“They just f—ed us”: ZywOo interview after IEM Katowice 2023

By Kenneth Williams


Feb 11, 2023

Reading time: 5 min

Star AWPer for Team Vitality Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut opens up on Katowice, Overpass, and why he doesn’t know how to pronounce his own name.

Vitality is officially out of IEM Katowice 2023 in fifth place, defeating Ninjas in Pyjamas and Fnatic before losses to Heroic and Team Liquid. ZywOo performed up to his very high standard, earning 87.3 damage per round with a 1.28 KD ratio. After the exit, ZywOo graciously sat down with WIN.gg to discuss the unique atmosphere of Katowice and how Vitality has grown as a squad.

ZywOo interview after Vitality places 5th at Katowice

WIN.gg: Vitality performed better this year at Katowice than in 2022, where your squad placed 9th. What aspects of the game did you improve in the past year?

ZywOo: I think we improved a lot. I kind of hard to say how we improved, but I think we have a really good start for this year. We don’t want to make the same mistakes as last year because we had a lot of ups and downs. We improved a lot individually and also as a team. Yesterday wasn’t exactly our good day, but we could see our improved mentality, and I could say it’s way better than last year. 

Will you have nightmares about Overpass after last night?

I think the big one is that on the CT side, we played really well, but on the T side, I don’t know what happened. We just played too much individually, and they just f—-d us, I would say. (laughs) For the moment, we haven’t analyzed the games from yesterday, Right now, we’re just going to take some rest because we have three weeks until (ESL Pro League.) We’re just gonna rest. We’ll talk about this game after, though. We’re not gonna forget about that game.

You pulled off the 200 IQ play of the tournament with your Nuke clutch. How did it feel to pull off that trick with the squeaky door?

(Laughs) I cannot answer this one because it’s really natural. I’m not thinking of something simple, I’m just trying to do my thing the best. When I’m playing back site on B, I’m just trying to do my best playing with the door, trying to fake enemies, trying to make some noise. I’m trying to mix up everything. I won this clutch just by playing with my brain.

So how much of the game is talent, practice, and game sense if you could split that into percentages?

Of course, you need (skill) individually, I think you need 40% individually, 40% team play and the rest is brains. Of course, there are some players who are 80% individual, and the rest is team play, but I think to have a consistent player, you need to have good team play, good brains, and a good individual, everything of this.

HLTV rated you the second-best player of 2022 behind Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev. Are you satisfied? Or do you think you should have been first?

No, I don’t have a rivalry with s1mple. I like to play against him because I like to play against the best player in the world. We don’t have a rivalry, of course, he deserves it. He had more playoffs, and Vitality was a bit shaky this year, so of course, he deserves it. 

How do you properly pronounce ZywOo? I was at one of the majors where there were a lot of French fans, and they were yelling “ZeewOo”?

I don’t care actually. It’s something funny because my name came from an old game in France. I stole the name from another guy. I tried to find the guy to ask him, “How do you pronounce the name?” because, for me, I didn’t know. But I don’t care actually, because you can say ZywOo, ZeewOo, I don’t care. Just however you feel it.

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Is there a sense of excitement about playing in the capital of CSGO, Katowice?

Actually, it’s kind of hard because this was my first time in the Spodek Arena. I don’t know about the older feelings, but actually it was really fun. I could get used to playing on the stage, the stage is fucking awesome. It’s one of the best LANs ever. Yeah, it’s really great.

Any thoughts on the current split between M4A4 and M4A1-S?

Depend on your player, depends on your style, depends where you play. It depends on everything because sometimes the silencer can be good, and sometimes the M4A4 can be good. It really depends on your position, depends on your side, and depends on everything. Me, I prefer the M4A4 because you have more bullets, and you have to be more precise with it. So, I prefer the M4A4.

How did you start playing CSGO?

I think I started the game in 2007, with most likely my brother or my cousins. They went to a cyber cafe in France to play together. My brother asked my mom to have this work PC and play CSGO at home. I was watching my brother playing CS Source at the beginning. I was really young, it was just following my brother just to play the game. That’s how I played at the beginning.

What was the moment when you thought that CSGO might be what you do for a living?

When I was in high school, I could see that I had the potential to be a good player. Also, when I joined FPL. That was the moment I saw I could be a pro player and could play at a great level.


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