Astralis CS: GO roster in 2019 was undeniably strong and dominated the professional stage. In May 2020, Lucas gla1ve Rossander and Andreas Xyp9x Hoyslet announced a suspension of their careers, and the results of the team began to decline. In Richard Lewis’s article, which cites an informed source, problems in the team are explained by critical leadership errors.
According to an insider, Astralis sports director Casper Hvidt did not want to take into account the wishes of the players and the coach. He relied solely on his experience in handball and demanded that the composition of the same as that of a team from traditional sports. In communication with the players, he used a strategy of intimidation and pressure.
Initially, the team trained for 37-48 hours per week. The composition followed this schedule with utmost rigor, and by the end of 2019 the team had to spend even more time on preparation. Despite the requests of the players to review the schedule, Hvidt stood his ground.
After the defeat at the BLAST Premier Spring Series 2020, the team firmly decided to take the time to rest. However, Astralis signed agreements with BLAST and ESL, according to which the Danes were required to play in their tournaments, and there was no gap on the calendar for the holidays. The players had to continue working, and at the next LAN tournament – IEM Katowice 2020 – the team again failed to win the title, losing in the semifinals to Natus Vincere.
Then the coronavirus pandemic began. Although LAN tournaments were canceled, Astralis was forced to continue playing online due to contracts with ESL and BLAST. In addition, the management decided to reduce the salary of all employees by 30%, explaining this by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the players did not see the need for this – not one of the sponsors left the club, while the organization saved on transportation costs. Cyber-sportsmen have always gone towards the leadership before, therefore they did not consider that they deserve a reduction in wages. Despite the fact that the contracts did not have any sanctions in case of refusal, CS: GO roster players eventually agreed.
In the same way, Origen’s salary and roster was reduced by League of Legends, although some players did not agree to this for a long time and even brought in lawyers to prevent Astralis management from doing so. According to the source, it was the salary reduction that became the main cause of the crisis in the CS: GO roster.
The insider also explained why the club began to sign additional players. The main reason was not that Astralis planned to build a team of more than five e-sportsmen. Despite the fact that the leadership did not want to give leave to the CS: GO roster, it was aware that rest can be obtained for medical reasons – in 2018, Denmark recognized the disease burnout syndrome.
Astralis understood that players would definitely take advantage of this opportunity, so they began to look for replacements. And the main applicants for joining the composition were those for whom no compensation should be paid and who would not require high salaries.
In a commentary on Dexerto.com, where a Lewis article was published, Astralis management declined to discuss contract issues. Representatives of the club only specified that sometimes there were really disagreements in the team, but in the end it was the joint work of the coaches, the club and the e-sportsmen that led to the desired result.