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Radu M. | 16. September 2022

ESL Pro League S16 Group C: Astralis struggling

It seems that Astralis’ poor results in the Open Qualifiers for IEM Rio Major were not a fluke. The team really is in bad shape right now and it’s not clear why.

What we do know is that Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander has a 1-year-old son, and when you try to play CS:GO at the highest level and be the IGL of a team, family worries can, for short periods of time, distract you from your job.

Of course, this is all speculation, and Astralis might simply go through a bad phase. But if we look at gla1ve’s uncharacteristically poor performance in the match against HEET, it’s hard not to suspect that something consumes him on the inside these days.

His K-D score in that match was -26, while the next player in line was Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke, with -4. That’s a huge difference for a best-of-three.

The situation in group C

Group C of ESL Pro League Season 16 has been a rollercoaster so far. In groups A and B, one team heavily dominated the race and won without a single loss. But in group C, after just three matches everyone has at least one defeat. Three teams have a record of 2 W – 1 L while the other three have a record of 1 W – 2 L.

Right now, everything is still possible. But it’s a bit hard to imagine Astralis winning against Heroic and ENCE after they lost to HEET and Complexity. And they will need to win both matches if they want to qualify for the playoffs.

Most likely, they will beat ENCE in their next match. But it won’t be easy and it won’t be enough, even if it happens. Without a victory against Heroic, Astralis will go to the regional qualifiers for the IEM Rio Major knowing that they failed in one of the most important tournaments of the season.

This could easily result in a failed qualifier followed by some serious roster changes. The problem with this upcoming qualifier for IEM Rio is that its format is Swiss System. This means that one bad best-of-one followed by another bad best-of-one can put a team just one defeat away from elimination.

In this system, teams need three victories to qualify and Astralis don’t look capable of getting them in their current shape. Sure, they still have more than two weeks to prepare, but we haven’t seen them so frail in the past five years.

Header: Astralis