apEX is open about Vitality’s issues and the need for a break.

Vitality's run at the BLAST Premier Spring Finals ended after a dissapointing loss to Spirit. Ever since they lost Magisk, the team has struggled to be a true title contender. Even when their role players, mezii and flameZ do well, the superstars struggle to deliver. We sat down with Vitality's captain, apEX to get his thoughts on the team's run at BLAST and what needs to change.

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Mid-rounds calls Need to Improve

In a recent interview with HLTV, coach XTQZZZ was open about the team’s issues. They lack a vocal second player since Magisk stepped down and apEX now calls the shots alone in a youngster-filled Vitality. That puts a ton of pressure on the French IGL. It also means the team isn't as dynamic. apEX agreed, saying the team is too passive. Players aren't taking mid-round agency.

That was a pretty nice experience. The last time the crowd was on our side was at the Paris Major, and it ended well. Here, it didn't end well. I'm sorry for my British friends, but that's the way it is. Today we had it in our hands, but there were some key moments where we didn't show up. We're just pretty bad at mid-rounds now, making bad decisions based on what we hear and what we can do. We're still a bit too passive, so I try to tell the guys to take more initiative and play more together; otherwise, it's going to be rough. That's mostly what happened.

Vitality apEX

"Nowadays, if you want to win tournaments, you need more than two players performing well."

One of the issues of this new Vitality setup has been the consistency. The ceiling for the team is high. But in any given game, they remain quite far from it. When the superstars are online, the role players fall by the wayside. And when mezii and flameZ step up, as they did here, the stars go missing. Either scenario means Vitality is unlikely to win against the best opponents.

flameZ was the ray of hope for Vitality (Image via Michal Konkol and BLAST)
flameZ was the ray of hope for Vitality (Image via Michal Konkol and BLAST)

Yes, of course. I mean, we have some individuals showing up at certain points and others not showing up. Nowadays, if you want to win tournaments, you need more than two players performing well. ZywOo had a lower performance than he usually does. Spinx as well. As for me, I was decent, but not good. And the two others were good. But that's not enough these days. That's the way it is, and we have to learn from that.

apEX was critical of ZywOo and Spinx's underperformance

The IGL also pointed out that the event did come at the end of the season. And for any team, the season's end brings some fatigue. Lack of practice and inability to update your playbook means teams tend to struggle.

I think that’s the main thing. We have some good T-sides, but we just lack a lot on the CT-side. Also, at the end of the season, you misunderstand each other a lot. Tiredness, everything going left and right. Not much time to practice between events. So it's never easy to create new things and execute them perfectly during practice. So it’s most likely that.

Vitality apEX

The key to improvement for Vitality and apEX

Talking about the team's future, the Frenchman thinks the key is to first enjoy the break. Personally, he's heading to South Korea to get a much needed relaxation.

I’m going on vacation to South Korea. It’s going to feel good. I needed some vacation as well. I tried my best, but didn't get the trophy in the first half of the year. But that's the way it is.

Vitality apEX
The trophy remains elusive in 2024 (Image via Stephanie Lindgren and BLAST)
The trophy remains elusive in 2024 (Image via Stephanie Lindgren and BLAST)

But even on break, he remains motivated for improvement. The break will run it's course, and apEX will be back to the drawing board. CT-sides, map pool, mid-rounds, everything will need a deep dive.

"The key now is to take a break. We'll have a few weeks off, which is really needed and will be very good. For now, we need to look at the whole picture and see what's wrong. Even though we lost on Anubis, we’ve had a really bad CT-side lately. We work on it a lot, but we lost so many situations. So just trying to work more and more and see how it goes."

Vitality apEX

"We'd love to beat England" — Vitality apEX on Euros

A football fan at heart, apEX had some interesting opinions on who he sees at the top of the game in five years. An expected nod to Mbappe, but the lifelong Messi fan admits that the legend won't be there forever.

In five years' time? I don't know. I love Messi, but he won't be there anymore. I would say Mbappe will be up there. Bellingham, Vinícius. Wirtz — the new German player — looks really good. [Q: Haaland?] Haaland is not my type of player. He's scoring, but I don't really like him. So when people say he deserved the Ballon d'Or last year, I disagree a lot.

Vitality apEX

The French IGL will spend his break getting his sporting fix through the ongoing Euros. Obviously, he's supporting his fellow countrymen. He remains hopeful that they can bring it home.

We hope we're going to go really far because the last time we won the Euros was in 2000. And we'd love to beat England; that would feel really good.

apEX on France's chances at the Euros

Vitality's season may be over, but the team has proven it has some of the ingredients it needs. What it needs is consistency. This may be the last we see of this particular setup or roster. But one thing is certain — apEX will return with his tanks refueled to battle once more.

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