Even though French CS:GO rifler Audric “JACKZ” Jug wasn’t a part of Vitality when they won IEM Rio in April or the BLAST Paris Major on May 21, he played a crucial role in helping the squad turn the season around, according to apEX.
Vitality had lackluster results at IEM Rio Major in November 2022, BLAST Premier World Final in December 2022, and IEM Katowice in February, leaving many fans feeling that a roster change was the only way to solve their issues.
It was only after JACKZ stood in for dupreeh at ESL Pro League season 17 in March that the squad finally clicked together. JACKZ’s temporary stint helped Vitality to get better as he showed dupreeh the way he needed to play in order for the team to succeed, according to apEX.
“When we played with JACKZ, I think it helped dupreeh to see what was needed in the team,” apEX told Jake Lucky and Pimp on May 21 at BLAST’s Overtime show. “[dupreeh] watched him and was ‘Okay, I understood a lot of things now [in terms of] the way I want to play and not being the star I used to be, but playing for the team.’ The fun part is that even though he did this salty job, he got much better! He got much better because he just trusted what we expected from him.”
After ESL Pro League season 17, Vitality became a powerful force in CS:GO and went on to win IEM Rio in April with a satisfying lower-bracket run in the group stage, and then lifted the BLAST Paris Major trophy on May 21 without dropping a single map in the competition, finishing with a 10-0 record.
Their incredible performance meant they matched what NaVi accomplished at PGL Stockholm Major back in 2021. It helped dupreeh set a personal record, with the 30-year-old becoming the only CS:GO player to win five Major trophies.