New era in Astralis
After two and a half years, Vizicsacsi has returned to the LEC stage to help Astralis turn over a new leaf and to revitalize his career. By the end of Week 1, both parties might be succeeding.
With a 2-1 record, the team showcased that they shouldn’t be underestimated, as they posed a threat to other teams in the league. Meanwhile, from the front lines, Vizicsacsi victoriously returned to a stage he left in 2019 on a high note.
Unlike the Spring split where the team started 0-9, Astralis have scored two victories with a reshuffled roster. As the roster develops further, the team can create potential upsets in the league.
Upsets are familiar to Vizicsacsi since the old EU LCS days: whether it is Splyce beating FunPlus Phoenix in the 2019 Worlds group stages, or the Unicorns of Love making the 2015 EU LCS spring finals, the list is very long.
Had he not returned to LoL esports, it would have ended in 2019. But he decided otherwise.
Retired no more
By the time Vizicsacsi had reached the 2019 World Championship quarterfinals, the season had taken a massive toll on him. Indeed, as he failed to take care of himself in a mentally stressful year and a rough environment, his batteries ran out. So, he left the competitive scene afterwards.
But his retirement would not last long: as his passion for the game remained strong, he felt the itch to compete.
“Once you are a player and you complete at the highest level, then it’s like an addiction that you want to return to,” Vizicsacsi told Jaxon. “I still felt like I had some good years in me so I wanted to make a comeback and reach new heights.”
By the time he returned to the competitive scene in 2021, Vizicsacsi was a changed man. As he took the lessons from 2019 to heart, he made sure to avoid making the mistakes he did back then.
“With that in mind, I am much more taking care that, mentally I am more prepared,” Vizicsacsi said. “I take the breaks if I need so I am not overdoing it.”
Reuniting with Kobbe and Xerxe in the LEC
Vizicsacsi’s return was not an instant hit: as an emergency substitute in the 2021 World Championship, he was far from his old peak. However, it took one split in the League of Legends French League (LFL) to shake off the rust and get a call from Astralis.
The prospect of playing with former Splyce teammates Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup and Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir played a big role in Vizicsacsi signing for Astralis. Indeed, the trio experienced a rare achievement when they reached the quarterfinals at Worlds.
As they reconnected, the top laner noticed what made the duo special right away.
“I saw that Kobbe is already in Astralis and I knew already how much of a reliable carry he is,” Vizicsacsi said. “Now playing together with him, he has become even better than before.“
As such, he is ‘more than willing’ to play for his AD carry, especially with Sion and Ornn on the frontline during the first week. “I am just ready to sacrifice myself for him in every single game, and I think that gives him confidence, so he can do his own thing.” he added. “We are there to help him out.”
As for Xerxe, who was a teammate of his in UoL back in 2017, Vizicsacsi was reminded of how easy he is to work with. Although they are usually on the same page, they can easily discuss problems and get on the same page quickly when they aren’t.
“I think there is such a huge level of trust, and this is what makes us very scary,” the top laner said. “Reuniting with them [Kobbe & Xerxe], we are such a solid basis, that it’s very easy to work together.”
Expectations on Astralis be damned: this is not the same Astralis
Before the split, many analysts and people within the community ranked Astralis in last place. No one believed in them, especially after the players’ achievements in the last split.
However, sometimes, it’s not about looking at the past results; it’s more about combining the right pieces for a successful roster. There will be always critics, but they can be easily silenced with results—the same results that brought such low expectations in the first place.
“I don’t think there is much point in arguing with that because people obviously just look at results,” Vizicsacsi said. “Xerxe coming from a 10th place team, Astralis being 10th place, me playing in LFL playoffs and not even making EU Masters. People are just looking at these results but they don’t look at the bigger picture of how people work with each other.”
In Astralis’s 2022 summer roster, the trust between players is undeniable, and the overall experience levels can prove to be a vital point in Astralis’ success for this split.
“There might be critics, but I think more and more people will start to realize that this is not the same Astralis that was last split.”