Vitality apEX: “Obviously we have a strong lineup, but it’s too early to have high expectations for us” cover image

Vitality apEX: “Obviously we have a strong lineup, but it’s too early to have high expectations for us”

Vitality’s French-Danish fusion is ready to take on their first LAN. It’s still early days, but don’t count Vitality out yet.

Vitality's new Danish-French lineup comes into IEM Katowice to play their first LAN. As one of the most shocking and exciting roster moves in this off-season. With big names like dupreeh, MagisK, apEX & ZywOo, the team comes in as a favorite for the event despite the short time they've played together. We talked to Vitality to discuss the international adaptation and their expectations for the event.

Q: Dupreeh, you've been with the team for some time now having played your first tournament together. How has it been so far being a Vitality member?

Dupreeh: "It has been really great in so many aspects. Obviously coming from Astralis, where I've been playing for most of my career and coming to a new home has been different, but it's been a good different. I think it's really nice to see that the hunger for victory and the hunger for success in Vitalityand that we are having a really good time together as a team.

And the time that we did together in France was really good. Like it's a good way to get together and spend some time together and see how everyone is outside of the game because I think that's really important for everyone to get comfortable around each other so you can start building upon something inside of the game.

So it's been really great and I'm really happy that I decided to go here. I mean in terms of results we've only had one chance of making a result and we did that by qualifying to BLAST. So in that sense, everything has been really good and I feel like we are at a really good pace in terms of developing inside of the game and also trying to become the team that we want to be. Obviously, there's still a ton of work in front of us, but so far so good. I think we're keeping up."

"It's a pure pleasure to play together with ZywOo. He's the type of guy that's really good outside the game as well": dupreeh

The new Vitality roster is star-studded and a star coach. But what's to be expected from them? In image: Zonic, dupreeh, apEX, ZywOo, Magisk, misutaa.
The new Vitality roster is star-studded and a star coach. But what's to be expected from them? In image: Zonic, dupreeh, apEX, ZywOo, Magisk, misutaa.

Q: How is it playing with ZywOo after years of playing against him?

dupreeh: "It's a pure pleasure to play together with ZywOo. He's the type of guy that's really good outside the game as well, but also a fantastic player. It just feels really great to have someone like him to rely on in terms of AWPing on the team a really good thing. He's a really good player in every aspect. So it's nice to have this time as we start the team. We've been used with that, with the dev1ce. So it's something that I've been looking forward to having my next team. So it's a joy to have him and I really enjoy."

Q: What were some of the mistakes that you saw in the previous event? Maybe map development or positional?

apEX: "Well, obviously in a month and a half we cannot be really prepared on all six maps because it's really difficult nowadays, even though we try to play as much as possible during the last six weeks. But, yeah, I think we have a really strong map. I don't think we have a weak one, and I think everyone is pretty happy with positions, so we just keep working on that. But if we think in the future that it's a problem, we have trouble. Obviously, we're going to make some changes, but for now, I think we all feel comfortable in what we do and we're just trying to get the best of it because it's really beginning."

It's the first big tournament for us on LAN, so we don't know exactly what's going to happen first. We still have a lot of things to work on, so expectations are just normal.

apex

Q: The end of 2021 saw Vitality rise as the 2nd best LAN team. Can you continue that form here with this roster?

apEX: "Well, obviously we have a strong lineup, but it's too early to have high expectations for us. It's the first big tournament for us on LAN, so we don't know exactly what's going to happen first. We still have a lot of things to work on, so expectations are just normal. I think my expectation is just to go through the group stage and see what happens after, but no high expectation for us.

Obviously, NaVi is the big team here, Gambit as well. I think they're both big favorites for this tournament, as G2 and FaZe are kind of new. I mean, mostly G2 and us because we changed two players. So let's see with time, but no expectation for this one. I just hope for the best, but let's see how it goes."

"I think that the French scene cannot come to an end for now. we need some more time to get a full French team again that's going to compete at the highest level": apEX

Q: Do you think now that the French scene is spread out across different teams, that will be a positive for the French scene?

apEX: "Well, I think that the French scene cannot come to an end for now. We tried a lot of different mix of players that work at some point and did that at some point as well. So I just think we need some more time to get a full French team again that's going to compete at the highest level. We can see the HEET guys becoming better also the Akimbo guys.

But if we want to win big tournaments I think what Vitality chose to do is the right thing because we lacked some firepower for some time and also experienced players. So obviously now with the international team we have right now it's a mix of both and that's really important. I would say it's a bit like the Swedish teams, even they had to go international at some point."

"It definitely takes time going from being a lot focused on the team to being a bit more focused on yourself": Magisk


Q: What would you say is the biggest difference between Magisk in Astralis and Vitality Magisk?

Magisk: "I think the biggest difference is that I have a lot more freedom now. But it's also very difficult coming from not having that much freedom to actually having so much freedom. I actually can almost do anything I want. So that's something I have to get used to and actually use that freedom to my own advantage.

Not so I'm just baiting my whole team or something like that, but actually using the freedom to set myself up in good situations and actually use it as a good thing and not always thinking about the team. Not always trying to help the teams and actually just sometimes play for me in the situations and think a little bit more about myself.

That's something that's different as well because I was not used to that. And it definitely takes time going from being a lot focused on the team to being a bit more focused on yourself. It's just something new, but I think it's getting better for each day and it's definitely something I have a lot of focus on. So I think that's probably one of the changes from Astralis Magisk to Vitality Magisk."

I think the biggest difference is that I have a lot more freedom now.

Magisk

Q: Do you think your individual numbers and direct impact on the server will boost with this freedom and we'll see you reach a higher level?

Magisk: "I think it's difficult to say. Obviously, my goal is to be a top-tier player, but, it all depends on how I evolve in the role and how fast I could get into it and feel comfortable in the role. So yes, of course, my goal is to improve as a player, but there's no reason to put unnecessary pressure on myself and say, I'm going to go out and put a 1.30 rating this event, and next I'm going to be a 1.40 rating. It's not the way it works. Sometimes you have to work slowly and work for a goal, and that's what I'm doing right now."

Q: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of international teams right now?

apEX: "Well, the best is obviously that you can pick any player you want in a certain way. Like when you are in the French scene and you have a small pool of players, then we have a big pool to choose from. So obviously getting those players as we have right now with Magisk and Dupreeh is a big advantage because obviously. They have a lot of experience and they have a really good work ethic.

All the things combined it's a really good step forward for the team. So I think it's a huge advantage. The weakness maybe is a bit of communication, obviously, but it goes well for us right now and also the culture because we're coming from two different countries. So obviously it's really different in so many ways. But we're working on it and trying to have the best of those. And the last thing I would say is they're coming from Astralis, they play there for three or four years."

We have good team chemistry already outside of the server and the server as well. With all the players I have around me, I probably have one of the best teams outside the server I have had. So it's pretty good to be there.

apEX

apEX: "So we have different ways to think about CS in some particular thing, which is normal, as in-game for three or four years, they worked together so many times and now they come into a team that has different ways to think about the CS itself.

So we need to combine both. And obviously, it takes time to make everyone comfortable and that's the hardest step, I would say. But the rest is really good. We're working well together. We have good team chemistry already outside of the server and the server as well. With all the players I have around me, I probably have one of the best teams outside the server I have had. So it's pretty good to be there."


Vitality come into the event as one of the favorites in the eye of many. With the team's relaxed expectations and a lack of pressure on the new lineup, will Katowice be the first signs of strength from the roster? Or will Zywoo end up with another 9th-12th placing like Katowices of the past.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for continued coverage and more interviews with the IEM Katowice 2022 teams and players.