Ever since "device" left Astralis to join NiP, the Danish powerhouse by the name of Astralis has had issues finding their previous form and proving that they are in fact still one of the best teams in the world of professional CS:GO. With the recent disappointing run at the PGL Major 2022 in Antwerp, failing to reach the top 16 teams for the first time at a major since 2016, we are left with a feeling that something needs to change in order for Astralis to become one of the best teams in the world once again.
But what needs to change within the Astralis camp for them to finally cement themselves as a real challenger to the likes of Natus Vincere, G2, and Gambit? When looking at the recent performance one thing, or rather one player stands out - "blameF". The hulk of Counter-Strike didn't fail to impress, even when the rest of his team was looking severely troubled. Ending the Challenger stage at the PGL Major with an impressive rating of 1.42, it is clear that he is not the problem when it comes to the seemingly tired Astralis roster.
In addition, the somewhat reckless star-rifler of Astralis in Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke has proven himself capable of winning otherwise challenging series all by himself. With an average rating of 1.14 in the past three months, "k0nfig" has proven himself, all be it unreliable at times, to be the x-factor that Astralis has needed in dire times. Furthermore, "k0nfig" has played an instrumental part in making Ancient one of the strong suits in the Astralis arsenal. Averaging a rating of 1.29, the explosive Dane has been the 9th. best Ancient player in the past three months.
So if it isn't "blameF" or "k0nfig", the newest additions alongside the team's primary AWP'er in "Farlig" that is the problem, what is Astralis missing? When looking at the numbers it becomes apparent that two individuals on the Astralis roster have been failing to reach the desired level of performance that is required in today's competitive climate. All be it carrying more tactical and less flashy roles, "gla1ve" and "Xyp9x" have struggled with their own individual performances as of late.
Whether or more explosive support-player in exchange for "Xyp9x" or perhaps a structural change seeing a new IGL instead of "gla1ve" is needed, a player that could give Astralis exactly what they need is Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså.
The 26-year-old Dane has just been benched at OG and could perhaps be looking toward a new home over at Astralis if a change to the roster is desired. In addition to being extremely versatile and previously willing to fill multiple roles and responsibilities, "valde" could bring the needed firepower to the currently lacking Astralis roster.
What the future holds for the struggling Astralis roster, as well as the now benched "valde" is still unsure. Could "valde" be the missing piece to the Astralis puzzle? Has the time finally run out for "Xyp9x" and "gla1ve"? One thing is for sure, if Astralis wish to be the CS:GO giants they once were, a change is needed.