Like last year, the French squad was able to show real results only in the second half of the year. Despite many roster changes and a disastrous start of the season, Team Vitality managed to climb to the 5th place in the ranking of the best teams of 2021.
In February, unexpectedly for everyone, apEX left the team, but after a short break he returned to the active roster, which definitely benefited the team. The tactical component and the incredible experience of Den were the key aspects that help Vitality not to lose its former shape and maintain the already worked out team formation. Nevertheless, a few weeks after the captain's return, the French team parted ways with Nivera, who decided to end his CS:GO player career and move to Valorant.
The disappointing results of the team cause the need for another change in the active roster. In April the veteran of the French scene — RpK, leaves the team. BLAST Premier:Spring Showdown 2021 was the last tournament in the player's career, to replace which Vitality managed to buy out a young talent from Kumiho Gaming - Kyojin.
The new roster began to show successful results only in the summer, at IEM XVI - Summer. ZywOo and his team managed to reach the semifinals of the tournament, where they lost the championship match to OG Esports - 1:2.
After a summer break, Vitality showed an excellent game already at ESL Pro League S14. The French team reached the Grand Final, where they've played all 5 maps. The fate of the championship was decided only on the final map — Mirage. Natus Vincere won it with a score of 16-14.
The next big test on the way of Vitality was PGL Major Stockholm 2021. Qualifying for the tournament as Legends according to the results of IEM XVI - Fall: Europe could be a necessary booster for the team on the way to the playoff stage. Despite a unsuccessful beginning of the main tournament of the year for the team, Vitality managed to secure itself to the next stage and get the opportunity to feel the atmosphere of Avicii Arena. Despite the strong-willed character and good level of preparation, the French team was defeated in the first match in the arena. The apEX team lost to the champions of the Natus Vincere tournament.
The autumn finals of BLAST Premier became another attempt for Vitality to get the long-awaited 1st place in the S & A-tier tournaments. Having confidently reached the Grand Final, the team was again defeated in the match against Natus Vincere. However, already in the next IEM Winter tournament, the French finished as champions, beating the NIP in the final with a score of 3:0.
Despite line-up changes during the season and a weak start in 2021, Vitality proved to fans that they were ready to impose competition to absolutely any top-tier team. Successful performance at many big tournaments in 2021 demonstrates a high level of team preparation and performance in matches even against the dominant CIS teams.
- In 78.9% of cases, after the first kill from Kyojin, Vitality won the round.
- 143 killed chickens. Such a result of the "hunt" performed by apEX is 2 times more than that of any of his teammates.
Top Teams of 2021:
• # 10, BIG
• # 9, Team Liquid
• # 8, NIP
• # 7, Astralis
• # 6, Virtus.Pro
• # 5, Team Vitality