Astralis Has Been No. 1 For an Entire Year – Can They Outlast The Drama?

by in CS:GO | Apr, 23rd 2019

Let’s face it, Astralis is the best CS:GO team in the world right now. In fact, it has been at the top for roughly the last year or so. And now that we’re past April 23rd, Astralis’ one-year anniversary has become official. They climbed to the top of the world rankings on April 23, 2018 after winning DreamHack Masters Marseille and haven’t succumbed to the pressure ever since.

Astralis One-Year Anniversary As The No. 1 CS:GO Team

Astralis one-year anniversary is really an inspiring story, come to think of it. What started as a player-based organization is now a part of the RFRSH Entertainment group (more about that below) and poses as one of the biggest-growing organizations in the esports industry. Astralis players have already pushed the CS:GO players’ earnings record beyond the $1,000,000 mark and aren’t looking to back away anytime soon.

Can They Make It Two?

Now that the Astralis one-year anniversary is official, there’s already a debate on whether or not The Great Danes can make it two. Yep, these boys are still at the top of their game, but I really doubt they’ll continue performing at the same, consistently dominant level.

If BLAST Pro Series Miami showed us something, it’s that Astralis can be beaten. Several times in a single day, to be precise. To put it in simpler terms – Astralis players haven’t been performing at their usual levels. They looked unimpressive, overly static, and outright scared to aim for the high-risk plays they’re known for.

If such form continues, Astralis will have a tough time keeping their No. 1 rank alive. But then again, we’re talking about the most dominant CS:GO team in the world so one bad tournament doesn’t necessarily mean their reign has ended quite yet… Unless all this conflict of interest drama takes a toll on the team spirit. But more on that down the line.

Reasons Behind Their Dominance

There must be more than a few reasons behind the overwhelming of performances from the Danish side. Let’s check them out, shall we!?

Teamwork and Consistency

Throughout their year of absolute dominance, Astralis took it upon themselves to broaden their map pool and improve their performance on virtually all maps in the competitive map pool. Shortly afterward, Nuke became their playground and, in all honesty, other maps weren’t too far off either. With more than 80% wins all across the board, it’s safe to say Astralis was (and still is) a force to be reckoned with.

Furthermore, their utility game is probably the strongest one out there. These guys are able to win clean rounds with nothing but molly’s and smokes in their hands. I’m not even exaggerating here, The Great Danes have a history of winning rounds all thanks to their amazing use of utility.

Another thing that goes in their favor, as far as teamwork is concerned, is the fact they’re all Danish. Including Zonic, their head coach. This makes it a lot easier to give in-game callouts where every millisecond counts.

To wrap this section up, here’s a short comment by Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz that perfectly sums up Astralis’ passion for the game:

“We are 5 really passionate, professional and dedicated people, surrounded by the world’s greatest coach, a performance team that constantly push us to improve and an organization that helps us with our every need. This year was outstanding, but I know we have much more left in the tank.”

Individual Brilliance

In addition to their splendid teamwork and consistently fantastic performances, the key to Astralis’ dominance lies in the sheer talent of their players. Yep, it’s true. Even though they don’t have a single superstar player like other teams (cough FaZe, cough NaVi), having five equally capable players results in, more or less, the same thing.

Gla1ve, Xyp9x, dupreeh, dev1ce and Magisk are well-deserving of the fantastic five title. Each of them brings a certain flavor to the team with their dynamic playstyles, balanced composure, and solid all-around aim. Statistically not the greatest performers, but when you take into account everything they’ve achieved throughout the last year, these guys indeed belong to the CS:GO hall of fame!

Esports Psychologists’ Presence

The presence of esports psychologists is what turned Astralis from a choke-prone team to a title-winning sensation. With several professionals onboard, Astralis players managed to climb to their peak form, capitalizing on their above-mentioned individual brilliance and conquering the best CS:GO teams, one match at a time.

With an adaptive, individual approach to every player, the likes of Mia Stellberg (Finnish Swede sports psychologists) got the best out of each Astralis player, created a uniformed vision and helped shape their skills to form the most brilliant CS:GO team of all time. And, with the Astralis one-year anniversary at the top of the world rankings now being a real thing, that fact is now official!

Potential Conflict of Interests?

However, Astralis one-year anniversary celebration couldn’t go by without drama. Last week, the CS:GO esports community was stirred up by allegations of Astralis’ conflict of interest. As you all know, RFRSH Entertainment operates and manages the Astralis CS:GO team. However, they are also in charge of the BLAST Pro Series events. A relatively new name in the CS:GO competitive calendar that has already gained a reputation as being one of the most prominent CS:GO events.

But that wouldn’t really be an issue if Astralis weren’t dropping other tournaments in favor of BLAST Pro Series events. Just recently, they declined invitations from StarLadder, IEM Sydney and DreamHack Dallas, all of which are classified as Premier CS:GO tournaments. This resulted in a huge Twitter debate started by the legendary Thorin, with Zonic (Astralis’ coach) denying all allegations.

I don’t want to go into too many details here, especially since the debate is still ongoing. I’ll let you be the judge of whether or not Astralis is endangering their legacy by favoring tournaments from their parent company.

To hear more on the dealings between Astralis and RFRSH take at our video below.


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