Astralis is a Danish Counter-strike team that recently made headlines by winning the championship in eLEAGUE Atlanta 2017. They brought home half of the $1,000,000 USD prize pool, with Virtus.Pro taking home second place and $150,000.  Fnatic and SK Gaming also made $70,000 each with third and fourth places respectively.

The tournament

This is Astralis’ first CS:GO Major win, and certainly worked hard for it. They started out shaky within the the first round, losing 6-16 to the newly formed Godsent. However, they picked it up with some great matches later on, winning 16-12 against OpTic Gaming and 16-5 against G2 eSports. They ended up losing to SK Gaming at 17-19 in round 4, but brought it back in the final round against Team Liquid, taking them down at 3-16.

They eventually moved through the finals, beating Natus Vincere and Fnatic, finally coming head-to-head with Virtus.Pro. Astralis was beaten 12-16 on Nuke in the first round, but came back with spectacular gameplay from the whole team, beating VP 16-14 on Overpass and 16-14 on Train. These matches were extremely even in terms of skill and gameplay, and could very well have gone into overtime. Both teams played exceptionally, but Astralis came through in the end and brought home $500,000.

History

Astralis first played in the mid-years of Counter-Strike 1.6, from 2004 to 2009. They owned four professional CS 1.6 teams, each lasting about a year or so. Once they transitioned to CS:GO in very early 2016, their careers really started to take off. They first competed in the Global eSports Cup, Season 1, but came in third place. They played in ten tournaments during 2016, averaging 2nd or 3rd place and around $25-40,000 of winnings each time.

Astralis qualified in both eLEAGUE seasons 1 and 2, and they came into the first major tournament of 2017 looking for the top spot in CS:GO. Along with North, Na’Vi, Fnatic, Gambit, VP, FaZe Clan, and SK Gaming, they were given “legend” status and will likely compete in the next CS:GO major.

The players

The current lineup of Astralis is Xyp9x (Andreas Højsleth), dev1ce (Nicolai Reedtz), dupreeh (Peter Rasmussen), Kjaerbye (Markus Kjærbye), and Gla1ve (Lukas Rossander). Their coach is zonic (Danny Sørensen).

Xyp9x

Xyp9x, or Andreas Højsleth, is a 21-year-old from Aars, Denmark. He plays in a support position on his team, and has been playing Counter-Strike since 2011. He played for Team SoloMid along with many of his current teammates.

dev1ce

dev1ce, or Nicolai Reedtz, is a 21-year-old from Vejle, Denmark. He is an AWPer and Rifler for Astralis and was ranked 3rd best player in the world in 2015. He has competed in many tournaments, bringing in 1st place many times in Team SoloMid.

dupreeh

dupreeh, or Peter Rasmussen, is a 23-year-old from Copenhagen, Denmark. He plays as an entry fragger/rifler for his team, and was most recently ranked at number 12 in the world (2015). Like dev1ce and Xyp9x, he played for Team SoloMid.

Kjaerbye

Kjaerbye, or Markus Kjærbye, is an 18-year-old from Frederiksberg, Denmark. He plays as a rifler for Astralis, and unlike his other teammates, he brought home a number of wins on team Dignitas.

Gla1ve

Gla1ve, or Lukas Rossander, is a 21-year-old from Copenhagen, Denmark. He is the current top strategist and team captain for Astralis, and played for a number of different teams in the past, such as the Western Wolves and Team X.