Astralis have announced that they have bolstered their CS:GO squad with the addition of former Complexity duo Kristian ‘k0nfig’ Wienecke and Benjamin ‘blameF’ Bremer.
The two players will join the Danish team immediately to replace Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif and Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen, who will be leaving Astralis following the expiry of their contracts at the end of the year.
The two arrivals signed for Astralis on free transfers after being released by Complexity in October. K0nfig, who was out of action for almost two months after fracturing his right wrist, had been widely expected to sign for the Danish giants.
“In my previous organizations, I sometimes had the feeling of ‘being my own island’,” k0nfig told Astralis’ website. “In Astralis, though, it feels like you are stepping into a family with people around you who are all working for the same goal.
“That’s something I think you bring to the server, and I will do everything I can to contribute with the same passion and energy, and hopefully to ultimately add a Major star or two to the jersey.”
“When Astralis calls, you need really good arguments to hang up, and the conversations I’ve had just confirm my impression: This is where I want to be now and going forwards!” blameF added. “These are some huge shoes to fill in, but I feel I can bring something new to the team and that I can make a real difference.”
Meanwhile, Astralis have announced that Alexander ‘ave’ Holdt will be taking over as the team’s new head coach. The 33-year-old, who was part of the iconic mTw squad in CS 1.6, was last seen coaching North in 2019.
Ave, who will join the team “the soonest possible”, according to Astralis, will replace his former mTw teammate Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen at the helm of the Danish squad. HLTV.org had reported in July that zonic was considering his options as he was about to enter the final months of his contract with the organization.
End of an era
The news marks the end of the most dominant lineup core in CS:GO history. dupreeh has been part of Astralis since the organization was launched, in January 2016, with Magisk joining the team two years later, after Markus ‘Kjaerbye’ Kjærbye had left for North.
With Magisk on the roster, Astralis reached a new level of performance, adding three Major crowns to the ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017 trophy, and winning countless other titles, including the $1 million Intel Grand Slam Season 1 title.
After an up-and-down 2020 campaign, Astralis began 2021 on the wrong foot, and things went from bad to worse when star player Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz left for Ninjas in Pyjamas in a shocking move.
With the other longtime players entering the final months of their contracts, there were doubts about what the team would look like in 2022.
In July, Luke ‘gla1ve’ Rossander signed a new three-year contract, while Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth penned a four-year deal in October after flirting with the idea of exploring his options. But question marks remained over dupreeh and Magisk.
The two players made their final appearance for Astralis at PGL Major Stockholm. The Danish team finished 12th-14th after posting a 1-3 record in the New Legends Stage.
“Everyone in Astralis works hard to push the boundaries of what we can accomplish and to progress every single day. We aim to win with positive energy, chins up and chests out!” said Kasper Hvidt, Director of Sports at Astralis.
“That is why we extended the contracts “gla1ve” and “Xypex” who are both strong bearers of our culture, and that is why we chose to bring in the young talent “Lucky”, when new energy was needed.
“This is also why we now choose to advance the already planned change: To immediately eliminate the insecurities and to ensure the clarity and focus we need to create the best possible conditions for everybody on and around the team.
“We add two world-class players and a new, strong coach profile who all bring a lot of energy and motivation to build on the strong Astralis legacy and to again be a contender for the biggest titles.”
The new Astralis squad will make their official debut at the BLAST Premier Fall Final 2021, scheduled for November 24-28. The tournament will take place at the Royal Arena, in Copenhagen, with $425,000 on offer.
Astralis CS:GO Roster:
- Luke “gla1ve” Rossander
- Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth
- Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen
- Benjamin “blameF” Bremer
- Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke
- Philip “Lucky” Ewald