apEX: "This was the hardest Major qualifier I ever played"

Dan "⁠apEX⁠" Madesclaire and company secured their qualification for the Major on the last day of the RMR despite some of the issues faced coming into this tournament.

A tough set of matchups saw Vitality face FaZe and Natus Vincere at the European RMR, two matches that really tested the strength of the French-Danish roster. The 2-2 elimination match against MOUZ saw the apEX-led squad come back from a 0-1 series score to seal their victory on Mirage, qualifying for the PGL Major in Antwerp.

Vitality secured their spot at the Major after beating MOUZ

After a long week and a tough last match, the French in-game leader joined us to discuss the challenges presented by the new Vitality squad on their way to qualifying for the Major.

You finally made it through to the Major, 3-2. It got pretty close at times. Tell me, what's going through your head right now?

What's going through my head is pretty simple, this was the hardest Major qualifier I ever played. Playing the two best teams in the world, it's something that should never happen with the seed we have. I think the Major should have the best teams. While obviously we are not the best team in the world, not top five, but definitely in the top ten and we deserve to be there. With this Buchholz I think it's pretty bad that matchups like this happen, like even yesterday, I am sorry to SAW and forZe, but for a 2-1 match? How the fuck can that happen? I am speechless about that. We knew that we would have a tough bracket, and there have been tough games like we played FaZe, NAVI, and also MOUZ, so that was a tough qualifier, the hardest one of my life for sure.

It has been taking a bit of time for the new Vitality to ramp up, but you are finally getting there. Do you think this qualification finally validates the fact that you are getting better and on the road to contest titles?

I don't think today was a pretty day for us, we just didn't play well, but I think the last three days have been pretty good for us. Even though NAVI did not practice I thought they were good enough, Boombl4 had one of his best games in a long time on Inferno, s1mple was s1mple on Mirage, so I thought we were pretty close to beat them. Also, against FaZe we were 14-10 up and we had some trouble closing out games right now, but I think we are improving and that's what matters right now for me. We had two weeks of preparation before this tournament, we have two more weeks coming up and if we keep improving I am pretty sure we can have a good Major. I am not talking about winning or losing the Major, but just doing a good one. I just want us to play at our best, and I think we played decently In the last few days even if today was pretty bad.

You mentioned your struggles in closing out games. The FaZe one, in particular, comes to mind. You were 14-10 up, what happened there?

We did not have time to prepare the game at all, because we finished the previous game at like 3pm or 4pm, and we played at 5pm so I had to take a nap and they just knocked at my door, saying we had to play in 30 minutes.

We decided to play pretty fast in that game, I think we were 7-8 on the CT side and then we started winning 13-7 or something while playing really fast. We just ran on them, that was my purpose in this game, and yeah we lost some momentum and could not clutch, like today. How many times were we 5v3 or 4v3 on the A site and we could not close it out? Because it has been a bit too stressful in those situations, and we just needed to slow down in the end, that was our mistake today.

You have been with the team for a while now, just trying to get to know each other, figuring stuff out. How have the roles and voices in the team evolved? And how is zonic helping in this process?

It's really different to what I've had in the past two years as an in-game leader because now I have way more experienced players that want to do things by themselves. Last year, the only one that wanted to do it was shox, so it was easy to control one. Now controlling two it's a bit harder for me because I have never experienced this, but with time and trying to figure out how I can call better, still getting my identity as an in-game leader. When you have a player like dupreeh that plays a lot on his instincts, you have to deal with the fact that sometimes it's going to work and sometimes not.

I think today we tried to get the first kill, and then we all tried to get other kills, and then we were 2v5, and at that moment I can't call anything and that's a bit frustrating for me because I am not used to that. For me, CS in the last two years was more strict with the teams we had, because people did not take the initiative so I had way more control. Now I have less control over everything so, I just need to find my balance and I think I am finding it sometimes but not too often so I just need to work.

dupreeh, Magisk, and ZywOo were fantastic on Mirage

You mentioned trying to find your identity as an IGL, and after becoming one you worked with XTQZZZ for a long time. Now that you've worked with zonic, how do they differ and how is your relationship with him going?

The difference is that I knew XTQZZZ for a really long time, we have known each other for like 13 years, so it was a really good relationship, we were friends, even though he was my coach. It was easy to talk together, and Rémy is a bit different from zonic as he sometimes was more harsh, he's more strict and pushy on the players while zonic is slower and tries to trust the players. It's two different styles in that sense but overall they both work really well, they always just try to get me as an IGL to talk a lot more.

Building a relationship with a coach is just having a lot of talks about everything, and that's what I try to do because obviously, he worked four or more years with g1ave, and I worked for three years with XTQZZZ so there are different ideas and identities in Astralis compared to Vitality. We need to group everything together and find a new Vitality identity. It's not just a bit of Astralis and a bit of Vitality, it's just the new Vitality because we have different players. It's not easy, but it's fun.

Talking about this new Vitality identity, how does Magisk fit in that new identity? He was a caller for a bit in Astralis, is he helping you in any way or being maybe more vocal than some of the other players you've had in the past?

He is not as vocal as shox for example, but he's vocal. I really want Magisk to focus on himself because I think he can have impactful rounds that for example, he had on Mirage, he rekt the CTs. It was really good seeing him play like that and I want him to focus on playing like that, and also helping with the calling but not too much.

Until today you had not grabbed a win on Mirage with this team, what is the problem with it?

I think we arrived at this tournament ready on Mirage. We lost against the best teams in the world on Mirage, FaZe, and NAVI, and NAVI are just picking the map, not Nuke, nothing else. We were pretty close to beating them and that was our big focus on this tournament because we knew that at least three teams would pick it against us. Actually I think FaZe felt pretty good about getting Mirage for our best-of-one but we worked a lot on it and we wanted to show it. Let's be honest, if we play a very stressful game for the first time on Mirage, it's going to be really hard for us to perform so we just wanteded to play it earlier. It was very important for us to play against FaZe because today, in a stressful game without playing it in officials after some time, it would have been pretty hard.

I think at the beginning the main problem was just the two Danes had not played the map in quite some time, and they needed to more time to understand the map in some ways. But now I think we are all getting more confident on the Mirage and It's getting much better. If we had won against FaZe there would be different conversations about us and Mirage, so it's not about the map but the way we play and not being able to close rounds, in any other map we would have lost the same way, not just Mirage.

ZywOo is getting slowly back to his top form, he's getting there, but when are we going to see Zinedine ZywOo again?

I don't know, it is sometimes a bit tough for him. He did not get immediately used to some people getting some space and doing that kind of stuff, with old teams it was not that they were set up around him, but he just knew what people were doing. Now it's a big difference because people are playing more by instinct, so sometimes he's a bit more lost on T sides, and I think his weakness is more the T side not the CT side.

Obviously I am not saying we need more time to perform because that's now how it is, but I think he needs to feel more comfortable with more time because ZywOo's English at the beginning of the team was pretty shit, and he's getting much, much better. He understands what people are doing and what people want so he just needs some more time. He and dupreeh are the big stars of the team right now and I hope they keep wrecking people.

France Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire
Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1953
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.70
Based
2022-04-20 18:26
1 reply
Ratio
2022-04-20 21:14
#2
jks | 
Greece J0hnN
Top 16th in the major
2022-04-20 18:26
8 replies
#8
 | 
France shwayy
APEX SIGMA MALE REKTED PIMP LOL
2022-04-20 18:27
6 replies
where
2022-04-20 18:30
4 replies
#23
 | 
France shwayy
in the arena
2022-04-20 18:34
3 replies
Apex so savage lol
2022-04-20 19:32
2 replies
"zywoo english is pretty shit" - apex lol
2022-04-20 20:46
1 reply
*was
2022-04-20 22:36
apex is a god for this
2022-04-20 19:39
Lesssgooooo
2022-04-20 18:48
#3
FalleN | 
Portugal lift7
gg
2022-04-20 18:26
#4
 | 
Lithuania _is_best
0-3 in major
2022-04-20 18:26
hh
2022-04-20 18:27
#6
 | 
Latvia HiImRenars
he rekted pimp))
2022-04-20 18:27
15 replies
clip
2022-04-20 18:29
13 replies
12 replies
LMFAO
2022-04-20 18:32
lmao
2022-04-20 18:40
gigachad
2022-04-20 18:48
#49
 | 
Argentina Saazu
Lmaoooo Was pimp throwing shit towards apex or vitality?
2022-04-20 19:10
4 replies
i think he said vitality isnt going far this major
2022-04-20 19:41
1 reply
and both him and Maniac called out apEX for doing a lot of stupid mistakes by himself and dies untraded because he thinks he has to create too much space. Which is the truth and he knows it, it was just friendly banter :)
2022-04-20 22:37
#124
 | 
Europe Khanan
Pimp is generally too big mouthed sometimes if you ask me
2022-04-21 00:32
1 reply
#165
 | 
France Terapiah
no need to ask we all know he talks too much
2022-04-26 16:02
lmao
2022-04-20 19:32
kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
2022-04-20 20:09
#98
 | 
Europe JemappeIIe
What happened?
2022-04-20 20:56
hahaha get shit on pimp. absolutely wrecked.
2022-04-21 03:04
chad
2022-04-20 22:19
ez4VITALITY major win incoming
2022-04-20 18:27
1 reply
+1
2022-04-21 11:24
revenge win over faze inc
2022-04-20 18:27
2 replies
Device back from being simp or no?
2022-04-21 13:32
1 reply
he's currently partying a lot with hookers. give him some time.
2022-04-21 14:40
#10
 | 
Australia B_Tannen
stacked group
2022-04-20 18:27
#11
 | 
Yugoslavia Poney
this system needs to go
2022-04-20 18:27
ez4VITALITY Vitality win major
2022-04-20 18:29
#15
Zana | 
Germany aL1337
apex legend
2022-04-20 18:30
1 reply
good game
2022-04-20 19:03
Interesting read
2022-04-20 18:31
apexGOD top4 at major
2022-04-20 18:32
#21
 | 
United States D1ngusboi
You would think Vitality is the best team in the world based on their matches. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s better than the minors
2022-04-20 18:33
3 replies
They are clearly improving, and I believe when Apex find his place in this team, they will start being a top5 team, and from there on they will probably end up contesting for top1.
2022-04-20 21:42
2 replies
#116
 | 
Canada Femtal
they almost beat Navi and FaZe I think people just like hating this vitality can be a top team in a few weeks/months
2022-04-20 22:45
#121
 | 
United States D1ngusboi
I totally agree. I think everyone has their role set out for them, the communication barrier just takes time to overcome. Once they are on the same page there it could be quite a scary team ngl
2022-04-21 00:09
Need a 2nd star rifler
2022-04-20 18:36
5 replies
magisk
2022-04-20 19:35
4 replies
#111
 | 
France 72snack
dupreeh
2022-04-20 22:26
2 replies
he said 2nd star rifler. When it comes to 1st star rifler (dupreeh) since zywoo right now is considere a star awper however he can be hybrid star whenever he wants just like s1mple
2022-04-20 22:41
1 reply
#144
 | 
France 72snack
ho alright i thought it was like overall star of the team like 1 star who is an awper and 2 star who is a rifler
2022-04-21 11:30
Magisk plays anchor roles though
2022-04-21 02:51
tier 4 at best!
2022-04-20 18:36
5 replies
Flag
2022-04-20 18:48
4 replies
#38
 | 
Netherlands SpiceNut
Flag
2022-04-20 18:51
3 replies
Hi military girl
2022-04-20 18:52
2 replies
#41
 | 
Netherlands SpiceNut
Whut?
2022-04-20 18:54
1 reply
hi girl))
2022-04-20 18:55
playing MOUZ jr hardest qualifier xd
2022-04-20 18:39
4 replies
And Na'vi had hard time too, playing against quazar, OmegalulG and Forze..
2022-04-20 18:51
3 replies
#47
 | 
France sAeR
why you reply to him ? he has Near Airport brain lul
2022-04-20 19:06
did I say they had hard matches? yawn
2022-04-20 19:24
1 reply
#126
 | 
Europe Khanan
Cheap bait 0/8
2022-04-21 00:35
ez for APEX GOAT
2022-04-20 18:40
#31
 | 
Canada go1x1n00b
wp
2022-04-20 18:42
" with old teams it was not that they were set up around him, but he just knew what people were doing" makes sense looking at the first few mirages he played
2022-04-20 18:47
Then stop sucking so much! Apex and misutaaa are massively dragging the team down...
2022-04-20 19:02
1 reply
#127
 | 
Europe Khanan
Lol
2022-04-21 00:35
Highest level of CS, thats normal
2022-04-20 19:02
true this system is terrible
2022-04-20 19:10
Hes right, terrible seeding and matchups system
2022-04-20 19:14
1 reply
Yeah I also was surprised by a few of the matchups.
2022-04-20 20:18
APEX: "THIS WAS THE HARDEST MAJOR QUALIFIER ZYWOOTALITY HAS EVER PLAYED"
2022-04-20 19:26
#57
 | 
Denmark 12inchNRG
Proof that zywoo isn't even close to s1mples level, it was obvious that the previous vitality teams were always setting him up and building the playbook around him. He is a great player, definitely a top 3 player. But you can't compare him to s1mple who has been the best player in the world regardless of the igl and team around him.
2022-04-20 19:29
10 replies
??? apex literally explained nobody was setting up anything for him. He also said that he micromanages ZywOo and misutaaa in live interview, while dupreeh and Magisk has free space
2022-04-20 19:37
6 replies
#71
 | 
Argentina cheapdeed
french roster was blatanly built around him once he went from rifler to awper
2022-04-20 20:01
5 replies
French Roster was built around him in 2019*, after apex took charge he changed rotation positions for zywoo to not play there and swapped zywoo to do more of utillity based functions and in 2021 ZywOo would be entryfragging, Apex talks how he likes to balance zywoo because, if you see ZywOo is much more agressive than what we look at in matches, if apex had not micromanaged him, we would probably see some weird shit like ZywOo ak full yolo push outs. Which he kinda says not to but at the same time we get knowledge that zywoo wants to do everything he can to win for his team (stated in multiple interviews).
2022-04-20 20:05
4 replies
#73
 | 
Argentina cheapdeed
nt apex
2022-04-20 20:05
1 reply
nt danishleaks
2022-04-20 20:06
wasn't built around him in 2019 wasn't built around him in 2020 wasn't built around him in 2021 still not built around him
2022-04-21 04:17
1 reply
Did you read my post i said in 2019 he was setup and built around till 2020 where some of it was scrapped and he was only half-setup shox took sometimes more space than zywoo. In 2021 he was more of teamplayer for Vita and sometimes guy to carry he was given more space again at the end and now stripped of it again 2022
2022-04-28 07:02
0/8
2022-04-20 20:59
#128
 | 
Europe Khanan
Saying you have no clue about cs without saying it. S1mple is also dependent on his team and can only perform in great teams. You’re terribly wrong
2022-04-21 00:36
And so was navi built around s1mple like since ages ago? if you compare both of them zywoo is way too selfless for how good he is, more often than not he's not the hero ak47 or m41-s, i'd say stupid decision considering when he's top fragging and hitting insane shots, it's either dupreeh or apex that hold the bigger gun in an eco round. Meanwhile s1mple in the other hand, fk his teammates, it's s1mple game, just give him the hero AK 90% of the time to win the round, there's nothing wrong with it when he's clearly above everyone else, but saying zywoo got the same treatment like s1mple did is super delusional
2022-04-21 07:06
#61
 | 
Czech Republic castkic
apEX is a boss
2022-04-20 19:32
G1ave lul
2022-04-20 19:37
apex legend
2022-04-20 19:37
#67
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
and u didnt deserve it
2022-04-20 19:41
26 replies
deserved considreing the hardest seed, and decent fight to Faze and Navi
2022-04-20 20:07
1 reply
#84
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
so? #83
2022-04-20 20:43
You said that you were one of the most objective guys here....whats objective about saying "undeserved" on a team that had to fight navi and faze just to qualify?
2022-04-20 20:17
13 replies
#85
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
cuz #83
2022-04-20 20:44
12 replies
Where is #83?
2022-04-21 05:55
11 replies
#145
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
lmao, hltv deleted someone's comment where was my reply
2022-04-21 11:54
10 replies
Write again
2022-04-21 15:25
9 replies
#154
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
1) they are tier 2 team without luck 2) apex is one of the worst igl in top 10 teams
2022-04-21 17:14
8 replies
0/8 bad bait
2022-04-21 17:30
7 replies
#156
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
not bait
2022-04-21 17:59
6 replies
if you are not baiting then you are just pure stupid
2022-04-22 14:51
5 replies
#159
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
no, i just can be objective
2022-04-22 14:53
4 replies
name 8 igls better then apex
2022-04-22 15:09
3 replies
#161
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
almost everyone in top 15
2022-04-22 17:45
2 replies
Lmao braindead as always
2022-04-23 08:02
1 reply
#163
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
XD ok
2022-04-23 12:46
kekw this salty fan again
2022-04-20 20:23
9 replies
#86
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
salty XD vitality is REAL tier 2 team
2022-04-20 20:44
8 replies
Dude your so salty, nobody hates on your team or its players show atleast some respect for others man :3
2022-04-20 22:43
7 replies
#117
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
i show respect for normal teams(like heroic, nip, spirit, g2 etc) and if i say something "bad" about vitality or other teams it doesnt mean i hate them
2022-04-20 22:55
6 replies
thing is you already say things that are not covered with facts and call Vitality dogshit last time i saw you were posting and hoping Vitality bomb out of major also some opinions are to be kept in private. Get a grip man cmon <3
2022-04-20 22:56
5 replies
#120
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
cuz they dont deserve a major spot, and i said why
2022-04-20 23:53
4 replies
#129
 | 
Europe Khanan
You’re kinda dumb, gl
2022-04-21 00:38
3 replies
#130
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
I am not, someday everyone will understand my thought
2022-04-21 00:49
2 replies
#131
 | 
Europe Khanan
No one deserved major qualifier more than Vitality, gl with ur opinion that makes no sense
2022-04-21 01:12
1 reply
He just hates vitality and zywoo. But he tries to justify it with some objective reason
2022-04-21 15:25
Makes sense given his teammates
2022-04-20 19:44
zywoo not in form.. he is just rated top 4 player of the event .. i hope he come back in form for major
2022-04-20 20:20
#80
 | 
Chile esanchez47
Top 1-2 at the end of the year (with NaVi)
2022-04-20 20:22
#82
ropz | 
Turkey XaimeQ
all expected teams qualified except forze and ef so what is wrong with the system xd i hate to see those egoistic speeches,i
2022-04-20 20:32
3 replies
#119
 | 
Canada Virauve
The fact that is in that RMR the top 4 was Na’Vi, Faze, Outsiders and Vitality. Vitality had to play both Faze and Na’Vi to qualify. On the other hand, Outsiders biggest challenge was BIG and didn’t have to play any of the other top-4. With 16 team playing so little games, each of the top-4 shouldn’t have to play each other at all or each only one other in the top-4.
2022-04-20 23:33
2 replies
so i dont agree with that at all, because you’re basically saying that for example saw,forze has to be play against those 4 and its not fair the system already gave free wins those 4 as you can check the results, navi played against quazar xd
2022-04-21 00:13
1 reply
#132
 | 
Canada Virauve
It's absolutely fair. The groups are setup so the major has the best teams playing. It's why most were given easier opponents to almost guarantee them participating. It's on the teams that don't generally make the major to upset someone for their spots. For some reason Vitality had to play the top-2 teams in the world, not in their group, in the world, to qualify, while Outsiders played no top-10 teams. The rest of the teams played 1 top-10 team to qualify.
2022-04-21 02:03
cuz ZywOo go kill doesnt work anymore huh
2022-04-20 20:45
2 replies
It only works in the French team and definitely doesn't work in this new roster at all.
2022-04-20 20:47
1 reply
Interesting fact is that ZywOo, misutaaa is micromanaged by apex he said it himself. He tries to find balance beetwen 2 micromanaged players and 2 free space players. The old french roster except shox was completly micromanaged which explains a lot of their success
2022-04-20 22:12
Not going so far with this performance
2022-04-20 20:52
because everyone knows that zywoo go kill strats now
2022-04-20 21:04
ZywOo just needs to get fat again to improve his rating
2022-04-20 21:30
2 replies
ZywOo needs to enable his monitor
2022-04-20 22:11
#141
jabbi | 
Poland czan
+1
2022-04-21 08:43
cry will have more to cry in the major
2022-04-21 00:33
Yeah I feel for Apex because last year they had really taken Vitality to the top and only a world beating in form Navi could top them, even then always close. To have the org break up a winning team like that, disrupt a working system around the world's second best player, and fire his mate of 13 years must suck big time. Then for them to expect contrasting styles and languages to better that was mind of insane. Fair play to Apex he's taken on the challenge so maybe with time they can make it work, and get back to 2021 levels, but looks hard. Positives are it's great to see Dupreeh come back online, if it can click with Zywoo... It would be good to see. Also yeah, weird stacked group A just seems dumb when you look at group B...
2022-04-21 02:40
huge respect for apEx
2022-04-21 04:14
It was.
2022-04-21 11:11
and should be the easiest
2022-04-27 15:29
#168
 | 
Austria XH4N
if you think you "deserve" to be at the major, you have to prove it! If you loose against top 5,10,20 teams maybe you don't deserve it?
2022-04-28 14:56
#169
 | 
North America BoDaddy
He's not wrong the seedings for this major have been atrocious
2022-04-30 19:39
#170
 | 
North America BoDaddy
if you don't think vitality deserved to be at the major more than Eternal Fire than you're clueless
2022-04-30 19:40
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.
Now playing
Thumbnail for stream
United Kingdom
ESL TV
19696 viewers
Top streams
All(37)
Casters(22)
Streamers(12)
Organizers(3)
United Kingdom
ESL TV
(19696)
Brazil
gaules
(13589)
Russia
Maincast
(8364)
Spain
DreamHack
(2672)
France
kennyS
(2063)
Montenegro
Lobanjica
(2123)
Brazil
Apoka
(1986)
Other
FURIOUSSS
(1252)
United Kingdom
smooya
(1136)
Poland
byali
(672)
Brazil
gaules TV
(647)
Russia
Dima
(552)
Germany
99Damage
(468)
France
KRL
(413)
Russia
Patsi
(407)
Brazil
CBCS
(247)
Brazil
mch
(235)
Russia
watchfulTV
(215)
Poland
dycha
(200)
Brazil
Jogando Junto
(144)
Turkey
Brosskiez
(144)
Brazil
bt0
(124)
Russia
aferaTV
(113)
Russia
OverDrive
(113)
Ukraine
Maincast
(104)
France
SmithZz
(102)
Other
SCL
(73)
France
hAdji
(84)
Sweden
Luddiie
(53)
Serbia
Kuvo TV
(40)
Other
PubliclirTV
(33)
Russia
FinigaN
(30)
Poland
morelz
(19)
Kazakhstan
kartash0v
(14)
Netherlands
ESL Proximus
(3)
Bulgaria
qnchosad
(1)
Turkey
ROOT
(0)