zonic, Lars Robl set to transfer to Falcons *
Vitality's coach and sports psychologist will depart the organization in November.
Update 18:17 :
Danny "zonic" Sørensen and Lars Christian Robl will complete a move to Falcons in November, the pair have revealed in an exclusive interview with Dexerto. The possibility of the move was first revealed by retired French professional player Sebastien "KRL" Perez in a stream on Monday.
“It was not the money that drove me to this,” Lars told the publication. “It was the role, the responsibility, and the freedom I got in the role to create something that I really believe in.”
“Of course, Falcons’ offer is really good, but so were the offers from Vitality and [another] organization,” zonic added. “But for me, it has to be worth it. I need to fulfill my personal goal, which is to try and challenge myself. I understand the concerns, and it’s an easy narrative to make.”
The Danes have worked together since 2018 and made the move to Vitality together, and weren't necessarily a package deal when Falcons began exploring their options, initially with just Robl. However, when the organization's Global Director of Esports and EU Operations, Grant Rousseau, learned that zonic was exploring his options outside of Vitality, he decided to keep the pair together.
As far as the sudden move from Vitality to a team that is definitively multiple steps down the rung is concerned, zonic explained that it was more of a long-term, personal challenge to himself to bring a team up from a lower competitive rank.
“I think it would be foolish to go in and say, ‘We can qualify for the Major, and Falcons’ ambition is to win the Major in Copenhagen,’” he said. “I think that would be stupid and not very responsible.
“But that was also the case for Vitality when I joined. I also said the first year would be rough, and that was despite me having a super team under me.”
The Danish coach clarified that he isn't looking to rip apart the current project and would give the players a "fair chance." However, he has complete authority and almost as importantly, the resources, to make sweeping changes and speed up the organization's timeline of building a title contender.
Both Robl and zonic emphasized their belief in how the pair of them could be a force for good in the region.
“I think there is a positive change going on in Saudi Arabia,” the Danish coach argued. “With the number of gamers that the region has, being able to contribute to this positive change by bringing, let’s say, a Major trophy to Saudi Arabia is something that also drives me.
“I don’t think many people know this, but my father was born and raised in Egypt, so I understand the cultural angle. Having family in Egypt, if I can contribute to Saudi Arabia’s goals, which are definitely to open up more, then I’m proud to be able to help in that department as well.
“I’m not going to sit here and say there are no issues. But what I teach my kids is that if they are trying to be better, I will encourage them and help them do that. I think that bringing a Major title would be a small but good contribution to where they’re heading.”
The 37-year-old's departure from the roster of the reigning Major champions is allegedly due to the French organization wanting him to go down in salary as he re-negotiates his contract, which is reportedly set to expire at the end of 2023.
zonic has been a part of Vitality since January 2022 and is widely regarded as the greatest coach in CS:GO, standing behind Astralis as they won four Major titles and taking that experience with him to Vitality, guiding them to their first Major win at the BLAST.tv Paris Major.