Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth will be back in Astralis’ active CS:GO lineup for the BLAST Premier Fall Groups after missing the action in ESL Pro League season 14, the organization confirmed today.
The 25-year-old will replace in-game leader Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander, who’s set to take a short break from competition in anticipation of the birth of his child. Kasper Hvidt, Astralis’ director of sports, told Dexerto that the organization granted a paternity leave to gla1ve, even though it’s not a tradition in esports.
“Everybody contributes to the team every single day and, as mentioned when we added a sixth player for the Fall, everybody will have an active role,” Hvidt said. “We strongly believe that players and everybody else working in an elite environment will perform better if there is a balance in their life and room to focus on what’s important. At the same time, Andreas performs extremely well and contributes with a lot of positive energy, so it was an obvious choice for all.”
Xyp9x has been assessing his options as of late since his contract is set to expire at the end of 2021. Astralis used new signing Philip “Lucky” Ewald instead of the “clutch minister” in the $750,000 tournament. The Danes didn’t make it into the playoffs, though, finishing their campaign with two wins and three losses in Group A.
Xyp9x isn’t the only one with just months left on his contract. Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen, Emil “Magisk” Reif, and head coach Danny “zonic” Sørensen are in the same boat. Gla1ve is the only player from Astralis’ core to have renewed his contract with the org and the future of the team who dominated the CS:GO scene over the past few years remains unclear.
Astralis have been placed in Group A of BLAST Premier Fall Groups alongside Vitality, Team Liquid, and Evil Geniuses. They’ll play against the latter on Sept. 16 and the two top teams of each group will qualify for the Fall Finals. Magisk has in-game led for Astralis in the past, but it’s unknown who will take the reins in gla1ve’s place at the moment.