Hailed as one of the best drafters and captains of recent times, Belorussian player Artsiom “fng” Barshack joined Virtus.Pro in December of 2014. Since then, he has led the team to many accomplishments. In his TI5 player profile, fng talks about how he first started out, his short-lived period as Natus Vincere’s captain, his mother and the good synergy between him and his Virtus.Pro teammates.
Artsiom “fng” Barshack started his Dota 2 career in 2013, when he joined Power Rangers.
For a young player with a somewhat short career span, he has come a long way. As captain of Power Rangers, he managed to take the team to their highest level of performance.
He left Power Rangers in August of 2014 to join Na’Vi. Three months later, after the Ukrainian team failed to progress to the organization’s satisfaction, it was announced that fng was no longer going to be a part of the permanent lineup. He remained benched and kept making sporadic appearances as one of the team’s stand-ins.
In December 2014, he was recruited by Virtus.Pro and joined their Polar division.
Although his career is only in its early stages, Artsiom was first drawn to gaming when he was 10 years old, after he suffered from a knee injury.
He started playing Quake, Counter-Strike and Half-Life, until some of his friends introduced him to Dota.
In his TI5 player profile, Artsiom “fng” Barshack recalls that most of his friends from back then were people he had met on the Internet, whom he was keeping in touch with from afar. His parents got worried and sent him out on school camps, just to keep him away from his computer:
My parents didn’t understand that at all. They tried to get me out, made me go to camps, but I felt okay playing Dota.
His mother became more supportive, once he started playing Dota professionally.
My mother called me and said: ‘Artsiom, I found a photo in which you’re standing with some cup. What is this tournament?’ She will never understand it, but she’s trying to, because I’m her son.
Artsiom “fng” Barshack refers to his time as Natus Vincere’s captain as “a good experience”. Many Dota enthusiasts might remember that fng found out the rumors about his lay-off moments before going up on stage with the rest of his teammates, to compete in last year’s Dota 2 Champions League grand finals. Natus Vincere ended up taking the D2CL championship title that day and the news of fng’s release was made official soon afterwards. Despite being forced into a situation wherein he had to play a grand final with the team knowing he was not going to be a part of it anymore once it was done, fng doesn’t hold any kind of animosity or bad blood against Na’Vi.
Not everything was good. That doesn’t mean that people in Na’Vi were bad to me or something like that. I just couldn’t be their captain, because we are totally different.
Fng’s Virtus.Pro teammates, however, bear a striking resemblance to him. That’s why, perhaps, not many teams have been able to breach the stronghold Virtus.Pro have built up through their bonds.
I can be Virtus.Pro’s captain because they understand what I’m trying to do. They said: ‘Artsiom, do what you want, we will try to help you as much as possible’.
This will be Artsiom “fng” Barshack’s first participation in the International. He doesn’t get ahead of himself and remains grounded. He talks about his constant strive for improvement – both as a player, and as a person – and is grateful that Dota 2 has changed his life in all the ways that truly matter.
If I want to be the best, I must improve myself as much as possible, and become not only a good player, but also a good person. Dota is not only about playing Dota, it’s more about communication. (…) When I started playing Dota, it was just a little computer club and now, when I’m looking back, I’m really happy and feel proud of myself, because now I’m traveling the world and meeting nice people. This has changed my life. Really changed my life.