Astralis didn’t advance to the ESL Pro League season 14 playoffs due to mixed results in Group A, leaving the competition with victories against Team Spirit and Bad News Bears but losses to ENCE, Vitality, and Heroic, the three teams that moved forward.
And following the event, Astralis’ director of sports Kasper Hvidt evaluated the team’s performance and provided some insight into the road ahead for the CS:GO squad.
“Needless to say, we didn’t get the results we wanted, but the team has done extremely well in a very short time with a new lineup and changing roles on the server,” Hvidt said.
This was the Danes’ first tournament with the young AWPer Philip “Lucky” Ewald, the organization’s newest addition to its starting lineup. The 18-year-old played instead of longtime member Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth, who’s exploring his options ahead of his contract expiring on Dec. 30, and averaged a 1.00 rating, according to HLTV’s statistics.
Hvidt also reiterated what Astralis had already said in the past, that every player will have a role on the team in the coming months. Emil “Magisk” Reif, Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen, and coach Danny “zonic” Sørensen’s contracts are also expiring, and so far, the organization has only managed to renew its deal with in-game leader Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander.
Astralis had been lacking a dedicated AWPer since the surprising departure of Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz to Ninjas in Pyjamas in April and rotated the sniper rifle mainly between dupreeh and gla1ve until the signing of Lucky. The 18-year-old may not be close to dev1ce’s level, but he’s brought new energy and added much-needed AWP skills to improve Astralis’ game, according to Hvidt, who hopes the team will perform better in the rest of the season.
“We aim to be a real contender for the titles at stake this fall,” Hvidt said. “We have work to do, but I have a great belief that, through the way we do things in this house and through the work of our players and our coach, we will be a real contender when it matters the most.”
Astralis will now have some weeks of practice to integrate Lucky into their game plan before they play in their next competition, the BLAST Premier Fall groups, which is set to run from Sept. 16 to 26.