Multi Million-dollar Astralis Lineup Failed To Qualify For The Copenhagen Major

The new star-studded Astralis roster with high expectations blew their chances at playing in the first Counter-Strike Major in... Owen | 23. February 2024

The new star-studded Astralis roster with high expectations blew their chances at playing in the first Counter-Strike Major in their home country. They were eliminated in the Last Chance Qualifiers of the RMR, a totally disappointing performance.

How The Iteration Of Astralis Was Formed

To give a quick recap, this Astralis roster, on paper, seemed like it could be the best Danish roster possible after the four-time Major-winning lineup years ago. To add to the firepower dev1ce, blameF, and Staehr provided, Astralis bought out stavn and jabbi, arguably the two best players from Heroic. 

The buyout of the two players was rumored to be around 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 USD. However, the transfer wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, as the two Heroic players were involved in backstabbing their long-time captain, cadiaN. 

All the drama aside, the new Astralis lineup seemed like it could easily become a top five team in no time. Four players, stavn, jabbi, blameF, and dev1ce were included in the top 20 players of 2023, making Astralis the only roster that could boast that achievement. 

Promising Start To The RMR

Astralis was performing well, not to the level everyone expected, but at least it seemed like they were getting there. They disposed of Nexus 13-5 in their first match of the Major qualifier and were set to play against Team Spirit, potentially the best team in the world.

Astralis made donk seem like he was mortal, as the Danes could shut down the 17-year-old throughout the map. In this series, donk posted a negative rating for the first time in his LAN lifetime. With Staehr leading the charge, Astralis looked like they would take the series as they had an 11-8 lead.

However, Astralis completely lost their footing and lost five rounds in a row, allowing Team Spirit to make a comeback and win the series 13-11. Astralis, by all means, should have won that game. 

Still, fans let the loss slide since it was against Team Spirit, who seemed completely unstoppable. Showing that Team Spirit can be beaten was satisfactory enough.

Karma Strikes Astralis

With a respectable performance against the IEM Katowice champions, Astralis fans felt the team would have no issues winning their remaining matches. But, it appears karma had a different plan. 

The next match on the list for Astralis was against their Danish rivals, Heroic, the team jabbi and stavn abandoned on bad terms. Though cadiaN is no longer there, TeSeS and sjuush were licking their lips to get revenge on the traitors – and they did.

With a lights-out performance from their newly acquired rifler Nertz, Heroic completed the upset to send Astralis to the 1-2 pool, where every match from then on would result in elimination. Meanwhile, TeSeS fired some shots in a post-game interview after Heroic’s qualification.

Despite the two losses, everyone still expected Astralis to qualify for the Major. Their next match was against Monte, who they defeated 2-1. This victory put Astralis in the 2-2 pool, one win away from qualification.

Another familiar face appeared as a roadblock for Astralis: gla1ve and ENCE. History’s most legendary in-game leader was benched from the Astralis roster to make room for the current team. Obviously, gla1ve wouldn’t let that slide.

With his new Polish friends, gla1ve convincingly got his revenge on Astralis after sweeping them 2-0 in a dominant series. After this loss, Astralis was sent to the Last Chance Qualifier, while dev1ce’s former captain qualified for the Major. 

Losing To 9 Pandas, Of All Teams??

Though losing three matches should result in a team’s departure from the RMR, Valve has implemented a Last Chance Qualifier stage for teams who finished 2-3. Again, Astralis was easily the favorite to make it through, as the five other teams should be inferior to the Danish powerhouse. 

Astralis had 9 Pandas as their first matchup, which should have been an easy victory. But somehow, Astralis dropped the ball, not only losing the series but doing it in an unacceptable fashion. The multi-million dollar roster was defeated 0-2 by the heavy underdogs, resulting in the team’s elimination. 

Despite being the organization with the most Major victories, Astralis will miss their third Counter-Strike Major in a row. This one especially hurts, considering how much money was burnt and that it was the first-ever Major held in Denmark.

The Staehr Argument

The funniest part about this situation is everyone knows how expensive high-calibre players like dev1ce, blameF, jabbi, and stavn could cost. The outlier in the lineup was Staehr, who initially received a lot of flak for not deserving his spot in this superstar lineup. 

However, Staehr was easily the best Astralis player throughout the RMR, and I dare say he is the only reason Astralis managed to get two wins in the first place. He is the best performer in the lineup and is getting paid the least on the team.

To add fuel to the fire, Staehr, who is the youngest member in Astralis, was also sent to do the loser’s interview following the team’s elimination. Numerous Counter-Strike personalities were outraged that the more experienced and profiled players such as dev1ce and blameF did not conduct the interview over him.

Header: Astralis