After weeks of rumors, it looks like the French Counter-Strike superteam is finally coming together. Dan “apEX” Madesclaire, Nathan “NBK” Schmitt, Vincent “Happy” Cervoni, Cédric “RpK” Guipouy and Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut are joining Team Vitality. The news was first broken by neL of VPESPORTS, and the reports have picked up steam. According to VPESPORTS sources, the deal is “moving in the right direction” and will be completing very soon.
Philippe “faculty“ Rodier will be behind the team as their head coach. Faculty has played for teams like eSport-Eu, aAa and eXtensive in Counter-Strike 1.6. He has also written books on esports and on the impact of coaching in football. Together, they will be forming another French squad that has pretty high expectations and for very good reasons. Most of the players on the team either have high ceilings or have pedigrees to succeed. Let us take a look at the lineup.
First, let’s look at the two players seemingly spearheading this team, NBK and apEX. They were both longtime members of G2 Esports, joining the team back in February 2017. With G2 Esports, they would end up having a decent year. However, 2018 would field a completely different story. After starting the year with a disappointing end to their Boston Major, they would end up with constant failures at most of their events. As a result, G2 would replace them with Richard “shox“ Papillon and former coach Edouard “SmithZz“ Dubourdeaux.
The duo would then sit on the bench for the rest of the year, watching G2 actually get worse with the “new” lineup. Additionally, the buyout for the two players was rumored to be around $800,000, an extravagant price. Also, NBK would confirm on his stream that shox did not want NBK on the team as the in-game leader. There was a lot of drama surrounding the team, and it would not be long before rumors about a new French superteam would surface.
Meanwhile, Happy and RpK are coming fresh from disbanded Team Envyus. They have been searching for a team for the year, to no avail. Both players had a couple rough years with Envyus before the disbanding of the team, but they are hopeful that this new team will bring good fortune. A clean slate is usually very good for any players looking to re-establish themselves into the scene. Finally, we reach the final member of Team Vitality, ZywOo. He is a 17-year-old phenom who was on the French organization, against All authority. He has been one of the best French players to hit the Counter-Strike scene and should be an interesting addition to an already strong lineup.
This should only be good for the French Counter-Strike community, as multiple French teams have either disbanded or have simply been failing. Mainstay G2 Esports has not been playing up to standard recently, as they were just eliminated from the FACEIT London Major. Also, Team Vitality is the biggest French organization in esports. They are well-known in the European esports community for their teams in League of Legends, Call of Duty, Rainbow Six: Siege, and more. Hopefully, this lineup can find success in the future.
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Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.