Spinx’s long-awaited return to form was X-factor Vitality needed to win Paris Major

An undefeated run for the first Israeli Major champion.

Photo by Michal Konkol via BLAST and Team Vitality

The first Israeli CS:GO Major-winner has redeemed himself in the eyes of fans and analysts alike after plowing through the opposition at the BLAST Paris Major.

Vitality overcame each hurdle at the final CS:GO Major, with French superstar Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut carrying through every tournament stage. But Lotan “Spinx” Giladi’s surge in form might’ve been the catalyst for Vitality’s success.

Spinx ranked third in the top players for the Major with a 1.24 rating across 10 maps played, according to stats from HLTV. His form is a far cry from his handful of poor performances in late 2022, but should he maintain his current form, there’s a chance we could see more event wins from Vitality.

Related: Vitality’s ‘chosen one’ claims BLAST Paris CS:GO Major MVP trophy

Spinx’s Aug. 2022 introduction into the international Vitality roster fell flat. Despite success in his two first tournaments, the following series of early event exits clouded their prior success with doubt. The Israeli’s poor form, even according to teammates, was a part of the problem.

He barely scraped beyond a 0.99 rating throughout five events to close out a disappointing 2022. However, 2023 is where Spinx and Vitality have turned it around.

The international roster previously won IEM Rio 2023 only weeks before the Paris Challenger Stage commenced. They toppled OG, Cloud9, and Heroic to claim the top spot, bolstering their likelihood to make a deep run in Paris.

The first Middle Eastern CS:GO major champion gained notoriety during his stint at c0ntact in 2020, eventually leading to a move to ENCE in early 2021. His superstar performance at the Finnish organization put him and the squad on the map, with captain Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer back into the conversation for greatest in-game leaders of the era.

With Spinx front-lining ENCE, the squad came second at ESL Pro League Season 15 and lost to NAVI in the PGL Major Antwerp 2022 semi-finals. Vitality saw his potential and added him to their team of legends. The rest is history.

But there is another reason they made it so far—one that was somewhat out of their hands.

While this undefeated home-town Paris run is a remarkable achievement for the squad, the event itself was packed with upsets, leading to a rather underwhelming playoff series with forgettable rosters making deep runs.

Related: How does Vitality’s perfect CS:GO Major run compare with NAVI’s?

Vitality played G2 and ENCE in the initial best-of-one matches, taking both arguably solid rosters down in close fashion. However, their four best-of-threes were against the lowest-ranked teams in the tournament.

With Heroic, G2, ENCE, FaZe, and NAVI eliminated before the finals, not one top-tier roster duked it out with Vitality in a best-of-three throughout the entirety of the tournament. These easy match-ups paved the way for the international roster to take home the trophy.

Whether Spinx can replicate this form against the top teams—whoever they may be now following the BLAST Paris Major—is up in the air.

About the author
Harrison Thomas

CS:GO, Overwatch, and Valorant Staff Writer - Played CS:GO since 2012 and keep a close eye on other titles. Give me a game and I'll write about it. Ranks are private information. Contact [email protected]