After weeks of speculation, Team Vitality has confirmed that they are entering the Counter-Strike scene. They are moving forward with a full French lineup as well.
We are not perfect, not everything will be perfect. But we won't give up, we won't doubt, we are ready to handle our responsibilities. Together, everything is possible #VforVictory
Welcome Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 🐝 pic.twitter.com/UMKxvITB6J
— Team Vitality (@Team_Vitality) October 8, 2018
Many people have been speculating on the possible creation of this superteam since August. DBLTAP had been reporting that Nathan “NBK-“ Schmitt and Dan “apEX” Madesclaire were in talks to create a new team. The duo had previously been on the G2 Esports bench after the team would replace them in June. There were multiple rumors about where the two players would end up, with NBK even reportedly contemplating heading to North America.
Combining this with their reported $800,000 buyout, and finding a new team would be difficult for the former French stars. NBK would even confirm later on that the reason for his benching was due to Richard “shox“ Papillon not wanting NBK to be the in-game leader. There was plenty of drama surrounding the team, but even with their roster changes, G2 Esports would not find much success in 2018, failing to place in the top three of multiple big events. Their biggest event to date, the London Major, would have them drop out in the Legends Stage with losses to MIBR, FaZe Clan and compLexity Gaming.
Their roster consists of a veteran group of players in NBK-, apEX and Cédric “RpK” Guipouy. Additionally, they have Vincent “Happy” Cervoni, another Counter-Strike veteran. However, rounding out the roster will be 17-year-old phenom, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut. Therefore, the team is a great combination of talent that could challenge the upper echelons of the CS:GO scene soon. Let’s look at the rest of the lineup, and where they have been before Vitality.
Before joining Team Vitality, RpK and Happy were both on the full French squad of Team Envy. However, Envy would suffer several disappointing results throughout the first half of 2018. Adding management issues to the plethora of problems, and they would end up dropping their entire lineup. Instead, Envy would announce that they are focusing more on the North American Counter-Strike scene. This left RpK, Happy, and their teammates, Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom and Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey, without a team. ScreaM would end up joining Fnatic as a stand-in, replacing Robin “flusha” Rönnquist. KioShiMa has not been able to find a team since his removal from the Envy lineup.
Finally, the young talent ZywOo will be joining the team after tearing up the FACEIT Pro League. He had been on Team against All authority, where they would most recently win the ESL Championnat National in June. He has been touted as one of the best young players in the world, and should be an X-factor for Team Vitality in the future. His mechanical ability, as well as the multiple veteran members to guide him, should be a great combination for this budding team.
Team Vitality should be hitting an offline tournament very soon, with the amount of talent on the roster. I have no doubt that this team will be able to find success. However, it will need to take some time to help acclimatize the teammates to each other. Additionally, some players have been out of action for quite a while now, so they are expected to be a bit rusty. Altogether, this team should help shake up the Counter-Strike scene for the better. This will also be great for the French Counter-Strike scene, which has taken multiple hits with the failures of G2 Esports and Team Envy. We wish the best of luck to Team Vitality in their future in the CS:GO scene.
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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.