Xyp9x hopeful of continuing Major appearance streak: “It would mean a lot to me”

Xyp9x at IEM Cologne 2021Simon Howar/ESL

The ‘Clutch Minister’ has not yet missed a single Counter-Strike Major, but as PGL Stockholm nears, there are doubts as to whether he will be part of Astralis’ plans for the event.

Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth has been confirmed in the starting lineup for Astralis’ next two events, the BLAST Premier Fall Groups and IEM Fall. In the first tournament, he will fill the void left by in-game leader Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander, who is on paternity leave.

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Xyp9x watched from the sidelines as Astralis were eliminated from ESL Pro League Season 14 in the group stage with a 2-3 record. It was Philip ‘⁠Lucky⁠’ Ewald’s first tournament with the team following his transfer from Tricked, which increased their roster to six players.

Xyp9x and gla1ve at IEM Cologne 2021Simon Howar/ESL
Xyp9x is coming on for gla1ve as the Danish in-game leader will take some time off

Now back on the team, Xyp9x is eager to contribute again, hoping to prove that he deserves a shot to play at PGL Major Stockholm if the team qualify for the prestigious event.

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Extending the streak

Xyp9x is part of a select group of players who have not yet missed a Counter-Strike Major. Besides him, only Olof ‘olofmeister’ Kajbjer, Nicolai ‘device’ Reedtz, Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen, Danylo ‘Zeus’ Teslenko (who retired from the game in 2020), and Richard ‘shox’ Papillon have attended all 15 Majors.

And the 26-year-old is eager to keep that streak alive.

“It would mean a lot to me,” Xyp9x told Dexerto. “Majors are what we play for. They are the most important tournaments.

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“Sometimes, things are out of control and I cannot really dictate what Astralis can or should do. But I can do my best inside and outside the server.

“Let’s see if I’ll be playing the Major.”

LAN return

With gla1ve taking some time off for the birth of his first child, it will be Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif calling the shots on Astralis in the near future. He is no stranger to the role, having led the team for a few months in 2020, mostly during gla1ve’s medical leave of absence.

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“He has done it before, with okay success, and it was a no-brainer to put him in the role again,” Xyp9x said.

Astralis have been paired alongside Evil Geniuses, Vitality, and Liquid in BLAST Premier Fall’s Group A, which will kick off on September 16.

Despite the team’s recent struggles, Xyp9x is optimistic of their chances of finishing top two in the group and qualifying for the Fall Finals, which will be held on their home turf: Copenhagen’s Royal Arena.

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“We love to play in Denmark and we love to please the fans in Denmark,” he said. “We aim to go on from the group stage, we believe that our chances are fairly good.

“It would be amazing to play at the Royal Arena again after all the restrictions. Filling that arena would be amazing.”

The new AWPer

As Astralis take to the server in the BLAST Premier Fall Groups, many eyes will be on Lucky. The 18-year-old has a lot of pressure on his shoulders in replacing dev1ce as the team’s primary AWPer after a brief period in which dupreeh took on sniping duties.

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Lucky had a modest outing in his debut tournament, averaging a 1.00 HLTV rating, and Xyp9x offered his support to the newcomer, saying that it will take some time for the former Tricked player to get acclimated to his new surroundings.

“Lucky is a really young guy, and once you get into a team that has a lot of experienced players and has a certain way to play the game, it’s very tough for a young guy to be vocal and take initiative,” Xyp9x explained.

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I think he has the potential but he needs time against many tier-one teams. There’s a big difference between playing in tier-three or tier-four on Tricked and getting into Astralis, where you’re facing tier-one teams all the time. You just don’t get the easy picks and the easy kills.

“Playing more practice games against the sort of opponents we play against will make him more comfortable in what he can and cannot do. It’s very tough coming from a lower tier and getting into that tier one.

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“Once you get punished for something you’re used to doing, you’re thinking, ‘I can’t do anything’. That’s also a mindset thing, and he has been working on that. All of that is being worked on, and I think he has shown progress.”

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