The current professional CS:GO scene is dominated by Denmark’s Astralis. While reigning first place during ESL Pro League Season 5, they took ELeague Major title in January and then won IEM Katowice in March. What did this roster do to earn this incredible dominance?
After both players and management of TSM agreed that managing a Danish team from the USA’s West Coast is too difficult, the players broke away from the organization in November of 2015. The Danes all agreed that whatever organization picked them up, they wanted a definitive voice concerning the direction of the team. Some searching and consideration of offers led them to realize that the only way to have as much control as they wanted was to form their own team, owning the organization themselves.
The lineup at the time included Rene “Cajunb” Borg, Finn “Karrigan” Andersen, Nicolaj “Device” Reedtz, Peter “Dupreeh” Rasmussen, and Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth, with Danny “Zonic” Sørensen coaching. Cajunb didn’t stay for long, replaced after a lackluster performance at Dreamhack Master Malmö and ESL pro league. Astralis filled his role him with the young star from Dignitas, Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye. Kjaerbye, because of his participation in the DreamHack Minor in May of 2016 on Dignitas, was unable to play for Astralis at the ESL One: Cologne Major, so Astralis turned to Lukas “Gla1ve” Rossander of the Copenhagen Wolves to stand in for him. One bootcamp later and Astralis placed fifth in Cologne with Gla1ve.
Later that year Astralis let go of Karrigan, signing Gla1ve to the roster one week after. This move was the biggest factor in Astralis’ rise to the top.Though they struggled initially, the team gave Gla1ve something Karrigan arguably never had: their complete trust as an in game leader. Gla1ve stated in late December that the team “didn’t believe in how they were playing” with Karrigan, and they were ready for a new leader and a new system. After winning ECS Season 2, the team’s confidence soared. Belief in the system and willingness to trust the Gla1ve’s calls led the team to victory at the ELeague Major IEM Katowice, and if no other in-game leader steps up to Gla1ve’s mental game, StarSeries Finals will be theirs as well.