Astralis’ Xyp9x opens up on burnout & becoming CSGO’s Clutch Minister

xyp9x astralis csgo clutch ministerTwitter, @Xyp9x / Astralis

Known as CS:GO’s “Clutch Minister,” Astralis’ Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Hojsleth has revealed what it takes to come through in the clutch and how he has overcome the burnout that prompted a brief departure from Counter-Strike in May 2020.

With Astralis back atop the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pedestal, Xyp9x has cemented his return to the forefront of CSGO’s collective consciousness. Within months of Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander and Xyp9x rejoining the roster, the team stormed to a DreamHack Masters Winter championship on the back of a clutch run through the Lower Bracket.

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Now, Xyp9x has delved into the nuances of his mindset as CSGO’s most notoriously clutch player and how he’s been able to seamlessly regroup with his highly esteemed club. 

The clutch mindset: Perspective and experience

In sports and in esports, impactful qualities like the ‘hot hand’ and ‘clutch gene’ are visibly tangible yet simultaneously nebulous. In an interview, Xyp9x has revealed precisely how he is able to reign supreme in the clutch.

While many fans may simply attribute clutch performance to composure and a cold-blooded nature, Xyp9x examines his production on a deeper level. Noting the importance of calculations and information when a match gets tight, Xyp9x said he tries to put himself in his enemies’ shoes: “What would I do as an opponent … What would I do to surprise me?”

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Referencing Gla1ve’s 1v4 at Dreamhack, he describes how a perspective shift can let you know your enemies are likely to push you, rather than sit back.

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Further, Xyp9x touches on a simpler aspect of the clutch factor: experience. Whether it’s in practice or in a match, the 25-year-old explains that actively learning from your missteps and successes is key to clutch performance: “The reason why I can do this is also because I sit in these situations a lot.”

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Xyp9x and Astralis return: Overcoming burnout

Back in May 2020, Astralis lost both their “Maestro” and Clutch Minister as gla1ve and Xyp9x decided it was time to indefinitely step away from CS due to poor health. Burnout has been a major subject in the esport and Xyp9x explained why time away from competition has proved so valuable.

Touching on how he suffered from “sleeplessness,” “headaches,” and an inability to concentrate, the Danish rifler advises how important it is “to be aware of what your body is telling you.” Further, he believes that if he had listened to his body sooner, he probably could have taken a two-month break instead of the five months.

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On another level, he mentions how vital it was to have a supportive team that he knew would happily welcome him back. 

Astralis is back on top, the Clutch Minister has returned, and, with him, important lessons for esports competitors. Xyp9x’s reflections provide both a useful cautionary tale about fatigue as well as proof that player breaks, when supported, can prove pivotal to performance.

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