French Excellence – Vitality Wins the Paris Major
The very last CS:GO Major has concluded, providing closure for over 10 years of competition. The new Counter-Strike 2 is just around the corner, as we bid farewell to what has been a legendary era of Esports. Coming into this Major tournament, there were many headlines and talks of stats and records.
It was a wild ride, as many teams performed outside their expectations. We saw an unprecedented rise of underdogs, so even some of the biggest favorites fell down the order, but there was one team that remained composed and fought like lions, smashing all the challenges that were thrown against them. The French side of Vitality, to the delight of the home crowd, managed to secure the final CS:GO Major trophy and write their name in the history books. Tears and smiles were seen all across the stadium in what was one of the most emotional Major wins we’ve seen. How did they manage to do it, and what does this victory mean going forward?
How it Began and Happened?
Before the Major, Vitality looked very solid. They started off their 2023 campaign with a win in IEM Rio 2023. Beforehand, however, Vitality’s trophy cabinet was collecting dust, so it was great to finally see them return to winning ways. Vitality carried that momentum throughout the Paris Major, not losing a single map in the entirety of the tournament. Since IEM Rio, they are now on a 12-match winning streak, looking dominant as never before.
In a way, this was a strange Major because even the biggest Counter-Strike organizations like G2, NAVI, and Heroic lost out to teams that, on paper, were considered less talented. There is usually one or two strong underdogs in each Major, but never have we seen such resilience from these tier 2 teams.
In the final match-up, Vitality had to face GamerLegion. This team, before the Major, was competing in lower-tier tournaments, barely even having a sniff at the top competition. Their rise to prominence is quite impressive, but Vitality was too much of a challenge for them. Perhaps it was the nerves or inexperience that played the part, but regardless, Vitality secured a convincing 2-0 win and were crowned the kings of Paris.
The Legacy of the Victory
A French team winning in front of a Parisian crowd is almost too good to be true. After the shocker roster move roughly a year ago, Vitality brought in some talent from Denmark, so no longer the team was fully French. Still, the roots remained, as their captain Dan “apEX” Madesclaire led his troops to a stunning victory. Dan is now one of the most decorated French players in CS:GO history, proving his doubters wrong once again.
Of course, the talk of the show is the prodigy, the chosen one – Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut. Alongside Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, ZywOo is considered to be the greatest CS:GO talent. For four consecutive years, he has been in the TOP 2 player ranking, consistently trading the number 1 position with s1mple. However, s1mple always had one accolade which ZywOo didn’t, which was a Major victory. Now they are both Major winners and even Major MVPs. He is just 22 years old, yet he is already considered as one of the greats. To end a CS:GO era with a Major win is a dream come true.
Speaking of other teammates, Lotan “Spinx” Giladi becomes the first Israeli player to win a Major trophy. His impact was huge, and no doubt we will see more wonders from the young player. On the other hand, their most experienced player Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen now has become the only player in CS:GO history with 5 Major wins. This is a record that will never be broken and nobody can ever take it away from him. Last but not least, we have Emil “Magisk” Reif, the mighty Dane, who is always a pillar of reliability. And behind the squad, we have possibly the most legendary CS:GO coach of all time, Danny “zonic” Sørensen, who too has now claimed 5 Major victories as a coach.
What a stunning end to a legendary Esports era. Will Vitality carry over the same momentum to Counter-Strike 2? Who will win the next Major in 2024? There are many questions yet to be answered but it’s more than clear that the Counter-Strike Esports scene just keeps on flourishing.