance?
I mean, this question is basically our meme on discord, we are known to go out(clubs) after Group Stage and then we get destroyed. On Sunday we are practically dead whole dead and exhausted as well so we do really really bad and we don't have on focus. This LAN is in Zagreb so we know everything already and we want to approach it as serious as ever and try to change our bad reputation on Sunday. :D
5. You won seven games and lost only two games in the FPSChallenge Autumn League 2023 Group Stage, which is really outstanding. You won against APES as well. How would you rate your online preparation (practice) matches in the last two months? Are you happy with the current form of your team? Did your team practice enough days according to you?
We really have never played as much as we did now. League was a good timing for us and everyone else as well, before LAN so we try to take it as preparation for LAN, we really don't care for winning it , atleast not before LAN. I am really happy with our current form, I think we would beat Victory Wings as well if we played any other day. We are practicing every other day, which was never happened in NFY history.
6. 16 teams are gonna participate on this LAN in Croatia now. What do you think about the teams in general?
I think that these 16 teams are, really, really freaking good other then maybe 2 teams. Everyone is playing everyday, strating and everyone has a good chance. This will be the toughest LAN to win yet! I don't think it is a walk in the park for qwertz this time.
7. The Groups has been revealed few days ago, what do you think about the Groups? Are them balanced based on your opinion? Which one is the strongest and which one is the easiest according to you?
I think group A is stronger, but I rather be in Group A than B, because there are some teams in Group B that are really motivated to play against us like (Victory Wings, fatkidz and Unknown) While in this group, we are always motivated to play against qwertz & APES so I feel it suits us better.
8. Which teams you consider as the biggest threat (rival) for NFY? Furthermore, who is the player(s) especially who can make hard time for your team?
I will talk only for me, but I consider Unknown our biggest rival. We basically passed the torch from sniip to Unknown but they haven't yet proved how good they are and have dissapointed a bit as well. We still haven't beat them on LAN with NFY, I hope that we will beat them finally. P.S. I hate miki he is the worst player ever. ;)
9. What is your prediction about TOP3 of this LAN event? Based on your opinion which player(s) has the biggest chance to win the LAN MVP award?
1. qwertz, 2. NFY, 3. Unknown. I think Ljustvo is the best player in this game for last 2 years, this guy doesn't play at all and still demolishes everyone, I think he will be the MVP.
10. What are your expectations about your team’s performance on this Zagreb LAN? What kind of final result would you be satisfied with?
I will be satisfied only with top two, with all the time we put in practice and stuff, everything else will be disappointing.
11. What do you think, which team will surprise the community? Who is your secret favorite, that is underestimated by the other teams, but you know they will perform really well?
I think this time, if blbb attends, it will be Victory Wings, because they are playing everyday and they have a lot of strats. If not Victory Wings, then maybe eSeven, I think people underestimate them a lot.
12. We have seen some promising pictures from the LAN venue, and you already played two times in this esport arena. How would you rate the HOG esport arena? Are you feeling hyped about the upcoming event?
People don't know this but my friends are owners of HOG so I spent a lot of time there even outside LANs. I think it is the best arena in Croatia and even maybe in whole Balkan. I am always hyped a lot for LANS in CoD4, best feeling ever. :)
13. Thank you for taking part in the interview. Is there anything you'd like to add?
I want to congratulate to the whole FPSChallenge crew, you have been doing outstanding job, even though some people like to talk shit a lot, you need to understand they like a game a lot, so that is the reason. Keep doing it and I hope there will be more LANs in the future. :)