Team Vitality’s in-game leader cannot wait to play the first Major on his home soil
Vitality is the only torch-bearer for France at the Paris Major 2023, which makes them the only home team in the competition. Renowned for their passionate following, the team, led by apEX and his exceptional teammates, can surely expect a wave of unwavering support, considering their strong position in the title race.
One goal, one opportunity, one mission.
— Team Vitality 🐝 (@TeamVitality) May 12, 2023
apEX and his crew are set to enter the arena to take on fellow European bigshots G2 in their Paris Major opener. Having qualified for the Legends Stage directly, Vitality did not have to play the Challengers Stage, unlike their German counterparts. Therefore, the freshly-crowned IEM Rio 2023 champions will have to bring their A-game to get the better of a G2 side that have gone through the rigors of the Challengers Stage.
apEX talked to HLTV ahead of their first Paris Major Challenge and discussed his team’s preparations, the IEM Rio triumph, and a host of other topics.
The Frenchman did not try to hide the adrenaline rush he has been through in the buildup to the competition.
“I feel prepared, ready, everything. Excited, a lot of emotions in my body right now, but most likely ready. I think we've done everything we could to be ready for this tournament since the beginning of the year. Obviously, you don't prepare for the Major in two weeks, you prepare for it in a few months. That was the main goal for the team since the first of January. I'm feeling good, and just ready to get started.”
He then shed light on the team’s preparation.
“We had two weeks and a half to come to this event, so we took some days off. We had a long road since EPL, with the playoffs, the RMR, and Rio, so we took some days off, and then we started preparing online in one week just to play some practice. Then we went to bootcamp in Paris since Sunday, so we've been here practicing since then. Nothing crazy.”
The veteran rifler also shared his thoughts on how Vitality ended their long history of underwhelming Major campaigns to lift the IEM Rio 2023 trophy.
“Well, to be really honest, we started the year with the BLAST win. We lost no games to qualify for Washington. Then we went to Katowice, lost the quarter-finals to Liquid, a game that we should have never have lost with this crazy comeback on Overpass. We played so bad. Then we had EPL, where we fucked up against ENCE. We had a 14-10 lead in the third map…
What we felt from the beginning of the year was that we played some good CS most of the time, but fucked up in some moments. So what was in everyone's head was to not make the same mistake all over again and to try to be sure that we could have at least made semifinals at the two big tournaments from the beginning of the year without doing those mistakes.
Coming to the RMR and Rio, we knew what we were capable of. Of course, the Rio win, was a pleasure for us and a boost of confidence. Also a satisfying thing that's the way we worked since the beginning of the year is the right one and I think the Vitality from 2023 is different than the one from 2022. That's what we want to show to everyone.”
apEX then revealed his team's Paris Major ambitions.
“It's the first goal of the team to play there (Paris Major Playoffs). Being able to play on our home soil and in front of French people. I guarantee you it's going to be a crazy Major, I have no doubts about that, I need to be a part of that and I need my team to be a part of that. I am just so excited and so focused on being able to reach that goal because I know it means to all the French and everyone to be able to see us in the arena. I think it could be one of the most magic moments in our lives, so let's make it.”
You can read the full interview here.