zont1x: “It’s very important for us to prove to ourselves and everyone that Katowice wasn’t a fluke”

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Spirit moved onto the Grand Final of BLAST Spring Finals with a 2-1 victory over Vitality in London on Saturday evening. While it was again Danil ‘donk‘ Kryshkovets and Dmitry ‘sh1ro‘ Sokolov who took the headlines, a strong performance from Ukrainian Myroslav “zont1x” Plakhotia (1.20 HLTV rating) was crucial in taking the CIS squad over the line on a back-and-forth Anubis decider.

zont1x moved up to Spirit’s main team from their academy last year along with donk and Artem “ArtFr0st” Kharitonov. Often deployed on the T-side extremities and as a bombsite anchor on CT, zont1x has established himself as one of the stars of the team since the move, with his 1.16 average rating vital to their victory in Katowice even as he was overshadowed by his fellow teenage prodigy donk. Liam “Slevo” Slevin caught up with him after their victory over Vitality to chat about playing against apEX and Spirit’s struggles as they attempt to live up to the expectations created by that early-season victory.

You’ve overcome Vitality and the hometown hero mezii. Coming into the match today, were you worried about playing in front of the home crowd?

No. No I don’t think it’s even a home crowd but to be honest when you play you don’t hear a lot of screams or anything like that, only when you kill three people or something like that. Most of the time you don’t hear anything so I don’t think the crowd is the problem.

There were stages during that game where we thought it might slip away from you and there has been questions about Team Spirit’s mentality recently. What was it like trying to pull yourself out of those situations where it looked like it might be lost?

We are just getting more experienced on stage. We lost to Vitality two weeks ago, now we are playing better, we understand our mistakes, we understand that we should play more chill to make better decisions and we just have to progress. We are a young team, young players, we just have to play more on stage to play better on stage.

What was the main focus for you guys in order to counter Vitality today?

We just had to understand that if we do our things right, if we do our things without stress without anything like that. We understand their patterns like how they logically think inside of the game, we can win against them so it worked.

apEX seemed pretty frustrated on the stage. Was there any part of your plan to target him and frustrate him even more?

I think apEX is just a very emotional player and human being. When his team is not playing good and they are losing rounds and maybe he is not playing good he is just frustrated. It is how he is designed so yeah.

You haven’t won a trophy since Katowice and we are at the end of the season. How important is it for you to finish on a high and win the trophy?

It’s very important for us to prove to ourselves and everyone, but more like ourselves that Katowice wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t because we were a new team, no one knew how to play against us and all of this stuff. We just have to win to prove that we are actually one of the best teams in the world.

In terms of your competition tomorrow, it’s either NAVI or Virtus.pro. Who do you think you guys will stylistically match up better against?


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