The BLAST Paris Major was the final Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major to ever happen, making it one of the most iconic and historic tournaments in the game’s 10-plus years of existence. With so much prestige and money ($500K) on the line, teams were giving it their all to be crowned the best in the world before Counter-Strike 2 comes out later this year.
Vitality became the team to make history. And Lotan “Spinx” Giladi became the first Israeli to ever win a Major as part of the winning team.
Spinx has had a tough road in professional CS:GO but ultimately became an inspiration for his determination and talent.
“Keep Grinding… I Didn’t Give Up”
Spinx started playing Counter-Strike when he was 12, giving him over 10 years of experience. By 2015 he had reached Global Elite by grinding the game after school.
“Whenever I had time, it would be spent on CS:GO,” he told Fragster.
Sensing his passion for the game, his family didn’t try to stop him from playing so much Counter-Strike despite not fully supporting the idea of him trying to be a pro gamer. He tried to convince his parents that it was a “real job” with “good salaries.” His parents allowed him to continue his journey despite not believing esports was a smart career path back then.
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“I Trust My Team”
Three years ago, Israeli pro Spinx was informed that he “wasn’t good enough” to compete in the FACEIT Pro League, a matchmaking service for professional players. At the time, Spinx saw it as a challenge — a roadblock — at a time when some people would have quit.
It wasn’t that Spinx didn’t have the skills — he just had no way to prove it. The CS:GO scene in Israel isn’t as competitive as North America or Europe, so Spinx wasn’t left with any top-tier team to compete with or beat.
Spinx had his first shot at pro CS:GO in 2019 and joined c0ntact Gaming the following year. Unfortunately, the project disbanded later that year after the team failed to amount to anything. Despite his team falling apart and FPL booting him from the matchmaking service, it was clear Spinx had potential.
“My Confidence On LAN Is Higher”
Sensing his passion, grit, and talent, Spinx was given the opportunity to join ENCE in 2021. Under in-game leader Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer, he became one of the best riflers in the world and carried the squad to second place at ESL Pro League Season 15 in 2022 and a fourth place finish at PGL Antwerp Major a month later.
Spinx became a part of Vitality in the summer of 2022 and has been credited as one of the main reasons the team became one of the best in the world. With Spinx on the squad, Vitality won ESL Pro league Season 16 in the fall of that same year. At this point, Vitality was ranked #1 by HLTV.
“We were ranked as the number 1 team on HLTV, but I don’t think we feel like we’re the number 1,” Spinx said in an interview. “If you win one tournament, it doesn’t make you top 1. We are one of the best but not the number 1. There are also other teams in this upcoming tournament that are pretty good, such as Heroic. It definitely won’t be easy to win, but if we play each game at 100% capacity, then we have a good chance.”
The Paris Major was the team’s latest success and probably the biggest indicator of Spinx’s talent so far. It’s clear how far he’s come not only due to his talent but his focus and dedication. He never gave up no matter what was thrown his way.
Throughout his career — which has brought him all over Europe and the world — Spinx has missed Israel, both for his family and the food.
He said: “In some places, the food is better than in others. But overall, I prefer the falafel back home.”