Astralis 2022 LEC Team Breakdown | Middling At Best
Astralis have finalized their 2022 LEC line-up and, well, it’s only marginally better than we had expected. You never really know what to expect from Astralis but, based on empirical evidence, there’s a very good chance they’ll find a way to disappoint. And, needless to say, their starting roster will by no means be equipped to tackle the likes of Fnatic, G2 Esports, MAD Lions, Team Vitality, and many other mid-tier gatekeepers, all of which have more tools to work with than the boys in black and red.
Now, make no mistake: these aren’t bad players in general — they’ve just been assembled by an organization that either: a) doesn’t know what it’s doing or b) doesn’t care much at all. Either way, it’s a wholly thankless position to be in. They all want to compete on the biggest of stages and to leave a mark in some way, shape, or form. Unfortunately, the odds of it happening under Astralis’ banner are so slim we might as well consider them non-existent.
And don’t mistake this for “flaming” or anything similar. We just want Astralis (as an organization) to do better and to do its brand (and its fans) justice. Being a bottom-tier dweller is acceptable but only for a certain period of time. We’re always willing to give teams a sort of “grace period” but that, too, is finite.
2022 Astralis | Starting LEC Line-Up
The following five players will all compete under the Astralis banner for the 2022 competitive season:
Top Lane: Matti “WhiteKnight” Sormunen
Jungle: Nikolay “Zanzarah” Akatov
Mid Lane: Oliver “Dajor” Ryppa [formerly of Fnatic Rising]
AD Carry: Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup [formerly of Misfits Gaming]
Support: Hampus Mikael “promisq” Abrahamsson
Astralis have done very little to earn our benefit of the doubt, and the changes which they’ve made don’t scream “potential” either. Now, on the one hand, we’re glad that WhiteKnight and Zanzarah have kept their spots (and will, therefore, be able to further grow and develop), but the same cannot be said for promisq.
By the same token, Dajor has been a pro player for less than a year, and while he did show a fair bit of promise during his Fnatic Rising days, he is by no means ready for the LEC stage. Had he been picked up by, say, MAD Lions or Rogue, we would have a lot more trust and hope — these two orgs know a thing or two about molding young players into superstars. But Astralis? That sounds like a recipe for disaster.
“Dajor was brought in to tryouts as a candidate with massive potential. After consistent, solid performances in scrims with the rest of the Astralis LEC team, the coaching staff extended the tryout period to get a closer look. Throughout Dajor’s trial period, the coaching staff has been incredibly impressed with Dajor’s quick adaptation to complex concepts in League of Legends and his ability to perform on par with other candidates,” said Astralis in an official statement.
We’ve seen this time and time again. Building up young talents is a layered challenge, and only a handful of organizations are equipped to tackle it. These rookies have a ton of potential, but all of it will be squandered away if the org signing them isn’t competent enough — and most, unfortunately, aren’t.
In that sense, Astralis have done next to nothing to warrant our trust. They did improve a fair bit last Summer, but their short-lived resurgence didn’t amount to anything concrete. It was the quintessential Astralis experience: utterly mediocre with a few respectable showings thrown in for good measure. They’re not the worst team in the LEC, but they’re not far off either. So it’s fair to say that some (if not all) of these players are just waiting for the “light at the end of the tunnel,” an offer from another team that’ll get them back on the “right path.”
Still, there is one silver lining worth mentioning: their new marksman. Why Kobbe has decided to sign with one of the least successful orgs in all of Europe is a mystery we’ve yet to solve. Maybe he didn’t get a better offer? Playing for Astralis, as unattractive as it might sound, is still better than warming the bench. Then again, it’s not like his play blew anyone’s mind last split, so his phone probably didn’t ring all that much.
Be that as it may, he’s as experienced an AD carry as they come and has persevered throughout the years for a reason. He might not be as dominant or hyped up as in his golden days, but he’s still mighty capable and should not be underestimated whatsoever.
These players all want redemption and, frankly, we hope they’ll find it, even though the odds of it happening are rather slim. They haven’t been set up for success, so no one should be overly surprised if they fail to leave a mark yet again. In fact, that feels like the only possible outcome.
It’s still too early to put out any kind of prediction, but it’s hard to envision a world in which this line-up finishes any higher than, say, eighth place. Heck, even that feels like a stretch. In other words: all signs are pointing towards yet another underwhelming season for Astralis and, well, that’s a shame. We want them to improve and to do better, but it seems that we’ll have to wait “a bit” longer for that to (potentially) happen.
The LEC will return to action on January 14, 2022.