In a rare occurrence, Bleed Esports met and faced Arsenal star Oleksandr Zinchenko in the Contender Stage of YaLLa Compass Spring 2024. Although Bleed eventually won the series, Zinchenko proved that he was good enough to challenge even established teams in the competitive Counter-Strike scene.
Yesterday, Zinchenko joined Passion UA as a last-minute substitute for Eduard “ZerroFIX” Petrovskyi in game 2, where the team was already down 1-0 to Bleed and on the verge of losing another. To everyone’s surprise, Zinchenko and his teammates showed a dogged mentality to force the game into a 1-1 draw.
In game 2 on the Ancient map, Bleed dominated the first nine rounds and nearly made it 10-0, but were downed by a joint effort from Zinchenko and Vsevolod “s-chilla” Shchurov. The Ukrainian continued to aggressively push Bleed and successfully overturned their deficit from 0-9 to 16-12 to win the game.
Passion UA then tried to capitalize on the momentum to pressure Bleed in game 3. This time, the duo of s-chilla and Nikita “jackasmo” Skyba put up a fierce fight and put Bleed behind in the first 12 rounds. However, Bleed worked extra hard to quell their resistance and won the game 11-13, clinching the series victory.
Even though Zinchenko didn’t clinch the win, he definitely left his mark on the match, shining a spotlight on the relatively fresh CS2 scene. If he ever hangs up his football boots, at least he’s got a spot waiting for him in esports with Passion UA.
Interestingly, Zinchenko is not the only Arsenal player known to play at a competitive level. His teammate Gabriel Jesus is also reportedly a regular CS2 player, but recently had to stop playing temporarily after being banned by Valve.