dupreeh confident Vitality learned from last Major’s mistakes for BLAST Paris

Luís Mira

Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen spoke with Dexerto about how Vitality have prepared for the BLAST Paris Major — the 19th CS:GO Major of his career.

Vitality have been in this situation before, riding a huge wave of optimism just before a Major. Last time out, things went sour.

Vitality had just won ESL Pro League 16, picking up their first title since moving away from a French-speaking lineup and taking the international route. But those gains were wasted as the team entered a hectic period with back-to-back tournaments — the Europe RMR and the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown — before the IEM Rio Major came around. In Brazil, Vitality finished only 12th-14th and even had to scramble to get out of the Challengers Stage.

The similarities to where Vitality are now, just before they enter the BLAST Paris Major in the Legends Stage, are striking. The team ended a trophyless run at IEM Rio last month and is once again being talked about as a title contender in Paris, where the field appears to be just as wide open as it was seven months ago, at the previous Major.

Heading into the French event, Vitality is dead-set on not making the same mistake. To prevent burnout, the players were given a week off after coming back from Rio. The preparation for the Major started online, with the team gathering in Paris at the start of this week for a quick bootcamp.

“We looked at the mistakes we made before the Rio Major, and one of the big mistakes was that we basically played too much,” dupreeh told Dexerto. “We put in too much time. We didn’t have enough time to rest and get everything sorted at home. We went to the Major in Rio, playing the Challengers Stage directly into Legends, and playing one and a half weeks straight, not getting any time off.

“It was just too much. We were way too exhausted. We really wanted to change that, this time around.”

dupreeh noted that the victory in Rio was the product of the preparation for the Paris Major, not something that happened by design. The team, he added, “put all eggs” in the Major basket when planning out the season at the start of the year.

“We’ve been putting in a lot of effort to peak at the right time,” he said. “Some people could argue that maybe we peaked in Rio. But for us, Rio was not a tournament we prioritized. It just came around as a good result.”

It’s hard to overstate just how important the Paris Major, France’s first-ever CS:GO Major, is to Vitality. It is the sole French organization at the event and the only team with French players, putting extra responsibility on Dan ‘apEX’ Madesclaire and Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut to fly the country’s flag high.

At the same time, when Vitality began charting a new course for the CS:GO team and lured dupreeh, Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif and head coach Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen to build what they hoped would be an international powerhouse, they did so with tournaments like this in mind.

As the Legends Stage nears, the one big question about Vitality is how the team will handle all this pressure.

“Ever since the season started, we’ve been talking with our sports psychologist about the whole pressure thing,” he said. “Not only because it’s a Major and everyone wants to do well, but also because of the fact that we’re playing in Paris, for the French community and for the Vitality organization.

“A lot is at stake for a lot of people. I think there will be pressure, probably more so than usual. But I think it’s all about how we handle the pressure. I think we can actually turn that into something good, something that can help us perform. We want to achieve something that a lot of people expect from us.

“But I think it’s more on the French guys. apEX and ZywOo may see it that they have to represent French Counter-Strike, whereas the rest of us, yes, we represent a French organization, but we’re an international team. Maybe it’s more on them as persons than it is on the whole team.”

The Golden Hornets, Vitality’s fan group, are expected to turn up in droves at the Major

As CS:GO enters the tail end of its lifespan before the transition to Counter-Strike 2, one of the main narratives that fans enjoy discussing online is which elite players never got to win a Major. A recent HLTV.org article listed ZywOo as one of the top four players who are yet to win an event of this caliber, alongside Nikola ’NiKo’ Kovač, Ladislav ‘⁠GuardiaN⁠’ Kovács and Jonathan ‘⁠EliGE’ Jablonowski.

dupreeh is confident that it’s only a matter of time before ZywOo knocks that milestone off his list, whether that’s in CS:GO or Counter-Strike 2.

“He’s probably one of the guys who deserve it the most, alongside a couple of other individuals,” he said. “On home soil, it would be perfect, but at the same time, if we don’t get the Major trophy here, I’m 110% confident that he will do it in the upcoming title.

“He will get it eventually, he’s still very young. He’s so talented and has a huge career ahead of him. I’m not worried about that. But getting it here, in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, would be unique, of course.”

dupreeh’s personal goals

This is a very special moment in dupreeh’s career. As he takes to the server tomorrow, to face G2 in the Legends Stage, he officially becomes the only player in the entire scene to have played all 19 CS:GO Majors.

Is there anything different about this particular one?

“No, I don’t think so,” dupreeh said. “I have a lot of experience from a long career. Playing the last CS:GO Major is special, but it’s not going to change anything in terms of mental preparation or how I see the tournament. It’s going to be a Major like any other, and I’m looking to get the best out of it.”

In Paris, dupreeh can also reach another milestone in his impressive career if he wins the tournament. Right now, he is tied for the most Major titles with his former Astralis teammates Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth, Nicolai ‘dev1ce Reedtz and Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander – none of whom is playing in the French event – with four trophies apiece.

“On an individual basis, I want to get my fifth Major,” he said. “I want to be the only player with five trophies. That would be unique for me.”

Regardless of how the Paris Major plays out, dupreeh has left an indelible mark in the history of CS:GO. He has won more Big Event trophies than any other player at 31 and is expected to hold on to the record for most prize money earned in the game.

That would be enough for some, but dupreeh has no plans to stop here. He wants to keep adding to his career victories, citing the upcoming Counter-Strike 2 Major in Copenhagen — Denmark’s first Major — as a big source of motivation. “I don’t feel like I’m done,” he said. “So, for now, I want to continue.”

And then, of course, there is the question of the one trophy that he is still chasing.

“I always mention that I have achieved everything there is to achieve, but I haven’t won Cologne yet,” he said, laughing. “That is the one I haven’t won, and it’s a big one. I would really like to try that.”