Astralis have announced that academy coach Martin ‘trace’ Heldt will take charge of the main team ahead of PGL Major Antwerp.
The 31-year-old will act as Astralis’ head coach in their upcoming tournaments, starting with ESL Pro League 15, which will kick off on March 9.
He will be stepping in for Alexander ‘ave’ Holdt, who is unable to coach during this Major cycle, which includes the upcoming Regional Major Ranking (RMR) event in Bucharest. Ave is still suspended from Valve competitions for using the spectator bug in 2018, during his time coaching North, despite having already served out his six-month ban handed by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC).
Ave, who joined Astralis on November 4, taking over from the outbound Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen, will return to his role after the conclusion of PGL Major Antwerp. Until then, he will be assisting trace while also working with Astralis Talent, the organization’s academy squad.
— Astralis Counter-Strike (@AstralisCS) March 4, 2022
A successful competitor
Trace was one of the best Counter-Strike players during the final years of 1.6 and a vital piece of the iconic mTw lineup alongside players like zonic and ave. He represented Fnatic in both 1.6 and CS:GO between 2012 and 2013 and made two unsuccessful comeback attempts as a player in 2015 and 2017.
After wrapping up his playing days, trace embraced a coaching career in 2021. He coached Team Singularity, Lyngby Vikings, and ECSTATIC before being hired in January to oversee Astralis’ academy team.
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Astralis have been placed in Group D of ESL Pro League 15, alongside NAVI, Heroic, Complexity, Evil Geniuses, and AGO. The event will mark Asger ‘Farlig’ Jensen’s Astralis debut after he was signed as the team’s new AWPer, replacing Philip ‘Lucky’ Ewald.