TaZ: "I want to build something for the future, something to be remembered"

MIRAA
July 19th, 2018 15:00

As the Europe Minor approaches, Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas opens up about leaving Virtus.pro, starting from scratch in Kinguin and the legacy he wants to build.

"I think that when I was in Virtus.pro I was very selfish," TaZ says. "I thought that, if we were over, then everything would be over."

The question had been whether he used to think, when he was at the top of the world, that there was more to Polish Counter-Strike than just his own team. After all, it is easy to overlook what is out there when one has spent their entire career playing for the best team in the country, with the best conditions, including salaries that at one point went as high as $25,000.

As a veteran of the game, TaZ has seen it all, the good but also the bad. He has lived and breathed Counter-Strike for the better part of the last two decades, and 20 years in esports certainly feel like a lifetime. Throughout his rollercoaster of a career, he has won almost everything there is to win – in 1.6 and CS:GO (he was just one game away from also picking up a big title in CS:Source) –, but there have also been times when things have gone awry. Those times include unpaid wages and broken promises from organisations, forcing him to compete at (and still win) tournaments under the temporary name AGAiN.

TaZ opens up about life after Virtus.pro

That is all in the past now, just like Virtus.pro, who benched him in February after a four-year stint during which the team had won several international titles, including one Major crown in 2014, in front of a vibrant Polish crowd in Katowice. Thirty-two-year-old TaZ is a man looking ahead as he prepares for his biggest challenge yet with his new Kinguin team, the Europe Minor.

With Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski, Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski or his brother-in-arms Filip "NEO" Kubski no longer by his side, TaZ has had to start from scratch with far less established teammates who have a combined four Major appearances - eight fewer than him – and a more modest structure around the team, coached by his longtime friend and former teammate Mariusz "Loord" Cybulski. Still, the 32-year-old can’t help but feel that he is "enjoying the game a lot more" now than he was towards the back end of his Virtus.pro stint.

"I do not know what has changed. Maybe it is because this is a new project, and everyone has a fresh mind. Maybe it is because I am working with Loord again and this also gives me a special extra motivation," he says. "There are many small factors, but overall it just feels that everyone wishes [each other] the best. You do not feel anything off during the game, you do not feel that you are making mistakes. You do not feel that something is going wrong. It’s like, ‘you made a mistake, let us move on and just forget’. The game is enjoyable.

"Maybe it is also because the level on which we are playing is not the highest at the moment… Maybe the pressure is not the highest. All the top teams know that, when you are playing at the best tournaments, the pressure is huge, and it is very easy to get distracted and just go off when something goes wrong."

Kinguin are now inside the top 30 and will travel to London with confidence running high after winning the ZOTAC Cup Masters, in Milan, last month. Yet things have not always been rosy. The team’s first two international events, Copenhagen Games and Good Game League, ended in disappointment, with the 0-2 defeat to x-kom in Poznan leaving many wondering whether the team would ever be able to challenge Virtus.pro and AGO for the Polish crown.

It turned out that attending Copenhagen Games so soon after the team’s creation was a mistake. "We overestimated our form going into the event," TaZ admits, quickly adding that he "really wanted to bounce back to LAN quickly" after leaving Virtus.pro. The rest is the result of the growing pains that any new team has to overcome.

"I told the guys at the start that we would get some success and that there would come a time when we would be losing really hard and that this would be the moment of truth, the moment that showed if we could go further and win something in the future, or if we would just crumble under pressure and never come back," he says, before slamming the hectic tournament calendar that teams like his have to deal with. "This line-up played during the first two months more official games than I think I had played with Virtus.pro in one year, you know? That's how it felt. The number of online games we are playing, the amount of pressure we need to cope with, without proper practice, is just too much. Even when we were bootcamping it was hard to find time to practice.

"When I look back, it was a really rough couple of months, but it was also a test for all of us, for the players... How we cope with all this pressure, all these bad results, and stuff like that. And I feel that slowly, the guys are starting to show their potential, show their skill, what we expect that they will show. I am just happy to see them play with more confidence and just show the world that there's a lot more to offer."

A lot has changed in the team since those days. The most important thing, TaZ believes, "is the confidence" that the players are now demonstrating in the server. "The guys just had to find themselves in the game, in our system," he says, expressing his delight at the fact that everyone is contributing, from veteran coach Loord, who remains "fresh with ideas" and "consistently finds new ways to play the game", to the quiet duo of Mikołaj "mouz" Karolewski and Paweł "reatz" Jańczak, "who are doing their job and not being silent".

TaZ wants people to remember more than just the Golden Five or Virtus.pro

For someone used to competing at the top, having to progress through the ranks once again can often lead to frustration. But that’s not TaZ’s case. "There is no pressure from my side," he assures. "You need to lose something to actually start winning big, and I believe that, with time, we will start being successful, but we all need to get real that it is not going to be so easy." He also rejects the notion that there is a clear gap between his team and the elite sides. "The level now, the skill, is getting higher every day, and there are a lot of teams who want to achieve something. Let’s say that a team between top 5 and top 15 drops down to MDL, I think they would have a tough time to go back to Pro League. Maybe BIG is not the best example, because I feel that they belong to the higher tier, but not too long ago they were playing with all these lesser known teams, and they had trouble.

"I just believe that, with good enough spirit and preparation, and with work, you can actually enter this tier one. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything."

But if the team stays on the right track and continues to progress, won’t it face the same issues that usually plague tier one sides? "No, no chance. No way," TaZ says, without even having to think about it. "The team was actually built to not have this kind of problems in the future - that was one of the specific things that we were looking into, because we did not want anyone who would explode [under pressure] or anything like that. I believe that, if we can communicate on the same level, we will not have the same problems that they, or I, have had in the past."

As the conversation turns to more personal matters, I ask TaZ if he did not leave Virtus.pro earlier to try to find happiness elsewhere out of fear for the comfortable position he was in. "The thing is I am the guy who is not thinking about [roster] changes because I know how that affects people’s lives, so…," he says with deep sincerity. "I always try to work extra hard to fix things. I do not look for an escape, for a way to bail out, or anything like that. And the last year was actually the first one in which I felt safe.

"All my career had been more like fighting - you go to an event, you lose, you’re done. You cannot do anything. You join an organisation, they do not pay you. Then you need to find another one, and you do not have any money for like six months and you still need - somehow - to live.

"With Virtus.pro it felt almost the same at the start, like we needed to really work hard every day to achieve this. Last year, I felt like, ‘ok, keep on working hard’. I felt that is where I wanted to be, what I wanted to do. For me, it was just a learning process. Unfortunately, VP was not for me, and I understand that. I have moved on."

At the age of 32, TaZ is the oldest player currently competing in a top 50 team in the world. And even though retirement seems to be out of question - at least for now - he admits that he is thinking about his legacy, about giving back to the Polish community some of the experiences he has had, now that he is no longer the "selfish" TaZ he once was.

"I want to build something for the future, something special - something to be remembered," he says. "Not only for people to remember me, but also so that people remember all about these guys, and to give them a taste of what I was a part of during these last years. I hope that, when I move on or stop playing - or when any of the guys from VP stop playing -, that we will be able to watch other Polish teams succeed. That is my target: to build a project that will nurture and invest in youngsters, so that there will be more to talk about than just the 'Golden Five' or Virtus.pro."

Poland Wiktor 'TaZ' Wojtas
Wiktor 'TaZ' Wojtas
Age:
32
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1556
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
Poland Paweł 'reatz' Jańczak
Paweł 'reatz' Jańczak
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
770
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.12
Poland Mikołaj 'mouz' Karolewski
Mikołaj 'mouz' Karolewski
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1048
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.13
Poland Mariusz 'Loord' Cybulski
Mariusz 'Loord' Cybulski
Age:
31
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
369
KPR:
0.61
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
Poland Filip 'NEO' Kubski
Filip 'NEO' Kubski
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.98
Maps played:
1561
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.17
Poland Janusz 'Snax' Pogorzelski
Janusz 'Snax' Pogorzelski
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1371
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Poland Jarosław 'pashaBiceps' Jarząbkowski
Jarosław 'pashaBiceps' Jarząbkowski
Age:
30
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
1506
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.13
#1
 | 
Poland ThEmsic 
Nice
2018-07-19 14:59
#177
 | 
Latvia Frip! 
2nd
2018-07-22 23:03
#2
 | 
Brazil bandicoot 
gl
2018-07-19 14:59
#7
 | 
Germany hazy_ 
Taz 😂😂
2018-07-19 15:01
#24
 | 
Denmark Twick9x 
Tax mad cuz kicked :/
2018-07-19 15:02
#36
 | 
Spain JustNo 
Taz 😂😂
2018-07-19 15:06
#53
sergej | 
Other Tyload 
Worst on kinguin 😂😂😂
2018-07-19 15:21
- autism + brain ez fix Tyload
2018-07-19 15:40
#140
SPUNJ | 
United Kingdom UKChef 
fan of mibr there's no fixing that 😂😂😂
2018-07-19 21:23
It's too late for him... 😂😂😂 His brain stopped responding. 😂😂😂
2018-07-20 01:52
Middle at best, brings the exp though. Funny thing is, he already did build something that is remembered, Virtus Plow.
2018-07-20 00:43
#25
 | 
Europe Pl4yed 
gl <3
2018-07-19 15:02
#26
Zabey | 
Morocco PiixO 
Taz is finished, just like messi and iniesta
2018-07-19 15:02
*Ronaldo to Juventus haga
2018-07-19 15:03
#32
Zabey | 
Morocco PiixO 
oh, we have another chicken masala cricket expert :DDD
2018-07-19 15:04
Never heard about your country let alone its food and favourite sport
2018-07-19 15:08
#37
Zabey | 
Morocco PiixO 
k. look now, my real country, bunchord
2018-07-19 15:06
Still a third world fake flagger
2018-07-19 15:09
#44
Zabey | 
Morocco PiixO 
Morocco >>>>>>>>> india and name checks out it says everything :DDD you are self-trolling
2018-07-19 15:12
Says a Moroccan lul and btw why fakeflag if ur country is so great.
2018-07-19 15:16
#80
Zabey | 
Morocco PiixO 
because since i joined it was like this?? what's your problem
2018-07-19 15:53
stupid narcassist troll
2018-07-19 15:42
#81
Zabey | 
Morocco PiixO 
shatap irish
2018-07-19 15:54
#119
 | 
United Kingdom Cosharek 
Ez report racist scum
2018-07-19 18:58
#124
 | 
North America KiNGa_da_ACE 
Calling an Irish person Irish isn’t racist lol
2018-07-19 20:04
#133
 | 
United Kingdom Cosharek 
He is racist overall doe look at his comment history
2018-07-19 20:47
#134
Zabey | 
Morocco PiixO 
how about you suck my cock, yellow teeth ?
2018-07-19 21:04
#141
 | 
United Kingdom Cosharek 
Im actually a toilet cleaner living in uk so thanks again for proving my point :)
2018-07-19 21:32
#51
steel | 
Poland Vojtman 
But first, read the post.
2018-07-19 15:18
#137
 | 
Norway sAvageOG 
iniesta ? wtf u want? hes not drama person simple guy and talented old one but still did more than u in your life will do
2018-07-19 21:13
#138
Zabey | 
Morocco PiixO 
simple guy owning a bugatti and countless other expensive cars and went to Japan for a salary bigger than players like gareth bale, hazard,mbappé, etc...
2018-07-19 21:18
#139
 | 
Norway sAvageOG 
still he deserve that of the years he played... its not CR7 or messi that drama is about and cry all the time btw mbappé is still young hazard proved himself nothing more chill dude
2018-07-19 21:20
gl on minor
2018-07-19 15:03
+1
2018-07-20 01:07
Good luck Taz
2018-07-19 15:05
You alredy made this TaZ. Ur a Legend <3
2018-07-19 17:20
#3
 | 
World STEEN_ 
<3
2018-07-19 14:59
#4
s1mple | 
Romania shiftzz 
ye
2018-07-19 14:59
#5
 | 
Poland b7ack0ut 
ok
2018-07-19 15:00
#6
 | 
Korea SpO_oK 
sixth
2018-07-19 15:02
#8
 | 
CIS Galaxy322 
Probably your hair... oops
2018-07-19 15:00
#97
 | 
Brazil bsp_minim3 
LOL
2018-07-19 16:36
not gonna happen
2018-07-19 15:00
You will be remembered as the player with the most sportsmanship
2018-07-19 15:00
#55
 | 
Czech Republic realProkda 
nt bntet
2018-07-19 15:22
nt prokda
2018-07-23 00:06
true
2018-07-24 14:05
ez4TaTaz
2018-07-19 15:00
#12
 | 
Poland Astoner55 
GL TaZ!
2018-07-19 15:00
LMAO TAZ CAREER IN 2018 LUL
2018-07-19 15:01
#48
steel | 
Poland Vojtman 
But first, read the post.
2018-07-19 15:18
#74
 | 
Poland Venox1k 
funny like ur cs scene
2018-07-19 15:42
+1
2018-07-19 15:51
#131
 | 
Brazil d1rk 
+1
2018-07-19 20:24
Respect old idols.
2018-07-19 17:21
#14
 | 
Europe CZADCS 
TAZ <3
2018-07-19 15:00
#16
 | 
Turkey devriyeL 
sorry you are not going to be second zeus
2018-07-19 15:00
#94
TaZ | 
Poland DraggerPL 
He dont have to be secons zeus. He will.be firdt TaZ
2018-07-19 16:31
you are already remembered, Mr. legend
2018-07-19 15:01
#40
SPUNJ | 
Australia nazzle 
thats exactly what i was thinking whether or not he achieves anything in kinguin he will be remember as a legend in counterstrike for a long time to come
2018-07-19 15:09
TaZ is a legend, but he still wants to achieve something, that's cool. Let's wish him best of luck <3
2018-07-19 15:42
#152
 | 
Brazil llskll 
Exactly what i think. But makes me happy he still wants to achieve his goals
2018-07-20 15:51
#18
 | 
United States 51438 
gogo taz!!
2018-07-19 15:01
"Kinguin was banned for matchfixing"
2018-07-19 15:01
iBP Epsilon and Alsen not Kinguin
2018-07-19 20:02
the players are... orgsare still allowed to attend
2018-07-20 21:01
NT bald head toxic taz
2018-07-19 15:01
oh man. you'll be remembered for something alright
2018-07-19 15:01
build a cane old man,i m sure everyone will remember the csgo player that's so old he needs a cane to walk.
2018-07-19 15:02
"old man" lmao, he is only fucking 32 years old and probably didn't even live half of his life
2018-07-19 15:23
in esports terms 32 is like 95.
2018-07-19 15:38
#96
TaZ | 
Poland DraggerPL 
Football carrers ends usually at 32-34... Look at Buffon m8
2018-07-19 16:32
football doesnt require attention spawn of cs
2018-07-23 00:14
Too late me thoughts - he's barely relevant in the Counter Strike Global Offensive scene.
2018-07-19 15:02
TaZ and co. to major
2018-07-19 15:02
#29
kääbik | 
Finland Vkims 
Taz is love
2018-07-19 15:03
#33
fnx | 
Poland neverbait 
lol
2018-07-19 15:04
In order for that to happen, you must stop playing CS:GO luls
2018-07-19 15:07
#41
 | 
Poland $$SOVA$$ 
Tazik
2018-07-19 15:09
good luck
2018-07-19 15:11
TaZ>neo
2018-07-19 17:58
#43
 | 
Belgium Ex666TenZ 
In history
2018-07-19 15:12
#45
 | 
Poland ac1dddd 
expected
2018-07-19 15:13
gl 742
2018-07-19 15:15
I want to have some more free salary before I retire*
2018-07-19 15:18
#50
 | 
Croatia KockicaRekt 
Taz Niko Cold S1mple Kennys
2018-07-19 15:18
#59
 | 
Czech Republic realProkda 
taz neo snax byali papa wait a second...
2018-07-19 15:24
#83
ZywOo | 
Poland Arknes 
POGGERS
2018-07-19 15:56
#52
 | 
Poland SebaRost 
Legends never die <3
2018-07-19 15:20
Taz and whole kinguin will never win anything.
2018-07-19 15:21
I mean tournament with prize pool 250k+ dollars
2018-07-19 15:29
U didnt mention that in ur post "Taz and whole kinguin will never win anything." I just wanted to prove u wrong. :)
2018-07-19 15:33
Well...ok
2018-07-19 15:34
#69
mou | 
Ireland CaptainMou 
I still hope they will
2018-07-19 15:36
#57
 | 
Poland KrossOver 
Good luck brother!
2018-07-19 15:24
kids dont respect legend, TaZ wow... this guy is on scene almost 15years. Good luck TaZmania
2018-07-19 15:26
#62
MINISE | 
Poland ruhoks 
Wiktor is one of the most intelligent and honorfull players in esport. He is exemplar for other younger people who wants to achieve their goal
2018-07-19 15:27
nope... instead we get idiots like espiranto
2018-07-20 21:02
I keep finger crossed for you and your project! You re guy with big heart! Keep goin!
2018-07-19 15:31
#65
 | 
Sweden godname 
TAZZZZZ
2018-07-19 15:33
i like TaZ he is very kind
2018-07-19 15:35
a true legend!
2018-07-19 15:37
atleast this guy still have motivation not like trash neo
2018-07-19 15:43
#78
 | 
France StickyRice 
Legend
2018-07-19 15:50
Already a legend, from now on is just bonus memes
2018-07-19 15:55
gl legend
2018-07-19 16:07
You've already been remembered by people,respect
2018-07-19 16:10
Tax is better than 95% of the kids commenting here, including me! Go Taz, u can do it dad! 💚
2018-07-19 16:11
he is better than 99,9 percent of the hltv idiots lol
2018-07-20 21:03
ok grandpa
2018-07-19 16:12
TaZ The True Legend <3
2018-07-19 16:13
Do something like Gabriel ''TwoFaced'' Toledo! Open a CS GO university, like Games Academy with servers to play and try to stabbe some of your teammates from behind and after that you say: ''We had a great time as a Family!''...4 sure you will be remembered...or the EZ way...you can do like ASPX.
2018-07-19 16:15
#90
 | 
Brazil LucasPaqueta 
you should retire, everybody would remember this ...
2018-07-19 16:16
#91
 | 
Poland k@nios 
I really miss TaZ in VP. They have never been so bad. I blame Snax TwoFaced Toiletto
2018-07-19 16:17
#98
Brazil FLXG 
25k salaries ;'(
2018-07-19 16:37
+taz in vp pls snax was problem :(
2018-07-19 16:37
#101
 | 
United States maaks|off 
I wish he will make it and will be remamberd by esports fans forever!
2018-07-19 16:41
#105
TaZ | 
United States TOCU 
The king will always be king.
2018-07-19 17:09
#107
JW | 
Indonesia ettuzy 
Good luck on the next stage Living legend!
2018-07-19 17:20
#109
 | 
Switzerland codplayer 
really nice article, enjoyed it a lot
2018-07-19 17:22
+1 fuck virtus pro
2018-07-19 17:48
#115
 | 
Poland barushehe 
I Love this guy =)
2018-07-19 18:12
good luck, you deserve it
2018-07-19 18:44
respect
2018-07-19 19:12
#121
 | 
Spain all_in 
taz legend!! Proove everyone wrong about "old man washed up"!
2018-07-19 19:45
#125
 | 
Europe fahadinho 
respect Taz. u kids which talk shit about him should just stfu.
2018-07-19 20:05
No future sorry
2018-07-19 20:08
"I WANT TO BUILD SOMETHING FOR THE FUTURE, SOMETHING TO BE REMEMBERED" hahahaahah this is CS GO, not a fcking Colonization of Mars
2018-07-19 20:10
everyone knows the likes of ronaldinho, beckenbauer, pele and so on in football why shouldnt we remember taz, neo, markeloff and so on like this in cs?
2018-07-20 21:05
#129
s1 | 
Armenia gr1nch 
go plei minekraft
2018-07-19 20:23
MEINKRAFT*
2018-07-20 16:11
#130
SpawN | 
Poland SZPERNi 
taz is the problem lul xD . true legend
2018-07-19 20:24
Lets go Tato! :-))
2018-07-19 20:27
#136
byali | 
Japan KasPro 
Taz<3
2018-07-19 21:09
Taz like cArn, both are legends, who never be forgotten
2018-07-19 22:43
#143
 | 
Belarus Glorin 
legend gl)
2018-07-19 23:25
2018-07-20 02:30
Legend
2018-07-20 11:21
do it fast. you arent the youngest anymore
2018-07-20 12:49
The only thing people will remember is that you looked like 4Head
2018-07-20 13:29
legend!
2018-07-20 13:48
#158
 | 
United States lilhellboy 
Rip taz ahah
2018-07-20 21:58
#159
 | 
Belgium Donderinho 
Oh dear.
2018-07-20 21:58
#160
Snax | 
Venezuela MrBecon 
gg WP
2018-07-20 21:58
#161
 | 
Ukraine VeryNaziGay 
AXAXAXAAX FINALLY THIS IS A THING EVERYONE REMEMBER 4EVER
2018-07-20 21:59
nice building skills
2018-07-20 22:00
Fak
2018-07-20 22:01
#164
 | 
New Zealand JK_77 
That choke will be remembered
2018-07-20 22:05
You already did
2018-07-21 00:49
what a architect that the team what he build
2018-07-21 04:02
#168
 | 
Sweden hen11111 
gay gun team
2018-07-21 04:56
nt taz
2018-07-21 11:13
#171
 | 
Norway na1ty 
Gaykuin
2018-07-21 20:02
They sure will remember that choke from 15-6 up
2018-07-21 23:02
nt Wiktor Wojtas
2018-07-21 23:22
#174
f0rest | 
Macedonia ydjoon 
dude, youre 32, just retire already and take care and spend time with your family... Do something else in life..
2018-07-21 23:27
#176
 | 
Poland klesh_PACTit 
saying the fan of f0rest lmao
2018-07-22 18:56
32 is young
2018-07-28 23:54
#175
fer | 
Russia Orz 
crybaby
2018-07-22 10:26
ahahahahahahahah
2018-07-23 00:09
Come on daddy TaZ my friend!
2018-07-23 12:17
dont worry i will tell my grandkids you are the most notable bot in cs scene
2018-07-24 05:50
OMEGALUL
2018-07-24 08:02
GL TAZ
2018-07-24 12:33
Best <3
2018-07-24 14:06
XD
2018-07-24 14:40
You won a major, you'll be remembered just retire already.
2018-07-25 12:23
#189
Hungary f4p 
TaZ was made remembered, Esport will never forget TaZ
2018-07-27 22:14
#191
 | 
France mintzz 
😂😂 damn
2018-07-29 19:36
something like fixed matches, virtus.throw. youre shit, just quit the game and die you bald piece of ego shit
2018-07-31 23:54
Taz, it's gme. This is S1mple vs ZEUS, and the fact that you jolly back to the stats, and Stat, and not toxic men. Zeus this good GME bad player. Sorry 🙏
2018-08-01 20:33
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