Zeus: “I wanted to play until the end of the year, but at the Major I felt lost”
The Ukrainian veteran announced on Monday that the tournament in Moscow will be his last as a professional player as he will be calling time on his long career to “give way to the youth.”
The announcement came as no surprise as Zeus had admitted in an interview with HLTV.org at BLAST Pro Series Lisbon that he was planning to retire in 2019. Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov, Na`Vi’s latest recruit, has previous experience as an in-game leader and has been moulded to become Zeus‘ successor since joining the team, which indicated that it was only a matter of time before the torch was passed to the former Quantum Bellator Fire player.
Zeus confessed that he lacked confidence and energy at the Major
In a video posted on his Youtube channel, Zeus has now revealed that, even though he had been struggling for form for quite some time, it was at the recent StarLadder Major that he realised that the time was right to retire.
“I feel I cannot perform as well as I used to,” he said. “Sometimes, I would have no power but I still told myself to keep pushing. I told myself, ‘I have to do it, I need to work and do everything to win’. Even the tournaments we won were not so easy for me.
“We practiced a lot for the Major and everything was supposed to go well, but as a player I felt lost. I did not give my 100% to the game. Usually, I coordinate the team, I cheer the guys up, I scream, I tell the guys not to give up. I did not have full energy or confidence. I felt it during the Major.
“To be honest, I was not thinking about leaving the team after the Major. I wanted to play until the end of the year at least as we have a lot of tournaments. But I think I have made the right decision.”
Zeus went on to explain that he is eager to pass on his experience to a younger generation. He will be paying close attention to one of his side projects, the CIS Esports League, as he dreams of creating a team that can win “a world championship” in the future.
“My goal is to save you time, so that you do not have to wait ten years, like I did, to win your first world championship, but, let’s say, five years,” he explained.
“I want to share my knowledge and experience, show you how things work, what you should focus on, etc.. That is what I was doing in Gambit and have been doing in Na`Vi.
“It will be an offline academy and we will choose the best of you, most likely from the CIS Esports League. So if you want to become a professional player and you have the potential, play in the league, show yourself, and we will offer good conditions and promotion. Our goal is to build a gaming house where we can take you and work with you so that you improve your game and we can build a team. That is how we see the academy process for now.”
After BLAST Pro Series Moscow, Zeus will take some time off to rest, admitting that the constant travelling and the busy schedule have taken their toll on him. But he does not close the door on the possibility of one day becoming a coach, and gives the example of Danny “zonic” Sørensen, who has helped Astralis to become one of the most decorated teams in the history of Counter-Strike.
“If I want to coach, I will return with fresh powers, just like zonic did. He had a big break, then joined Astralis and has since won four Majors, the Intel Grand Slam and a bunch of other tournaments.
“His team was number one for a year. That is cool. That is how you should come back. There is no point in getting to work right now and rushing everything. I do not want to do it now.”