Zeus: "As it stands, I plan to end my career in 2019"
The Ukrainian veteran made the comment during the media day of BLAST Pro Series Lisbon, where Na`Vi finished in second place after losing to Astralis in a three-map series.
Despite being an improvement on the team's previous LAN outings, the runner-up finish in the Portuguese capital was not exactly the way that Na`Vi wanted to end a year that saw them win four international titles, only one of which during the post-break season.
Quizzed on his goals for the new year, Zeus revealed that he wants his team to attend fewer LAN events in 2019, and admitted that he is considering the possibility of hanging up his mouse.
"As it stands, in 2019 I plan to end my career as a player, more likely towards the end of the year, maybe the middle, I'm not sure yet," he told HLTV.org.
"Next year I'm going to try to select certain tournaments that we should prioritize as a team, where we will perform and do our best to win.
"At a certain point [this year], the goal was to become number one, but we didn't manage. I think our priority will be to secure key tournaments next year, for example the Major."
Astralis' title in Lisbon was their tenth at Big Events in 2018, making them one of the most dominant teams in the history of Counter-Strike. This will force many other teams, Natus Vincere included, to reevaluate things in hopes of catching up with the Danes next year.
"They [Astralis] had a better structure and chose the right tournaments," Zeus said. "But, in general, the team is stronger collectively. They have a professional approach. This is the reason they’re number one.
"We did not do all we could to employ a professional approach to its maximum. For this reason, we remained number 2."
Na`Vi had a couple of shortcomings in 2018, most notably a group stage exit at IEM Chicago and a top-eight finish at DreamHack Masters Stockholm, but Zeus still believes that it was a mostly positive year, rating it "four out of five."
"We won four tournaments over the course of the year, we had three second places and four or five third-place finishes," he explains.
"We had three or four events that were complete failures. All in all, with a second-place finish at the Major, I would give it a four out of five."
One of the biggest talking points surrounding Natus Vincere at the moment is the long-term future of Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, after Zeus recently admitted that the 21-year-old prodigy had "many teams interested" in him.
s1mple came close to leaving the team at the start of the year together with Egor "flamie" Vasilyev as both players were courted by the MIBR team, who at the time still played under SK's banner. As 2018 is about to come to an end, Zeus says that the team's star player has yet to make a decision on his future.
"Teams have been interested in him all year," the 31-year-old said. "It's always a possibility because he's one of the best players in the world, maybe even the best.
"We will see come the end of the year. It will be his decision to make. There's a chance [that he leaves], yes."