Team Vitality has had enough. The former number 1 team in the world, now only ranked 6th, has been struggling for the past 10 weeks to get decent results. The French squad took a nosedive, going from being first at BLAST Premier: Fall 2020 in December last year to finishing 10th – 12th at BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2021, 9th – 12th at IEM World Championship, and 13th – 16th at ESL Pro League Season 13.
Vitality’s Failure in 2021
When failures start to accumulate, a CS:GO team needs to change something. And most often, a player is benched and replaced. Because that’s the easiest way to change the dynamic, motivate everyone, bring in a fresh pair of eyes, and rebuild.
Since the start of 2021, CIS teams went from good to unbelievably strong. We now have 4 of them in the top 7, which is something I’ve probably never seen before. Natus Vincere, Gambit, Virtus.pro, and Spirit are all playing incredibly well right now and the other competitors can’t seem to keep up with their rate of innovation. Vitality is no exception.
In spite of having the best player of the last 2 seasons in their roster, the French can’t seem to make it work. Everyone’s asking: is RpK getting old? Or why can he no longer keep up with what these 20-year-olds are doing? At 31 (almost 32 actually), he probably no longer has the time to train non-stop like young people usually do in esports. And that had a big impact on Vitality’s inability to survive the Group Stage at the recent ESL Pro League Season 13. The French squad got destroyed in that tournament, mostly by much younger rosters like NiP.
The question is, however: who is Kyojin and can he really help Vitality to make a comeback?
Who Is Kyojin
Jayson “Kyojin” Nguyen is a 22-year-old French player who started his career in late 2019 at Warthox Esport. In effect, he’s only been playing for 18 months and he’s never made an appearance on a big stage. By all statistics, this is a complete unknown. So you might be asking yourself: how will this guy improve Vitality’s results? And the answer is: he probably won’t.
Don’t get me wrong, young superstars enter the pro scene quite often. And everyone has to start somewhere. But my feeling is that Kyojin hasn’t seen enough teams and matches to have the ability to start competing for a top 10 team at this point of his career and actually turn it around.
Of course, we must also give Vitality the benefit of the doubt. Because it’s not like they’re trying to fail or anything. When big teams pick completely unknown players to join their roster, they don’t do the way Apollo Creed picked Rocky to be his next opponent. They do it after a careful examination and probably a thorough process of testing all of their knowledge and skills. So if ZywOo gave his blessing, then Kyojin probably has the potential to impress. Whether or not he will in the current competitive climate, remains to be seen.