Legends never die - What is Astralis up to in the new seasons?

If you even have a little interest in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, we are pretty sure that you have heard about the Danish team that counts as the greatest team in history: Astralis.

The record-holder team Astralis is not having great successes when you compare with its former years, when they were on the top and winning every single title.

But what is the background of this Danish team? Let’s take a deeper look at the history and the future of Astralis.

First years - Creation of Astralis:

Astralis was created by former Team SoloMid players Rene ‘cajunb’ Borg, Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen, Nicolaj ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz, Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen, Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth and Team Dignitas coach, Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen, firstly with the name of Team Questionmark.

The main reason behind creating this brand-new pro-player based team was the problem between players and the management of TSM. Players wanted to create their own team and have their own say.

The brand new team found a chance to prove themselves for the first time at the DreamHack Open Leipzig 2016. They reached the semi-finals by standing first in their group, defeating Team Dignitas and mousesports in best-of-one’s and finally losing against Luminosity Gaming.

The teams’ performance for the first tournament was pretty good and hopes were still with them.

After their first tournament, they were able to attend the Global eSports Cup, winning the best-of-three against Method and G2 Esports. Their history at the Global eSports Cup ended in the semifinals, losing 2-1 to Team EnVyUs.

Their next biggest tournament was the Intel Extreme Masters Season X World Championship. Not surprisingly, they remained undefeated in Group B and went to the semifinals, where, again, they lost to Fnatic.

Credit: ESL Gaming GmbH

“Astralis Curse”

Their closest steps to the grand finals made people question “when are they going to at least reach the final step”, and understandably so. In every single tournament their hopes for Astralis was at the top when they saw how they performed in the groups but it was turning out to be a disappointment in every playoff. Worse than that, sometimes they were finding themselves in even worse standings, between 5th-12th.

This era of Astralis was called “Astralis Curse” where they choked at every tournament. This curse also followed in MLG Major Championship: Columbus 2016, DreamHack Masters Malmö 2016, DreamHack Open Summer 2016, ESL One: Cologne 2016, and the list goes on and on.

For the first time in their history, they won the ELEAGUE Major: Atlanta 2017 and made everybody feel like now they broke their curse and now it's time for Astralis. This success was followed by Intel Extreme Masters XI - World Championship when they won 3-1 against FaZe Clan.

After these two wins, while “everything is going to be good” was the belief, things did not happen as everybody expected.

Their curse continued and once again Astralis found themselves at the bottom. This curse era came to an end with the surprise leaving of Kjaerbye to another Danish team, North Esports.  

It was only a few days later when Astralis signed with Emil "Magisk" Reif and a new, golden era which will be known as Astralis 2.0 was about to start.

Astralis 2.0

Astralis made a fresh start to the season with their new transfer Magisk in 2018. They won their ticket for Intel Extreme Masters XIII - Sydney as a European qualifier by winning against Virtus.pro. And at the next tournament of DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018, Astralis became the winner and gave the message of how the new era of Astralis will start.

This great win followed by 2nd place on Intel Extreme Masters XIII - Sydney. After that experience, the great Danish team won the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018. This was a big message for the Major Tournament 2018 in London and it was about to see something that only happened once before in the history of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports.

FACEIT Major: London 2018

At FACEIT Major: London 2018, Astralis joined the tournament on The Returning Challengers stage. They completed the New Challengers Stage on 3rd while only losing against NiP in round 4.

Their New Legends Stage was also the same. With 3 wins and 1 loss, Astralis was able to move to the quarterfinals and play against FaZe Clan.

Big belief of the Danish team and that greatest team of all time were about to make it when they won against FaZe Clan for 2-0 in the quarters  and Team Liquid in the semis with the same score. Now, the only barrier between the cup and Astralis was Na’Vi.

Not surprisingly, Astralis were able to win the Majors and put their name on the champions list. Before Fnatic made it, not a single team was able to win Majors for two times but Astralis did and they were about to do more.

This win at FACEIT Major: London 2018 was followed by several championships too: BLAST Pro Series: Istanbul 2018, Intel Extreme Masters XIII - Chicago, ESL Pro League Season 8 - Europe, Intel Grand Slam Season 1, ESL Pro League Season 8 - Finals and BLAST Pro Series: Lisbon 2018 were all tournaments that saw the name of Astralis on top.

Intel Extreme Masters XIII - Katowice Major 2019 and StarLadder Berlin Major 2019

When it was 2019, another coming Major was about to start. Astralis were going great and all eyes were on the team. Now, it was very clear to see that their curse had been broken.

The 14th Major Championship Intel Extreme Masters XIII - Katowice Major 2019 started on 13.02.2019. For this time, Astralis was participating in the tournament on Legends status.

They were able to win all of the matches that they played on New Legends State against compLexity Gaming, Cloud9 and Renegades.

Credit: Turtle Entertainment

Quarterfinals were a 2-0 win of Astralis against NiP and followed with another win for 2-0, against MIBR in the semifinals. While everybody was expecting another grand final between Astralis and Natus Vincere, a Finnish team ENCE made a big surprise and made it to the finals as an underdog team.

Astralis was not a joke for ENCE and they showed how eager they were to take this tournament for the third time. Astralis won 2-0 and secured their third Major championship.

By winning StarLadder Berlin Major 2019, for the first time in the history of CS:GO esports, Astralis became the only team with 4 Majors and also the only team that won three consecutive Majors.

There is no doubt that these former TSM players made it and be the greatest of all time. But like every empire, there is always an end.

Astralis Today

After 2019, things were not as good as before. Their kingdom was about to end in 2020 and Astralis started to lose their sheen. Even though they won some more titles, they were not strong enough to keep their throne

Astralis’ situation kept worsening and they ended up with zero trophies in 2021. Soon after, one of the greatest players of Astralis, dev1ce, decided to leave the team and join Ninjas in Pyjamas. He decided to continue with NiP and became one of the biggest transfers on CS:GO.

Credit: Turtle Entertainment

Other than that, 2 players and the coach who were a significant part of Astralis also left the team: dupreeh, Magisk and zonic. Now, only Xyp9x and gla1ve are still in the team who were on Astralis since 2016.

Astralis created a new team with Lucky from Tricked Esport, k0nfig and blameF from Complexity Gaming and ave from North as the coach.

They finished the PGL Major Stockholm 2021 at 12th-14th standings, something Astralis weren’t proud about.

The golden era of Astralis still keeps a good memory inside of all CS:GO lovers and will be remembered for years. People are still keeping their belief for Astralis to find their old power and again, become the greatest team and make new records.

Do you think that Astralis will rise again? You can put your bet for Astralis on Luckbox.