Today marks not only the end of the BLAST Paris CS:GO Major but the end of an era in Counter-Strike history. In front of thousands, Vitality was crowned Major winners for the first time, but their run in Paris is even more astonishing than first meets the eye.
Aside from the individual accolades like dupreeh’s record-breaking Major trophy haul, Vitality as a whole accomplished a run that has only ever been seen one other time in CS:GO history. Two seasons ago, Natus Vincere was the first team to not drop a map en route to a Major title at the 2021 Stockholm Major. From today, NaVi will now have to share that mantle with another black-and-yellow-draped squad.
Vitality’s run to perfection began with best-of-one wins over G2 and ENCE, ranked 6th and 8th by HLTV, respectively. Both were decided by a three-round difference.
A 2-0 win over Monte the next day not only kept the perfect run alive but got them the biggest buff of all. That series win secured the squad a spot in the Legends stage, which was to be played in front of a crowd at Accor Arena in Paris, filled with loyal Vitality supporters thanks to the star French duo of apEX and ZywOo.
It was so VIT favored, in fact, they got in trouble with tournament executives.
Vitality had to shut down two huge Cinderella runs to punch their ticket to the Paris grand finals. In fact, none of their three playoff opponents were in the top fifteen of the rankings prior to the Paris Major. Not that they didn’t prove their worthiness though: Into the Breach took games off FaZe and ENCE, Apeks swept North America’s last hope, Team Liquid, in quarters, and GamerLegion knocked out title contenders Heroic to make the grand finals.
Related: Vitality’s ‘chosen one’ claims BLAST Paris CS:GO Major MVP trophy
Statistically, when comparing the two runs, there are a ton of similarities to draw between NaVi and Vitality besides their color schemes. S1mple and ZywOo, the two respective Major MVPs, both led the tournament in overall rating while wielding the big green. S1mple, however, had arguably his greatest individual tournament with an astounding 1.47 rating in NaVi’s perfect run. ZywOo wasn’t far behind with a 1.39 rating on his home turf. Both players showing that in order to stay perfect at a Major, teams need an all-time performance from their superstars.
While stars showing up is always the biggest headline when looking at perfect major runs, both NaVi and Vitality also had X-factor players step up. What’s even more interesting is both squads had their newest members as those difference-makers.
For NaVi, it was bit who had arguably his best Major performance. It isn’t talked about that much because of how amazing s1mple’s Major was, but the youngster finished in the top five of the tournament with a 1.27 rating, with a standout in the quarterfinals eliminating Vitality from the Major with 27 kills on Nuke. Less than a year after joining, the young gun was top-fragging to send NaVi through to the semis of a Major.
Speaking of new kids on the block, Spinx has been with Vitality for only nine months by the time the Paris Major rolled around. Despite such a short stint with the squad, Spinx has been a huge catalyst for the team and it showed in their perfect run at the Paris Major. The Israeli player finished with the third-highest overall rating at the Major, 1.24. Spinx’s best map of the entire tournament came was a 24-11 K/D alongside an outstanding 1.79 rating on Overpass in the grand finals. Just like with NaVi, ZywOo will take the spotlight, but it was Spinx who carried his squad one game away from that Major title.
Despite coming years apart, there are clear parallels between the only two perfect Major runs in CS:GO history. Otherworldly performances from the superstars and underrated moments from the newest additions to their respective rosters tie NaVi and Vitality’s runs together forever.
In the end, both teams and both Major runs will go down as some of the best of CS:GO in the decade-long history of the game.
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