G2 TaZ ‘ready’ to stand in at Blast Premier Spring Final: ‘I feel fresh, I feel good, I feel confident. Team Spirit are going down’

In this special series of articles, Esports News UK’s coverage of the Blast Spring Final 2024 is in collaboration with the betting partner GGBET UK | Photo by Jonathon Yau

Update: TaZ and G2 ended up taking one map off Team Spirit, but lost 2-1 in their opening day match.

Original article:

Polish G2 Esports coach Wiktor ‘TaZ’ Wojtas told Esports News UK yesterday that he is ‘ready’ to stand in for m0NESY, who will be late coming to the Blast Premier Spring Final in London due to visa issues.

G2 are due to play Spirit today at around 7.30pm BST. TaZ will stand in during this match, after which m0NESY should arrive to play in the other matches.

TaZ told us: “I feel fresh, I feel good, I feel ready. I will do some retakes, some prep, I will be ready. I will be there.

“If I’m playing this game, [Team Spirit are] going down. I’m feeling confident.”

TaZ also took aim at cheaters for bringing the recent Shangai Major qualification changes upon themselves, as the Polish G2 Esports coach slammed those who had taken spots away from hard-working teams.

Perfect World announced last week that open qualifiers for Shangai Major would be scrapped in Europe and North America, and closed qualifier invites would instead be sent out based on teams’ position in the Valve Team Rankings.

The 38-year-old made it to the Blast Paris Major 2023 RMR stage after finishing fifth-to-sixth in the first European open qualifier, so while TaZ understands how easy the path to a Major could be, he acknowledged that the cheating problem was prevalent.

TaZ said:

“I think the cheaters are the real people to blame. That’s the real problem that takes away the magic from open qualifiers, because you don’t get the players [advancing to the Major] who are really fighting for it hard, working hard, because they can get unlucky.”

TaZ, G2 Esports

“That’s the real problem. I think why Valve is doing it is that they want to put more towards tournaments, they want to put more value to the events, by that maybe you’ll have more open qualifiers and closed qualifiers for the smaller teams.

“By playing some ESEA Open, going to ESL Challenger, you have the chance to go to these events because there will be so many events next year.

“On one side, yeah, it’s pretty bad because [the old system] was very straight forward, you had four or five qualifiers and you had a chance to qualify.

“But on the other hand, the amount of tournaments that you have nowadays, there is no comparison to a few years back or more, more, more years back. We are in a very good place, it’s just a different approach.”

TaZ and current Faze coach Filip ‘NEO’ Kubski were teammates for over 6,000 days during their playing careers, but before they were friends, they were bitter enemies on Counter-Strike 1.6.

Their two-decade rivalry continues now as they coach in opposite camps, and TaZ did address the “spiciness” that he still feels when playing against Faze.

TaZ admitted: “I think that it’s not the same degree, but there is definitely something. I don’t know if Filip [NEO] is feeling it at all, but for me there is always a little bit more spiciness when we play each other.

“You can’t forget it, it’s how we started to play, when we were playing together in 1.6, we were still a little bit challenging each other to be better, and I feel like this is also the same scenario.”

G2 shocked the world by winning IEM Dallas, which was TaZ’s first tournament win as a coach. We went into more detail around this in our recent Blast Premier Spring Final 2024 Preview and teams breakdown.

Not only were G2 not favourites to be champions regardless, they were playing with a stand-in, as American hero Jake ‘Stewie2K’ Yip helped fire the European team to victory.

When asked whether it felt better to win his first event as a player or as a coach, the 38-year-old revealed that he thinks his best is still yet to come.

TaZ said: “I believe that both of them are on the same level, like when I won as a player, it was my first win as a player, and now I won my first event as a coach.

“I still, deep inside me, I believe that there is still the event that I remember more, even more [still to come].

“[IEM Dallas] was a Cinderella story, it was a miracle run to win the event that way we won, but what I really want to do, I want to have a full team, a team I’m fully coaching, and we get this huge trophy.

“And then, I think it will be an even better feeling [than winning my first event as a player or coach].”

Related article: Blast Premier 2024 Spring Final Broadcast Talent Announced

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