Kevin Misutaaa Rabier is not shy. He is cheerful, smiling, and laughing. A bit nervous at first, but after a few minutes into the interview, he moves closer to the laptop’s camera. The media day is a tricky thing, but he is in a good mood and looks positively into the near future. Vitality has some challenging games ahead at the BLAST Premier: Fall Finals 2021, but the team has a clear goal.
Misutaaa and his teammates arrived in Copenhagen to at least reach the semifinals. However, he believes that they are able to pick up another BLAST title and, thanks to it, get to the December World Finals of the series: “We have the potential to win it, but my personal goal would be to go at least to the semi-finals and secure the spot. It will be very good for the team and for everyone’s confidence.”
This is Kevin’s second LAN in a row, and he really enjoys it. Playing in front of the crowd is one of the best things in life for him, it makes him happy. “I’m really looking forward to play again. And I have the same feeling that I had during the major, so I’m excited to play in front of the crowd,” Misutaaa says. And the tight schedule does not bother him at all: Kevin calmly endures both traveling and a large number of matches.
“It’s the first time that I’m doing two events [in a row]. And to be honest, it’s totally okay for me; I’m not tired at all. It’s only two events; maybe if we had four or five events one after another, it could be hard. But right now, I feel very okay. And good. And playing in the arena is what I want, so… Let’s gooo!”
Where all the things started
Could you imagine, the guy is 18 years old, but his positive attitude, desire to play and perfect calmness concerning pressure from the outside is inspiring. Kevin has been with Vitality for almost two years, but the Stockholm Major was his first LAN tournament with the team. However, not the first in his career.
Before the boss of the French organization called Kevin, for several years Misutaaa has been playing with the legends of his region in different stacks at several tournaments. The triumph for him was EPSILAN 16, which took place in Lyon with live stands. The team was called MakeYourDestiny. Ironic, isn’t it?
“I was playing with the younger people in France obviously at a French LAN. It was my first LAN win with the team. It all happened thanks to Boris “flex0r” Latry, a CS: Source legend. He was famous at that time. And he gathered a team with me and other young players. And it went well, so instantly, after my first LAN in France, he asked me to play with Richard “shox” Papillon and some named players from the French scene. And I just said, what the F is happening? I was 14 at that time, and this was my first LAN!
And then, with MYD, I was playing with flex0r, and we won our first French LAN together. It was not very hard, to be honest, because the level in France is not really high, you know. At that moment when I was playing the tournament, of course, it was very hard, but when I joined Vitality, I realized that it was literally nothing compared to today’s day.”
Before joining Vitality, Misutaaa also played with WonderKids, coached by the aforementioned flex0r.
“In Wonderkids, I was playing with Kyojin and Nivera, we had flex0r and another young guy named Python, now he’s playing for Unicorns of Love in Germany. And we were four kids literally, having fun together and just praccing. And we were enjoying so much because we were this growing team. We didn’t do good results in tournaments, but we succeeded to go through to some playoffs in tournaments because we didn’t have any experience of someone that could help us, to teach us more about the game, to have the philosophy of a tier-1 team.
We were having close games against OG, and we played against North. I remember that against OG, it was a very nice game because it was very close, and unfortunately, we didn’t win. I think sabAAA lost connection, something like that. So we were unlucky at this moment, but it was very, very nice memories for sure.”
You need a diploma to play in Vitality
An interesting detail of Misutaaa’s signing is that they didn’t plan to take him to the main lineup so quickly. Kevin didn’t expect his boss to call him one day after school and offer to come to the Paris bootcamp.
“I was supposed to sign with Vitality, but they wanted to sign me to keep me not in the main roster, but as an asset, for the future. And I was just supposed to stream and play FPL, do everything literally. But then one day I was finishing school at 18.00, I was at home at 19.00, and I had a phone call from the boss of Vitality, and he’d said to me, ‘Okay, I have a slot for you.’
“And I wasn’t supposed to be there. It was so, so fast, everything. The next day I had to call my parents and tell them that we had to go to Paris and go to the Vitality bootcamp place to set a meeting with the boss and talk. I needed to stop going to school and switch to distant lessons, and my parents still wanted me to have my diploma. So it was the deal with my parents.”
“So your parents were totally okay with your esports career?”
“No, no, no, no, no, no. Before, they said it’s not [okay]. I was telling them that people can live from this passion, and it’s insane to play in front of so many people and just enjoy and play CS. And it always has been my dream since I was six years old. And my dad was always saying that it’s not going to last a long time, but now that I joined Vitality, he’s watching all my games and watching every game of everyone. And I’m like, what the F is happening? I come to our house, I look at the TV, and I see CS instantly. Normally it was the news, and now it’s CS only. My mom doesn’t have a real opinion, and she’s just happy about me.”
Misutaaa got his school diploma, the deal with his parents has been fulfilled. But now and in the near future, he does not intend to return to his studies.
“I’m done with school, I had my diploma, which I’m very happy about, and everyone around me was super happy. So, FeelsGoodMan [laughs]. But as I said, right now, I’m not studying anything. Philosophy was just one of the main subjects that had to pass for the diploma. Now you can choose from a lot of subjects in France, and it depends on what you want to do after in the future, but you can choose like what you want to do in school.
“I’ve been asking myself [about the higher education]. Now, there’s nothing interesting for me outside of playing CS. Even if it’s too much to think like that, I always said to myself: I know that I want to enjoy going to a university and sitting or hearing someone teaching, I want to enjoy it for sure.”
Youngster’s Major impressions
Even considering numerous minor offline events with other teams, Stockholm was Misutaaa’s first serious, huge official LAN. When asked about his personal feelings, it took time to get a proper word.
“The Major is about ambience. Everything that’s surrounding you is special. It’s a special event. The atmosphere is really special when you’re going on stage or when you play in the studio. Everything is special. So that was the first time I had this feeling. And I didn’t have a good start. We’ve talked a lot with the coach, with the people, with teammates. We were 0-2. And at this moment, we said, ‘let’s just enjoy it together and let’s see what happens, but let’s not have regrets and let’s build something, let’s go, just give everything we have.’ And then we went 3-2, and it was the best feeling I ever had: to know that you’ve secured the spot on stage for the first time for me and Kyojin as well. It was insane.”
Still, Misutaaa is the youngest in Vitality. But his opinion on being under-aged for a major tournament is simple: if you play well, the age doesn’t matter.
“I think that even 16 years old players who are very good at the game can play at a Major for sure. So at my 18, it’s good. You see NAVI’s B1t and some other people that are young as well, so I don’t see the problem. And even myself personally, I don’t feel like I’m having any problems about that. And I’m just being super happy. Okay, the first seconds when they call Vitality on the scene, and you have to enter the stage and walk on it, you’re like, ‘okay, it’s happening’ [laughs]. Then you’re realizing. And the next second, when you sit on your chair, it’s amazing. I want to play now. I just want to play. I felt no pressure when I was playing. That was insane, the feeling was literally insane. I was so happy.”
There is someone to learn from: ZywOo is one of the best players in the world, and Kevin comprehends Mathieu’s genius just by watching his teammate play. Besides, the team tries to get together for bootcamps frequently, works on internal communication and team building. In a unique way.
“With ZywOo, we have a good friendship. I’m learning a lot from him when we play pracs. I watch him play and do crazy moves and think: why is he doing that? Playing with shox or apeX or Zywoo for me since the beginning was always good. I learn every time, so it is super positive for me to play with them. Outside of the game, when we have a bootcamp, we’re doing some escape games. It was the first time I did that when I joined Vitality. It was pretty fun; I enjoyed it. And every time we go to Paris or everywhere else, we are doing an escape game. It’s always a thing that we have to do together.”
The players also visit the gym, and Kevin confirms that physical activities help a lot.
“I started going to the gym with Vitality. It feels good after a match or before a match. You’re feeling free in your body. Like you just have nothing to do. And you just think about your game, and this is the perfect method, I think. Though sometimes I’m kind of lazy, not gonna lie.”
One for the future
For Kevin, his ultimate personal goal is obviously to win a Major. “Very simple, but it’s the main goal that is every player’s dream.” Misutaaa believes that his team can make it in the coming year “hopefully.”
“Kevin, what would you write down on a paper for a Time Capsule to read it in 10 years?”
“I don’t want to have regrets about anything, about the choice of my careers if I have to do so. The 28 years old me will be super happy about the choices I made and the career that I had because, in 10 years, I’m not going to stop CS.”
Top-3 Skins From MISUTAAA’s Inventory
I love the Blaze, the most beautiful DEagle of all.
And the second skin is my Fire Serpent, AK 47. I had that such a long time ago now, and always nice to have it.
And the last one I have recently is the M4A4 Howl. I mean, it’s so pretty.
By Arseny Kuzminsky, CS.MONEY