The mastermind behind Astralis’ historic Counter Strike squad and recent Major champion with Team Vitality, is officially signing with Saudi Arabian squad Team Falcons. In what seems to be an esports gamble for most of the community, as said region has yet to be solidified for international play.
The five time CS GO Major champion recently stated in an interview with Dexerto’s Luis Mira that his next step is outside of the European region. After a fallout in negotiations with Team Vitality which allegedly asked for a pay cut in his new contract, it seems the Black and Yellow squad have broken talks with both Zonic and the team’s head of performance, Lars Robl. Both Zonic and Robl signed with Team Falcons and are set to start their new career within Saudi Arabia by November 1st.
Zonic is by far considered to be one if not the best head coach of all time, creating a true legacy with Astralis and immediately pushing Team Vitality into a Major caliber team. Astralis’ turn around is the main reason why Zonic is considered to be one of the greats, as before he joined the Danes, the organization lacked the “clutch factor” to win titles with them only coming close to it. In a matter of 3 years, Zonic managed to win 3 consecutive Major titles and a total of 4 trophies with Astralis, and most recently a 5th Major under Team Vitality.
As soon as this transfer was announced, crazy rumors started to popup around what the Falcons’ 2024 roster truly could look like. Some leaks suggest that Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen and Emil “Magisk” Reifm could be joining the Saudi Arabian side, bringing 2 members that are quite familiar with Zonic’s style of play. Similar to other region projects, it seems Team Falcons is working with a “blank check”, nevertheless Falcon’s global director of esports stated a different idea: “they have come here because they believe in a long-term, sustainable project, one that is not about overspending or being stupid.”
The Dane coach is inheriting a rather tough yet exciting task, as he will have to build a roster from the ground up for Falcons. Both Astralis and Team Vitality had an already proven roster which only needed guidance, with his new challenge being a completely new process for Zonic.
Nevertheless, Zonic is known for bringing the best out of any player even if they are not considered as the “best” within their role. Thanks to his approach to the game which focuses more into team play rather than fully providing support to 1 or 2 superstars, his squads have found balance that no other organization has been able to achieve.
If you want to bet on CS2 matches, the first Major in the CS2 cycle begins its qualification tournament around 2 months after Zonic signs for Falcons. The Counter Strike community will keep a close eye on how the roster turns out, especially after such an ambitious pair of signings to start things off.
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