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Natus Vincere in-game leader Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko said he plans to retire from Counter-Strike in 2019, he told HLTV. When exactly this is to happen is uncertain, the veteran captain said, though it’s likely to be towards the tail end of the year.

“As it stands, in 2019 I plan to end my career as a player, more likely towards the end of the year, maybe the middle, I’m not sure yet.”

“At a certain point [this year], the goal was to become number one, but we didn’t manage,” Zeus continues. “I think our priority will be to secure key tournaments next year, for example the Major.”

Zeus joined NaVi in August of 2017, leaving the then reigning Major champions Gambit and returning to the org he’s been associated with the majority of his career. With him at the helm and with Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, the best CS:GO player in the world, behind him, Zeus and NaVi achieved several high finishes, most recently taking the title at BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen and finishing second behind Astralis at the London Major.

Despite their best efforts, however, the Ukrainian side never challenged the hegemony of the Danes as the No. 1 team in the world.

“[Astralis] had a better structure and chose the right tournaments, but, in general, the team is stronger collectively. They have a professional approach. This is the reason they’re number one,” Zeus explains. “We did not do all we could to employ a professional approach to its maximum. For this reason, we remained number 2.”

Zeus’ retirement in 2019 will put an end to an 18-year-long career in the Counter-Strike franchise. The Ukrainian remains among the most experienced, respected and accomplished in-game leaders and tacticians in the scene, always highly credited for the successes of his teams.

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