esports.gg speaks with Alliance Effect in his first ever interview ahead of the ALGS Split 2 Playoff LAN in London.
Miron "Effect" Novikov is about to make perhaps the most anticipated LAN debut in Apex Legends history. Seeing the name Alliance Effect will strike fear into the hearts of anyone in a lobby at LAN.
Having been denied his LAN debut back in February due to visa issues, anticipation has only risen following the last Pro League split. Alliance Effect dropped a huge 114 kills, and was the EMEA kill leader. He also had the most kills of any player in any region. Not bad for your first full Pro League split.
esports.gg caught up with Alliance Effect at their bootcamp in Sheffield, for his first ever interview, ahead of the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs.
Alliance Effect finally gets chance at LAN
"I'm happy that I have finally made it to London! I can finally show myself and get recognition."
Missing your chance to debut at LAN through no fault of your own must've been incredibly tough to take. However, Alliance Effect says he still watched and supported his teammates.
"I was watching and supporting Alliance. (Laughs) I was watching also other teams POV's and watching and seeing what I think will happen. It was pretty much ending the way I was predicting.
"Last game it was pretty winnable for Alliance. But when I was TSM Valk Ult I knew it was over. They were clearly going to 3p the fight and I wasn't very happy about that."
While Effect was not able to play in London, he did not leave empty handed. Alliance agreed with substitute Mande that Effect would receive half of any prize money earned in London.
Effect's meteoric rise through competitive Apex Legends easily overlooked
It can be easy to forget just how new to competitive Apex Legends Alliance Effect is. His first tournament ever was in January 2022. Then his first tryout with Alliance was in October that year. His Pro League debut was only in November.
Despite this, his meteoric rise has meant that there is big expectations around his debut on LAN. The question is, does Effect feel the pressure?
"I don't have any [pressure]. I'm just going to play like it's online, the same."
Effect has no concerns that he won't be able to perform as well on LAN as he has online.
"I think I am going to play even better because I got a better controller than the one I had before (smirks). I'm not really nervous [about a crowd]. I'm just excited to meet all these people."
Alliance Effect has built a large following, both thanks to his skill but also the inspiration he is to other aspiring professionals. His rise through the scene shows that there is a pathway for talent in Apex. His advice for people looking to emulate his success is simple.
"Just get good."
Alliance first discovered Effect through ranked
Huge credit has to go to Alliance for discovering Effect and investing in his career. Due to pressures around roster locks, the decision to sign Effect was taken quickly. Until linking up with Alliance, Effect was a completely unknown player.
"I was just a ranked player. Then, randomly, I started playing with Hakis. One day he asked me to sub in a tournament with them and it all happened from there. I don't really remember my reaction [when he was asked to join Alliance]. But it was the only chance for me to move on from CIS and all that. The only chance to start playing video games as a professional."
Effect says that being a professional gamer was his "only dream".
Alliance Effect was a professional footballer
However, before Apex Legends Alliance Effect was a signed academy football player for CSKA Moscow, a major team in his home city. CSKA Moscow won the Europa League in 2005 and have countless domestic league titles. Followers of football might be familiar with the team, who are a frequent feature in the UEFA Champions League.
"Before Apex, I was playing football. I was a professional, playing for CSKA Moscow. I played everywhere, but my best position was Midfield."
Beyond football and gaming, Effect says his other major interest is Anime. Favorites include Hunter x Hunter, Chainsaw Man and Hell's Paradise.
"Ranked is definitely not enjoyable"
Like seemingly all high level Apex Legends players, Alliance Effect is not a fan of the current ranked system. This is challenging when your profession is to play the game.
"Ranked is definitely not enjoyable and I am not really playing it at all. Just a bit sometimes. Most of the times I do 1v1s against my friends. Sometimes we do customs where we play control and TDM against each other. Usually just going for kills!"
Alliance Effect relying on teammates experience in London
While Alliance Effect has all the talent in the world, he does not yet have the experience of LAN. Thankfully, he is competing alongside two of the most veteran Apex Legends players who have countless LANs under their belt.
"They do the thinking, I do the shooting".
"[Relying on them] a lot. I would definitely not be at LAN by myself. Hakis with his IGLing skills and Yuki with his gamesense. I wouldn't have been able to make the plays I have without them. They do the thinking, I do the shooting".
When asked who, besides his two teammates, Effect looks up to in the Apex scene he was incredibly quick to answer.
Alliance Effect will get to meet Ojrein for the first time in London.
"I really like playing with him. I really like him as a person. If I had a chance to play competitive with a fourth player on the team it would be Ojrein.
A key hallmark of Alliance in Apex Legends has always been defying metas. They have pioneered several different off meta legends across the Pro League split. But, who does Alliance Effect think his best legend is?
"My personal best legend is Horizon, of course. Her movement [suits me]. I wish I could still shoot going up her lift! But, they just hate controllers and they hate me (smiling). That's the reason they nerfed it!"
Effect slotted into the Alliance team effortlessly
One thing that quickly becomes clear when talking to Alliance Effect's teammates is just how highly they regard him. Not just as a player, but as a friend too.
According to Oscar "Yuki" Jiang, Effect slotted into the Alliance team effortlessly.
"He has fitted in quite easily. He hasn't been a problem. As an 18 year old, as a teenager you would expect there might be some hurdles you have to get over. But Effect has made coming into the team and synergising very easy.
"Do you know how every single time you join a team, there is always like two to three weeks of fitting in? But I feel like he just fit in naturally. He knows his role very well. He's definitely made mine and Hakis' life easier. He's done a brilliant job."
Yuki is especially full of praise for his mentality towards the game. Alliance Effect has "good balance" of the ability to listen and also the ability to critique.
"Whenever something goes wrong, he is vocal about it and whenever something goes right he is confident in the call. So it's the best of both worlds, which is very rare to find in players nowadays.
Alliance Captain, John "Hakis" Håkansson added that he felt gamesense is a standout quality of Alliance Effect.
"I think his best attribute is his gamesense as a controller player. If I were to put anyone in a 1v3, it would be Effect. He knows how to position himself, he knows how to take fights properly".
Yuki thinks Effect is the best player in the world
Yuki made the bold claim that Effect was the best player in the world at the last Playoffs, and he stands by that claim.
"When I mentioned he was the best player in the world last LAN there was a little bit of controversy around that. A lot of NA teams thinking "No, there's way better controller players". Bit of a 'Copium' they said. It was said I was 'coping' saying that he was the best in the world.
"And even though he's still yet to prove it, I believe the trajectory of him proving it is definitely there and he's proven it in the European Regional Finals and he is on track to prove it at this LAN."
Hakis won't quite go as far as Yuki's claims, to "keep him humble".
"I think he has the potential to be [the best in the world]. I want to keep him humble and say he is not there yet and he needs to prove himself. Especially on LAN. But, I wouldn't have picked him up if I didn't think he could be."
Can Alliance keep hold of Effect long term?
Therefore, the question for Alliance Apex General Manager Pontus Bengtsson was simple. Can Alliance keep hold of such a prodigy?
"I think he is loyal and committed to us, so I'm not worried. I think people are already looking at him. He is one of the best as you have been hearing the other players say today. He's up there. Now, it's just about showing it.
"When we win this LAN and when we win the Championship, then maybe we can talk with other orgs. But, he's going to stay with us (smiling)."
Pontus went on to say how he feels the Alliance environment is perfect for young talent to develop.
"We have a history of keeping players for a very long time and we have a very set way of playing. We've always played the same style of Apex and I think that is very attractive to young talent."
As they say, the proof is in the performances. Alliance Effect will make his long awaited LAN debut on July 13th, when the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs get under way.