Version1’s Zellsis speaks about maintaining a positive attitude as well as the IGL transition on the team.
Things have not been kind to Version1 after their miraculous run to and at VCT Masters Reykjavik. Since then, the team has failed to recapture similar magic. And with the loss of Anthony “Vanity” Malaspina to Cloud9, Version1 find themselves in a tough spot. Circumstances are stacked against Version1 at VCT Last Chance Qualifiers, but for Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro, he is ready to take on those challenges.
In this interview, we speak to V1 Zellsis to talk about transitioning IGL’s, playing against Cloud9 and how he is able to maintain a positive attitude through working out.
Since VCT Masters Reykjavik, things have been unlucky for Version1 that ultimately left you guys in a position where you could no longer directly qualify for Champions through points. Talk to me about these past two months and what that has been like for you?
V1 Zellsis: Things on Version1 have been extremely stressful lately. Vanity spoke to us about wanting to leave the team unexpectedly to reunite with his boys at Cloud9. Well, it was expected, but unexpected at the same time. So from there, we were trying to find a replacement for him. Once we landed on Oderus, it took longer than expected. We had a few other tryouts still but had our mindset on the fifth member. Then his transition to the team got delayed for us leaving us in our current position with a short amount of time together.
Still, we are practicing as much as we can to get to know each other and get as much prep done. Version1 has also been extremely helpful to us by letting us play at this facility and moving us all out here.
You took over the IGL role after Vanity left. What has that transition been like, considering this is unfamiliar territory even dating back to CS:GO.
V1 Zellsis: Even before Vanity left, I felt like I always had a good read on the game, at least mid-round. Once Vanity left, the team wanted to transition me into that IGL role. Unfortunately, personal things happened in my life to where I could not take that time to make the full transition. I knew that I would not be able to handle my own personal life while transitioning into the IGL. We made Effys the IGL for now and I think he is doing really well. He is a hard worker and comes up with a lot of ideas for us. I still handle midround calls occasionally and provide ideas when needed. But Effys has been doing a great job taking this IGL role.
So Effys is the IGL but you guys share leadership in some ways still?
V1 Zellsis: Yeah, I guess you could say we share the leadership role. Whenever I have an idea or viewpoint on the game, I relay that to him. Me and the coach really have a lot of trust in him to lead us well. If I am fragging out and the vibes are up, things are coming together, I can sometimes just go off from there. In those situations, the team has a lot of trust in me to handle that role. We share the leadership in ways.
How does the team operate differently under this type of hierarchy? What has been the biggest challenge for the team and yourself?
V1 Zellsis: When Vanity was on V1, I was still doing the same role I currently find myself in right now. Vanity would make the majority of calls, I would take midround calls occasionally and if I was in a groove I could take over. Vanity would always provide space within the team and allow others to take the lead if they were in a groove.
The biggest transition has been that the team is more structured now. With Vanity, we played very loosely and would bounce ideas off each other. Now, we are going over strategies to the extreme and having extra defaults to minimize mistakes. The environment is team-based now instead of free-flowing.
So when you went up against Vanity today, what was the plan going into a match against somebody who understands your teams quirks?
V1 Zellsis: Well, obviously playing your old teammates sucks. Any pre-existing strategies, Vanity would know what we were doing. We really spent a lot of time almost creating a different and revamped way of playing. The playstyles still remained the same, but many of the strategies are revamped to cater to this group of five better.
We actually did not expect them to bing out KAY/O for Breeze. As for Icebox, I feel like we handed them that game.
How was communication in those final rounds? Did the Kay/O pick fluster in-game calls?
V1 Zellsis: I think our comms on Icebox were actually pretty good. Nobody got down. Speaking for myself, I didn’t want us to get down. I just kept yelling like an idiot and then I just tried to keep the guys hyped. I’ve tried to keep each round in the mindset that it is winnable. And every game is winnable no matter the score. So I think we just tried to keep our heads in the game, Unfortunately, their lead made them start playing a little bit more confident. Whereas I think they were given us respect earlier. So I think it just kind of snowballed in their favor.
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What’s been the music that you’ve been listening to keep that upbeat and positive energy even through?
V1 Zellsis: Well, it’s not really music I guess that’s keeping my energy up. It’s I’ve been eating really well. I’ve been going to the gym and I want to start meditating, doing yoga and stuff I haven’t incorporated that yet. But I’m going step by step and I’ve been going to the gym every day now. Being a pro is mentally draining, so doing what I can to better myself has been great!
Tomorrow you play against Faze clan who put up a good fight against Rise What are your thoughts on that matchup?
V1 Zellsis: I actually expected RISE to win that match because I think that they are highly underrated. They are a well-oiled machine that works well together, especially over the past two months. FaZe play looser so RISE’s playstyle works well against aim-reliant teams. I’m excited for FaZe because of that style. Every match between us is super close. Hopefully, we can pull out a win against them. I believe Babyj is calling now and they have Jdm64 coaching which is big. They have a lot of experience on that team so we can’t get complacent. It will be really close. We need to fix a lot of our mistakes against C9 to beat them. I’m confident we can though.
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