Zonic Talks About his Transition from Being a Player to Becoming a Coach

Zonic Talks About his Transition from Being a Player to Becoming a Coach

Aditya Singh Rawat
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Cover Image Courtesy: BLAST Pro Series | Thumbnail Cover Image: Danny 'zonic' Sorensen

Danny ‘zonnic’ Sorensen via a Facebook post shared the changes that he has gone through while transitioning from being a player to a coach. Throughout his post he focuses on the words ‘result’ and ‘process’, explaining how he has gone from focusing on the result to concentrating on the path followed to achieve it.

“It hasn’t come easy and overnight, but is something we have focused and worked on for years now, in the organisation and with our performance team.”

He went on to elaborate on the topic, explaining how tough the schedule was during the end of the year with ECS, ESL Pro League, and BLAST Global Finals all scheduled to take place one after the other. He was relieved that the team won two out of the three events, taking it as a clear sign of them being back on track.

“I’m not talking about back on track in terms of establishing a “second era”, defending the old one, 1st place on the world rankings or in the rivalry against Liquid. No, I’m talking about being back on track in terms of our own goals, and the different processes initiated all the way back when Emil (Magisk) joined the team.”

Zonic goes on to explain about the ‘process’ he mentioned earlier, comparing how before as player he wouldn’t care about the way they played as long as they were victorious, to how he has changed that particular behaviour by making it “ALL ABOUT THE PROCESS”, crediting the approach and model followed by the organization along with the steps they have taken as a team and as individuals.

Talking about the growing competitive nature of the game, and how difficult it is becoming to win a match with every passing day, he goes on to explain how the team tries to minimise outside factors from affecting their game.

“There can be outside factors such as jet lag, technical issues, illness and other things that can make your next win extremely difficult. This is obviously something we are trying to prepare for and minimize through a structured approach and attention to all the details around the team and players.”

He says that the only way to stay above the rest, who want to win just as much as they want to is “By preparing, being consistent, thorough and focusing on the right things.”

Circling back to the ‘process’ zonic reveals how sometimes, he worries even after winning a tournament, and at times is satisfied despite losing also. This is because he doesn’t like the feeling of getting lucky when it comes to winning.

“I often hear some players, and even myself sometimes, say: “Yeah, but at least we won the round/match and that is what matters.” To an extent, I agree with that statement, but I think that is zonic the player and not the coach talking.”

He goes on to explain his mentality as a coach, asking himself questions like the wellbeing of the players, were they stressed or not, did they practise enough, and other such questions.

“Millions of different factors play a key role and you can almost guarantee that there is no single recipe for success in CS:GO, as you will have to adapt to so many factors going into different tournaments.”

Zonic reiterates the fact that the result is not as important as the process, having full belief that as long as they stick to their philosophy, success is guaranteed. He gives an example of the above, saying that it felt bad to lose in Odense and get knocked out like that, but they stuck to the process and gave it their best in Bahrain to win the BLAST Global Finals, retaining their number one spot.

He concludes by saying that,

“We work with a long term focus when it comes to Astralis as a team, but we have learnt that staying on top is so much tougher than getting there. We might not win as much in 2020 as in 2018 and 19. We might win even more. What is important is the way we continue working towards improving. And that we will!”

Zonic really gives a great insight into how things work with Astralis, how he as a coach conducts himself and his team, and what it takes to be at the top. Let’s see what 2020 holds for the Danes!

Aditya is the in-house CS:GO writer at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.