The legend that is Zonic, has deservedly won coach of the year
Zonic wins coach of the year!
Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen has been with Astralis from the outset, and will leave as possibly the most decorated coach of all time. He’s overseen plenty of different rosters with varying degrees of success, but none have been so consistently great as the current one. Back-to-back Major wins helped outline an incredible era of dominance that started in an unlikely way.
Markus ‘kjaerbye’ Kjaerbye was Astralis’ MVP in a previous Major win, after an exceptional performance on the final map of the Grand Final. But seemingly out of nowhere, the teenager moved to Danish rivals North under a shroud of mystery and controversy. zonic himself referred to ‘player changes, backstabbing’ in the blurb for his book, which almost certainly was a subtweet to kjaerbye.
Since his replacement, Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif, has joined, Astralis have been pretty much unanimously considered the best team in the world, and zonic has been recognised as one of the best coaches. In fact, he won Coach of the Year at the esports awards.
Astralis have been known for their control and tactical depth on every map in the pool. The way they use grenades has been pretty revolutionary - especially the high explosive ones - and a lot of this has to come from the coach. The Danes are a flying pig; they’re almost the only highly tactical team to be number one in recent times, and this is what makes zonic so special.
Of course, Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander must be in the conversation, but it’s so rare to see a coach so involved and widely revered for his tactical knowledge. Most coaches are silent, only mentioned in winning speeches - but zonic the lovable teddy bear, is front and centre in much of Astralis’ success.
zonic has been instrumental in implementing a structure inside the server, but importantly, outside it too. Astralis were the first to introduce a ‘real sports’ lifestyle, including nutrition, practice, sleep and everything in-between. It’s hard to understand the impact this holistic approach to Counter-Strike has made, without being in Astralis, but it has certainly coincided with one of the most dominant teams the game has ever seen.
At 33, zonic would be considered an extremely young coach or manager in nearly all other competitive professions - yet in CSGO, he’s considered a veteran. As a player, he was part of a legendary mTw team, and it’s only seven years later he’s part of a legendary Astralis team - it’s clear that zonic is a born winner in Counter-Strike, no matter the edition.
Knowledge is evergreen, and the same understanding of CS that made zonic a 1.6 great, has made him a great CSGO coach. Inside of the server, a tactical mastermind; out of it, a likeable leader who is more like a father than a sports coach. Being a leader is more than being a tactical genius - what’s the point of knowing what to do, if you can’t tell people how to do it, or motivate them do it?
zonic is well-liked and it’s impossible to find a bad word said about him. He looks like a father figure to the players - and not just because he looks like he gives amazing hugs - but in the way he conducts himself. It’s clear that this approach is exactly what the relatively young Astralis team needs, and zonic is more than deserving of his Coach of the Year award.
Image via ESL