Astralis name trace as permanent CSGO coach ahead of Antwerp Major

João Ferreira for PGL

Astralis have confirmed that academy coach Martin ‘trace’ Heldt has taken charge of their CS:GO team on a permanent basis a week before the start of PGL Major Antwerp.

trace initially took up the role on March 4 for a three-month period as a replacement for Alexander ‘ave’ Holdt, who was ineligible to coach in the Regional Major Ranking (RMR) qualifying event in Bucharest and at the Major itself.

The initial plan would see ave, who remains suspended from all Valve-sponsored events for his use of the spectator bug in 2018 while coaching North, take charge of Astralis Talent, the organization’s academy team, and then return to his role as head coach following the conclusion of the Major cycle.

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However, Astralis have now announced that trace’s appointment has been made permanent, with director of sports Kasper Hvidt praising the coach’s ability to impose his authority on a team with “big names and personalities”.

“Under him we are starting to see some of the energy and confidence we in Astralis must always stand for,” Hvidt said in a statement.

“This can be felt both on the server and in the office, and we are getting closer to the top position we always aim for in Astralis.”

Mixed results

Under trace’s guidance, Astralis have placed 5th-8th at ESL Pro League 15, sixth at the EU RMR B tournament, and second in the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown.

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João Ferreira for PGL
Astralis narrowly qualified for the Antwerp Major

The team came close to not qualifying for the Antwerp Major, booking a spot in the in the final round of the RMR tournament after a three-map affair with French side HEET, but trace is still confident in the work that the team has been putting in since he joined.

“I understand that the expectations surrounding Astralis are always high, and they should be,” he said. “We are here to create great results, and together, players, organization and fans, we will do everything we can to meet our own and the fans’ expectations.

“We might not always win, but we will always do what we can to make it possible.”

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Meanwhile, Astralis have announced that ave has resigned from his position as academy team coach. His role will be filled by Andreas ‘MODDII’ Fridh, who is starting a coaching career after playing for teams like SK, Fnatic and Heroic.