Zonic reportedly considering leaving Astralis

Astralis is reportedly targeting HUNDEN to fill the head coach position in 2022.

Photo via BLAST Pro Series

Danny “⁠zonic⁠” Sørensen, the most decorated head coach in CS:GO, is thinking about leaving Astralis, according to a report by HLTV.

His contract with the Danish organization is set to expire on Dec. 31, on the same date as four of the five Astralis players, Lukas “⁠gla1ve⁠” Rossander, Emil “⁠Magisk⁠” Reif, Peter “⁠dupreeh⁠” Rasmussen, and Andreas “⁠Xyp9x⁠” Højsleth. The coach is reportedly disappointed with the team’s direction and the tension between the team and Astralis has been building for several months, according to one source.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told HLTV that Astralis has already started planning for 2022 and has put Heroic head coach Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen on the top of its wish list to take over the reins in the team. The former in-game leader has been coaching Heroic since he retired as a player in April 2020, but he was suspended from September 2020 to April 2021 for abusing the coach spectating bug and had to work as an analyst during that period.

Zonic, on the other hand, enjoyed success as a player in Counter-Strike 1.6, having played for teams such as Spirit of Amiga, SK Gaming, NoA, and most notably, mTw. The 34-year-old has been coaching Astralis since January 2016 and helped the Danish organization to become the most victorious team of CS:GO history, guiding them to win four Major championships, multiple premier tournaments, and one Intel Grand Slam title.

Astralis, who has become a model in terms of how an organization should operate a CS:GO team, struggled in part of 2020 as both gla1ve and Xyp9x left on medical leave in May due to feeling symptoms related to stress and burnout. The team, however, bounced back in the second half of the season and once again lifted important trophies such as DreamHack Masters Winter and IEM Global Challenge and finished as the best team in the world in HLTV rankings for the third time in a row.

The Danish organization took a huge blow in April 2021, though, as one of their stars and perhaps the most consistent CS:GO player of all time, Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz, left the team to join Ninjas in Pyjamas following a run of poor results at the beginning of the 2021 season. He was replaced by Lukas “Bubzkji” Andersen, who signed with Astralis in July 2021 and has been a sixth player since.

As expected, the results didn’t get any better after dev1ce left the team and there are doubts surrounding Astralis’ future, especially with gla1ve, Magisk, Xyp9x, dupreeh, and zonic’s contract expiring on Dec. 31. We’ll see how this report will affect Astralis’ performance during IEM Cologne, the most stacked CS:GO tournament of the season so far. The Danish team has earned a spot in the main event, which starts on Thursday, July 8, following the end of the play-in stage.