Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth is once again practicing with the team and will feature in their next tournament, BLAST Premier Fall Groups, Dexerto has confirmed.
The ‘Clutch Minister’ will return to action after sitting out ESL Pro League Season 14 – in which he was replaced by the team’s newest recruit, 18-year-old AWPer Philip ‘Lucky’ Ewald.
Multiple sources have confirmed to Dexerto that Xyp9x has been practicing with the team instead of Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander. The Danish in-game leader has still been on the server during practice but from a coaching slot alongside head coach Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen.
gla1ve will be taking a short break from activity in anticipation of the birth of his first child. In March, he broke the news on Twitter that he would become a father “in about six months.”
Kasper Hvidt, Director of Sports at the Astralis Group, told Dexerto that, “even though it is not a tradition in esports”, gla1ve has been granted paternity leave “to focus on his upcoming role as a father.”
“Everybody contributes to the team every single day and, as mentioned when we added a sixth player for the Fall, everybody will have an active role,” Mr. Hvidt added.
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“We strongly believe that players and everybody else working in an elite environment will perform better if there is a balance in their life and room to focus on what’s important.
“At the same time, Andreas performs extremely well and contributes with a lot of positive energy, so it was an obvious choice for all.”
Future in doubt
Xyp9x’s long-term future has been a fervent source of conjecture in recent months, especially since he revealed in an exclusive interview with Dexerto in August that “everything is up in the air.”
The 25-year-old is one of three Astralis players with contracts running out at the end of the year. Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen and Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif have not yet made any comment about their future plans.
Zonic’s deal is also up at the end of 2021. HLTV.org reported in July that the 35-year-old was considering leaving Astralis and that Nicolai ‘HUNDEN’ Petersen had been earmarked as the man to lead the squad from 2022.
But with the former Heroic coach having been banned for two years by ESIC, the future structure of Astralis’ coaching staff looks more uncertain than ever.
Astralis crashed out of ESL Pro League Season 14 in the group stage with a 2-3 record. They beat Bad News Bears and Spirit and lost to ENCE, Vitality, and Heroic, failing to take a single map off any of these three teams.
The Danish team will face Evil Geniuses on September 16 in their first match in the BLAST Premier Fall Group A, which also includes Vitality and Liquid.
The top two teams from each group will advance to the Fall Final, while the bottom two will go to the Showdown tournament alongside two invitees and eight sides coming from regional and national qualifiers.