Andrey yngkura Kurchenko: “By the year 2024 we will become true masters of phygital sport”

The top scorer of the team Take Shot in the final match (he scored 13 points on both stages of the clash) gave his assessment to the format of Phygital Games, shared his emotions from the victory and looked into the future where phygital basketball does have a place in his opinion.

— Can you, please, compare the two matches you played at the Phygital Games?

— If we compare the two matches, then I’d say winning yesterday’s match was of paramount importance, because we’ve known Denis Bergman for quite some time. And we were not particularly happy when we found out we will be up against him.

— Plus he is such a charismatic guy…

— That’s why everybody loves him, actually. Sometimes his emotions do not look pretty but they are natural. At least he is being honest. As far as the match is concerned, it is always important for me to play against strong opponents especially when you are underestimated. And yesterday we were underestimated both by the other players but also by the broadcast commentators. It was extra motivation for us. You may continue to keep us away from your betting predictions and we will keep winning. As far as the importance of matches is concerned, well, when solid prize money is on the block, all matches become important. That’s why today we were motivated to tear to shreds everyone to grab the trophy because we deserve it.

— When you learned about the tournament of a new phygital format what was your reaction?

— It’s not our first experience with tournaments in esports or classical sport for that matter. I was kind of lukewarm. Friends of friends invited me to participate. I was skeptical about esports, even though I participated in the Russian national 5×5 basketball championships. Upon arriving here I completely changed my opinion. A radical change of heart.
Andrey Kurchenko

— Why?

— Because you won’t see such organizational level even in the top leagues of regular basketball. They don’t adopt such a serious approach to organization. While here they think about every petty detail – for example, transfer. I told all my friends about the venue of the event I entered so that they could see it. Suffice is to look at the photo of the stage. “Wow!», – such was their reaction. I think, it is just amazing.

— And what was the reaction of your friends who watched the broadcast?

— The level of the physical component was not at the top, let’s put it this way. But the organization is beyond superlatives. And I like the very idea, I love playing on a game console, besides I am a former pro in basketball, therefore I like combining two of my favorite pass-times and, which is more, get paid for it. It is very promising.

— So one can consider phygital basketball as a sport of the future?

— Exactly. They were saying pretty much the same about 3×3 basketball. And let’s take a look now – where is it now and where is regular basketball? The difference is abysmal! 3×3 basketball became a full-fledged Olympic sport while everybody in Russia forgot about classical basketball.

— You said you like playing on a game console, what games do you play?

— I don’t play much interactive basketball, unlike my friends who play it.

— Why you don’t like it?

— Well, I am more into regular basketball. It is worth playing virtually only something you cannot do in real life. Esports is a science, it’s like mathematics. Whereas in sport it’s not enough only to move your fingers and think with your head, you must also prepare your body for the physical workload.
Andrey Kurchenko

— Actually, phygital sport wants to combine both components.

— Awesome! This is really great as a matter of fact. We just need to train, and then our potential is limitless because basketball-wise we had the strongest team. Even though the team from “Minsk” club had a renowned player in its lineup [Bergman], but he is just alone while we have four players and we all played cohesively.

— How long have you been playing together with these four players that you put in your lineup at this tournament?

— We are all from Moscow. We played against each for sure, with some we even played on the same team. We all know each other. The Moscow basketball community is like a big village. We never had any questions as to how we should play – well, we gotta play as usual. The guys know when I am going to enter the area beneath the hoop. It’s like knee-jerk. Therefore we got together these four players only on the first competition day. We knew about the tournament before hand, but no one could spare time to practice. Everybody was busy working. On the day of departure, I came to Kirill Gorshkov, and we practiced all night long on the game console to remember the skills. Otherwise we could have scored a compelling win if we had prepared just a little. I think by the year 2024 we won’t be just preparing, we will be true masters of phygital sport.
Take Shot – champions of Phygital Games!