An interview with Admirals Esports’ Ilja Garbuzov about educational World of Warcraft streams and more.

Admirals Esports is an organization that's known for competing in the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship (WoW AWC) series. When Diablo 4's Hardcore challenge arrived, Admirals Esports' players also fought to make history.

What may not be known is that the organization also has an initiative related to esports education. We sat down with development manager Ilja Garbuzov for an interview about educational streams and what it takes to champion inclusivity and acceptance among gamers.

Admirals Esports versus The Agents in the WoW AWC (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Admirals Esports versus The Agents in the WoW AWC (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Admirals Esports and inclusivity

Garbuzov's esports journey officially kicked off with Starcraft: Brood War. When he was about 14 years old, he achieved second place in his first-ever Starcraft competition. After that, he played games such as Quake III Arena, Warcraft 3, Dota 2, and World of Warcraft. He revealed to esports.gg that he mostly focused on one game at a time so that he could improve competitively.

"What I really love about competitive gaming is that it provides limitless motivation for constant improvement as well as the possibility to admire the level to which players can upgrade their skills to," Garbuzov said.

His interest in esports later led him to a career at Admirals Esports, which was founded by a worldwide FinTech company, Admirals, with its headquarters in Estonia. According to Garbuzov, Admirals CEO Sergei Bogatenkov had a strong dedication to inclusivity. This helped kick off the educational streams at Admirals Esports.

"At Admirals Esports, we've got a one-of-a-kind way of connecting with players and the community," Garbuzov noted. "We get where they're coming from because we've been there, too. That insight guides us in creating activities that make everyone feel right at home and nobody is left behind."

Admirals Esports earned second place in the 2023 European WoW AWC Grand Finals (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Admirals Esports earned second place in the 2023 European WoW AWC Grand Finals (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Admirals Esports and WoW AWC strategies

Garbuzov then detailed Admirals Esports' commitment to reflect the aforementioned core values. Equipped with extensive knowledge in gaming, the Admirals Esports team wanted to share it with an audience. This started with educational streams for World of Warcraft PvP, which helped new players navigate the complexity of high-level arena matches. Garbuzov described the advantages of step-by-step guides.

"The majority of players in World of Warcraft usually play below a 2,000 rating," Garbuzov said. "Struggling to advance, they find it challenging to pinpoint what's holding them back. This stems from a lack of awareness that a strict order of priorities exists."

He provided an example involving the WoW AWC series where crowd control can be used on an enemy healer and enable a team to secure a kill. If a new player gets inspired by this move, tries to replicate it in a Solo Shuffle, and it doesn't work, then the player may blame their teammates.

World of Warcraft esports screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
World of Warcraft esports screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

"An inexperienced player might assume that the community is toxic or that their teammates lack an understanding of the game," Garbuzov explained. "However, the likeliest reason is that the player was not focused on their basic healing rotation, which, of course, the AWC commentator can't analyze step by step - and instead jumped straight into crowd control and damage."

Admirals Esports' educational streams showcase various classes in World of Warcraft as well. With the use of live chat, these streams boast two-way communication and allow viewers to ask questions. There's also a focus on consistency for long-term success. The streams can also feature players of different skill levels, allowing viewers to relate to the hosts and learn from their mistakes. This makes the game more approachable and inclusive.

There is no frustration in losing against the best.

Ilja Garbuzov from Admirals Esports

The impact of education streams on esports and inclusivity

Another way that the organization approaches inclusivity is through open tournaments. This is because some players are solely focused on winning and may become discouraged by more skilled opponents. The importance of having fun and improving often gets forgotten, according to Garbuzov.

"When we announced the Age of Empires 2 tournaments, registration was open for literally everyone," he said. "A total of 32 players were chosen, and the difference in skill level was tremendous. This was because we had some of the best players of AoE2 in the world, such as TheViper, ACCM, Daut, Vinchester, Hera, and other stars mixed with enthusiasts with ratings below 1,800. Those who seized the opportunity had a priceless experience of playing against the best players in the world."

Admirals Esports' Age of Empires 2 League results (Image via Admirals Esports)
Admirals Esports' Age of Empires 2 League results (Image via Admirals Esports)

Garbuzov noted how players can learn from these experiences, be impressed by the actual skill gap, and recognize their potential to grow.

"There is no frustration in losing against the best," he said. "Playing against a stronger opponent is the only way to improve."

Admiral Esports' WoW Arena Cup results (Image via Admirals Esports)
Admiral Esports' WoW Arena Cup results (Image via Admirals Esports)

To Garbuzov, Admirals Esports’ initiatives showcase the positive impact of a dedicated community and organization. Competitive gaming doesn't exist to simply entertain. Rather, it can inspire positive change in a wider context.

That's all for now. Stay tuned on esports.gg for more news and updates.

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