Premier League Midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko, who currently plays for the football club Arsenal, had to substitute a player in his Counter-Strike team in the middle of a Best-of-3 series against BLEED Esports. He and the team did not win the series but took a map off the established esports organization.
The Ukrainian left-back formed an esports organization with former Natus Vincere coach Mykhajlo “kane” Blaghin, Passion UA. The Counter-Strike division of the organization fielded young, promising players who would often participate in online Tier 3 tournaments.
Down 0-1 Against BLEED
In the match between Passion UA and BLEED Esports, the Ukrainian prospects lost in their opponent’s map pick of Inferno with a final score of 8-13.
Coming into the second map, Passion UA picked the map Ancient. However, one of the players, Eduard “zeRRoFIX” Petrovskyi could finish the map for unknown reasons.
Zinchenko Steps In For Map 2
As a result, Zinchenko, the organization’s co-founder, had to become an immediate stand-in for the team. Counter-Strike isn’t his primary profession, but the footballer isn’t the worst at the game.
But, as expected, BLEED took the first half of Ancient and converted the second pistol round to create a convincing 11-3 lead, putting Passion UA on the back foot. Miraculously, PassionUA strung nine rounds in a row to take the map into overtime, where they swept the additional rounds 4-0 to win the map 16-12.
In this map, Zinchenko posted a 0.95 HLTV rating (1.00 being the average), meaning he wasn’t too shabby. With this rating, the Midfielder outperformed one of his teammates and four BLEED players – what a showing!
Good Attempt In The Decider
Though Passion UA can celebrate the victory on their map pick, the job hasn’t been done yet. The series was taken to a third map with Anubis as the battleground.
The Ukrainian squad could only secure six rounds on their Terrorist half, which wasn’t the best considering how heavily T-sided Anubis was. Zinchenko could only get four kills in the first twelve rounds of play.
Passion UA fought as hard as they could on their defense, but, unfortunately, they fell just a bit short, losing the map and the series 11-13. The Arsenal player finished the map with a 0.78 rating; though far below average, he still wasn’t the lowest-performing player on the map!
Overall, considering the circumstances, Passion UA put up a fantastic fight. A team full of youngsters and a professional football player had almost beaten BLEED, an organization that paid high salaries to their players.
As we at Fragster did, the community found this story hilarious. Though Zinchenko didn’t do that bad, most of the Counter-Strike community fired shots at BLEED for heavily underperforming.
I was watching kassad. I was watching you almost lose a BO3 to a soccer player in YaLLa Compass.
— HEROIC (@heroicgg) February 8, 2024
Right after the match, BLEED’s head coach Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunović was unhappy with the team’s performance and promised that there would be changes.
Changes are coming, i can tell you that much.
— Aleksandar Trifunovic (@kassad) February 8, 2024
Fans are angered at kassad for announcing something like this on Twitter, sympathizing with the players on the roster. Overall, this victory against Passion UA did BLEED more harm than good.