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Russian Ronin: Taking Aim At The UPL

Upsurge Esports (Written by Tejaun Richard) 2/4/2021


What’s up everyone? 


Today I have a player spotlight for you of one of the newest faces to hit the Upsurge Premier League - Andrew “Russian Ronin” Fursov. I had the honor of talking to him a few days ago and I was very interested in sharing his story with everyone, so now I get to share a bit about what I learned from him with you.  


Andrew Fursov, known online and in the Upsurge community as "Russian Ronin" is an ADC who currently plays in the Upsurge Premier League for the Striking Vipers. He has been playing League of Legends since the end of season 3, back when he was in the 8th grade. His fondest memory of the time he started playing was being on his 4-year-old Dell Inspiron laptop (which he described as "really bad") and playing Gragas in the top lane for the first time, only to be astounded by the number of brushes in the top lane. After being introduced to the game, he never really left. League of Legends has been his primary game ever since. He has goals of being Master or Grandmaster tier by the end of the season and hopefully becoming good enough to reach Challenger one day because that would be the point at which he's satisfied with the time he's put into the game. Even though he currently ranks within the top 2% of players on the North American server, it's not enough for him. As a  part of the Striking Vipers, he's also played in the Risen Open Qualifiers, where they placed first. His previous tournament appearance before the UPL was in the Risen Champions League Winter 2021 tournament. 


In addition to being an amateur player, Fursov is a student at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he will dedicate five years to studying Mechanical Engineering. College for him is a strict priority, as he says that he'd love to be able to repay his parents with a degree for all of the time, finances, energy, and support that they've given to him throughout his academic campaign. This motivates him to work hard and put nothing else before his education- not even League of Legends or the thought of going professional. Nevertheless, he said he'd be open to pursuing professional opportunities (should they come) afterward. As an engineer in the making, Fursov spends most of his academic time juggling schoolwork and co-op work experience opportunities as part of the on-and-off curriculum approach at Drexel. He also plays League of Legends for their collegiate team.


His life on the team is not as stressful as one would imagine. According to Fursov, his normal events of the day consist of waking up, his normal hygienic routine, breakfast, classes, schoolwork, and then he rounds out his days with anywhere between 3-5 hours of solo queue. Most of the preparation for his games is done by the jungler, with Fursov's main priority being to get better and "right-clicking in games". He also takes extra care to monitor the meta and put about 5-10 games of practice on champs that the team wants him to play in order to bring them into scrims and, afterward, into matches where they can translate those results into wins. 


Fursov explained that there are numerous differences between playing solo queue and playing League at an amateur level. For starters, the major difference was that he generally plays without direction in solo queue games. There's less structure and the players normally just play for themselves or autopilot through the game, for better or worse. He also noted that the mental attitude of the players is different and that it's refreshing to play on a team where all of his teammates are driven and dedicated to winning as the ultimate priority.  In the amateur scene, he also can more consistently play with the same people, noting that one of his teammates has been playing with him since his freshman year of high school. He also tends to play the same champions consistently, which is something he noted that he finds hard to do in solo queue, where he will rotate between 3-4 of the meta champs at the time to keep from boredom and burnout from playing the same champion repeatedly. His favorite champions are Vayne, Kai'Sa, and Aphelios. He especially likes how intricate Aphelios' kit is and how there's always something new to learn about the champion. Fursov also admitted that solo queue is not something he enjoys as an ADC (he highly prefers the coordinated and structured atmosphere of flex and/or playing on a dedicated team), but that it’s a necessary evil that he has to deal with in order to maintain his rank and be able to enjoy the opportunities that come with amateur play. 


One of the most memorable moments for Fursov as an amateur player came last year when he was able to play against Bay State College. This is because he was able to play against Diego "Quas" Ruiz, former professional top laner known for his time on Team Liquid. This was especially important to Fursov because he once went to see Quas play in 2015 at Madison Square Garden during the NA LCS finals, where Team Liquid played the third-place match against Team Impulse. Quas was the top laner of Team Liquid at the time. Unfortunately, he did not win the game he played against Bay State College. It was fun for him nevertheless. 


The Striking Vipers currently sit at a 0-2 record after their loss against Supernova last Friday but are looking to make an impact in the league and a comeback as they transition to Upsurge from competing in the Risen Champions League. Alongside Fursov in his endeavor are his teammates Darrell "Diesel" Jenkins, Aaron "m0rn" Hamburg, Zach "DRX ZMT" Truskowsky, and Aziel "Saint Ghoul" Lorenzo. Keep up with them and their adventures in the UPL by tuning in to the casts on Twitch here! You may find me right there beside you, watching for the next highlight play from Russian Ronin as we look to see if the Vipers will strike back. 




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