Interview with Vitality’s Spinx, ahead of ESL Pro League S19

Before the start of ESL Pro League S19, I had the privilege of talking to Spinx from Vitality and... Radu M. | 23. April 2024

Before the start of ESL Pro League S19, I had the privilege of talking to Spinx from Vitality and asked him some questions about himself and his team.

1. Last time we spoke, you were hoping to win a Major. Since then, you’ve become a Major champion with Vitality in Paris. How did this achievement change you? Did you have any motivational problems after winning the trophy?

I think I was just as motivated as before. Perhaps even more motivated. A lot of players won one Major in their career. It’s a great thing to achieve and a dream for everyone. However, there was still a lot more to achieve. I won a Major but I have yet to win a big ESL event, such as IEM Cologne or IEM Katowice.

2. What about after the roster changes? Did they have any impact on you? Were you confident going forward?

We are a different team and we changed a lot since winning the Paris Major. Three people left but I think it’s ok overall. We won two events after those changes happened. So far, 2024 wasn’t the best year for us. But I still believe in the caliber of players we have and in what we can accomplish together.

3. Last year, you were the 5th best player in the world. Does that mean anything to you or do you try to ignore such things?

It means a lot. It’s a dream come true to say that you’re a top-five player in Counter-Strike. I hope that 2024 will be the same or even better. But I know how hard it is to get such a result. And it’s not just about your individual performance.

It’s also about the team’s performance. Without good team performance, it’s hard to be at this level. Even if you are playing well, if you’re not winning, you are not going to be near the top. The goal is to go higher and higher.

4. Is ZywOo trembling right now?

No, ZywOo is always ok.

5. At the Copenhagen Major, you lost against FaZe Clan in the semifinals? Why did they beat you?

I think that on Nuke we had the opportunity to take the lead but unfortunately we didn’t. On Vertigo, we were the better team. I don’t know how much they had played Vertigo in official or practice matches. But we were definitely better than them.

Inferno was really close. We had some really good reads. We felt like we had a really good understanding of the game. But we didn’t manage to win the important rounds. And after losing those rounds, it was too hard to make a comeback. This map could have been won by us, but they hit some really nice shots and we eventually lost.

6. What are your expectations at this event? Can Vitality finish in the top four?

I expect to win every CS2 event. I think that even if we make it to the semifinals, we will feel like we didn’t mess up but at the same time, we will not be proud of ourselves. We want to win every tournament. But it’s a step-by-step process. I think the first step is to qualify for the next stage and then we will focus on what comes next.

7. Is qualification easier in this format? I think it’s a triple-bracket, which means you need to lose three times to get eliminated.

It’s easier but we’ll see what happens. Nowadays, even if you have lower-tier teams than you in your group, it doesn’t guarantee that you will qualify. You can see a lot of underdogs showing up and managing to win against supposedly better teams.

8. Do you think that the option of lower-tier teams to analyze your matches and come well prepared is an advantage for the lesser-known teams?

The biggest problem is the MR12 format. If you lose just several important rounds, it becomes difficult to win the map even against a weaker team. If they get a double-kill or kill someone through smoke, or other luck-based events that can happen in very important rounds can cause you to lose because it’s hard to come back.

Even though in theory you should still be able to win, because of this a lot more underdogs will win their matches. That’s why I have a lot of respect for FaZe Clan. I think it’s harder to be consistent in CS2.

9. Do you think that the MR12 format could be balanced a little bit by giving more money to the losing team, so that we don’t have so many rounds in which a team needs to play with pistols and save for the next round?

I’m personally fine with the CS2 economy right now. I think it’s pretty balanced. But at the same time, some minor changes could be made to make the game better. MP9 is overpowered. Then you can have rounds in which the T-side is better equipped but still lose to SMGs.

10. Who do you think will be the toughest team to beat in your group? Falcons or G2?

I think that right now, G2 are better. They are in good shape. Each player is performing well.

11. How intense is your current training schedule? How many hours per week do you train?

It depends. After the Major, we took one week off to relax. After that we should have had two weeks of practice but one of the players was sick for a few days. But overall, we had nearly two weeks of practice, with 6-7 hours per day. And on top of that, each of us plays a bit of FACEIT, deathmatch, or whatever else people like to do in their free time.

12. How is CS2 evolving? Do you think it has improved a lot since its release? Are you satisfied with its current state or is it still full of bugs?

I think it has improved a lot. Obviously, some things could still be improved. But compared to the day of its release, I think it’s way better.

Alright. Spinx, thank you for the interview, and good luck at the tournament!

Header: Team Vitality