Can Vitality continue to thrive without zonic?

Danny “zonic” Sorensen, the most successful coach in the history of Counter-Strike, the man who won numerous Majors and... Radu M. | 12. October 2023

Danny “zonic” Sorensen, the most successful coach in the history of Counter-Strike, the man who won numerous Majors and S-tier tournaments with Astralis and Team Vitality, has finally announced his departure from the French squad.

The reason is not hard to guess and rumors have been circulating for weeks now. Vitality cannot afford to pay him as much as he wants, while Team Falcons, the organization he will join in a couple of weeks, has been acquired by Saudi Arabia. As a result, money will no longer be a problem.

Whether his decision will prove to be good career-wise, it remains to be seen. His new team is far weaker than the one he left. Players like Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt may have been formidable years ago, but this is 2023.

Zonic’s departure has left Vitality in a tough position. Luckily, the team is currently doing well. They won IEM Rio in April, the Paris Major in May, and Gamers8 in August. At IEM Cologne they finished 3rd – 4th, while at ESL Pro League S18 they finished 5th – 8th, which wasn’t a bad result all things considered. But now what?

Vitality’s future

Vitality have some of the biggest names in Counter-Strike. While Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut chooses to stay there, and there’s no reason why he should leave, Vitality’s future is secured. They may not win as often as they would like, but they’ll always be a top team that finishes tournaments in the top eight.

As for who will replace zonic, there are rumors that Remy “XTQZZZ” Quoniam has already been contacted and convinced to come back. He used to coach Vitality until the end of 2021, when the coach of Astralis agreed to join the organization. But now he’s wanted again because there aren’t that many good coaches who can do the job better than him.

When XTQZZZ left, Vitality were not doing as well as they wanted. They did get some good results in 2021. For instance, they won IEM Winter. But the ambition was always to win a Major, something which didn’t happen until zonic joined the team.

With the release of Counter-Strike 2, every team is training hard and trying to develop an effective playstyle. This game differs considerably from CS:GO, which means that there’s a lot of work to be done to master it. How well Vitality can play in the new arena will be revealed to us at the upcoming tournaments.

Header: Team Vitality