Star snipers Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, Ilya "m0NESY" Osipov, and Abulkhalik "degster" Gasanov shared how their AWPing career started in a recent interview with James Banks. Every one of them started as a rifler.
Degster was the only one who chose it by himself. S1mple started switching when he played in HellRaisers because markeloff didn't want to use sniper rifles. Their IGL at the time, ANGE1, suggested Oleksandr should pick the Big Green.
All three of them admitted they watched dev1ce to practice AWPing. Even s1mple, who was switching his role around the same time when the Dane did it, also developing as a hybrid player. A surprise name among snipers to learn from was coldzera. All three players gave respect to the Brazilian for his performance with the AWP.