Spinx on new Cloud9 team: "They are definitely contenders for winning tournaments"

Spinx on new Cloud9 team: "They are definitely contenders for winning tournaments"
ESL | Helena Kristiansson | Stephanie Lindgren

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch


4th Aug 2023 17:52

They are the reigning CS:GO Major champions and the last ones who’ll ever get to be it. 

Vitality is on their CS:GO victory lap, playing the last couple of tournaments before the competitive scene is eventually destined to switch to Counter-Strike 2 for good.

In their post-major performances, they looked mortal, losing the odd game against some of the world’s best teams but still going deep in tournaments such as BLAST Premier’s Spring Finals during which they only had to bow down to Heroic in the Grand Final.

In the cathedral of Counter-Strike, Vitality is still in the race for a trophy, having just beaten the newly assembled CIS-Juggernaut Cloud9. What would a victory at IEM Cologne mean to their legacy?

Stepping into the heat

To rest is to die at the esports top level. In preparation for the much-awaited version upgrade, Team Vitality made the tough decision to part ways with Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen.

With large shoes to fill, the 20-year-old top talent Shahar "flameZ" Shushan stepped into the position. Roaring Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany is a trial by fire unlike many.
According to fellow countryman Lotan "Spinx" Giladi, he has so far performed admirably. 

He had a lot of impact rounds on Inferno and Mirage,” he shared, forecasting that “he’s going to be perfectly fine” for the rest of the event. 

A CS:GO goodbye in black and yellow?

The lifecycle of competitive CS:GO has its expiration date set to late March 2024 with the PGL Major Copenhagen.

Until then, a bit of Counter-Strike will have to be played. With a Major win and a potential second big win in Cologne, could we count the end of CS:GO as a Team Vitality era?

Spinx remained humble and matter-of-factly about the subject, explaining that for him an era is more than just two or three tournament wins.

“You need more than this. You need a Major win, you need a Grand Slam. You need to be the best team in the world by far for more than six months,” he argued. According to him, his team hasn’t quite reached that threshold as too many teams are showing parity with his squad’s results.

High praise for new opponents

electronic, cheering on stage
Click to enlarge

Spinx showed himself impressed with the level of his opponents in the Quarter Finals. Cloud9 had just assembled its new team, bringing in Denis "electroNic" Sharipov and Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy over from Na’Vi.

After a hard-fought victory that forced Team Vitality into overtime on Inferno and was also close on Mirage, Spinx is convinced of the newfound qualities of Cloud9 despite their circumstances.

He elaborated on his first impressions:

“There are definitely contenders for winning tournaments. 

“Of course, it's hard for them now because they just came back and they probably didn't prepare so much because they played with [Timur "buster" Tulepov] before.

“It is hard for them right now, but for the long term, they're definitely contenders to win.”

With the 2-0 victory, Team Vitality is moving into the semi-finals where ENCE will await them on Saturday.

Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.

Counter-Strike 2's custom map workshop is here
Valve set to unban notorious match-fixing squad after 10 years
Two Heroic CS players allegedly forced player change, yet still want to leave
Counter-Strike 2 bans for AMD Anti-Lag+ users set to be “reversed”
CS Legend stonewalls Valve on CS2 feedback