The Fall of the Giants: The Throwback Thursday from Hell

Three of the most coveted CS:GO players were all axed on one of the most dramatic days in Counter-Strike history.

So, what really happened on the 22nd of June, 2023? Oh well, NA CS practically died, the most-winning in-game leader of all time was benched sharing the fate of the most-winning CS:GO player in history, who just recently won his fifth Major.


Let’s start with Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander. His departure was the first shock of the day. The 28-year-old IGL was benched after the lackluster results in Dallas and Washington. The two tournaments should have been the turnaround for Astralis, who started promising in Dallas but lost the quarter-final against MOUZ after a dramatic overtime loss on map 1. What really tipped the boat was probably the 2-1 defeat to Complexity a few days later in Washington. Complexity, playing with a stand-in, was able to edge out Astralis and knock out the Danes before the playoffs.

The optimism that the Astralis management may have had disappeared that Thursday in Washington. Two weeks after the Astralis project took a dramatic turn with the sacking of Director of Sports, Kasper Hvidt alongside the controversial figure Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen. Now both Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander and Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth have been benched with contracts lasting until the Summer of 2024 and the end of 2024.

So, what’s next for gla1ve and Xyp9x? Will they stay on Astralis and let their contracts run out, or is there still some fire in them to prove, that they can still perform?


- One of the toughest decisions I had to make in my professional career, coach of Team Vitality Danny "zonic" Sørensen said after the news of Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen’s benching broke out. We understand why. How do you weigh the experience of a guy having won everything in CS:GO history versus a rookie whose greatest achievement is winning Spring Sweet Spring #2? The decision to axe Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen and replace him with Shahar "flameZ" Shushan will probably be one of the key defining moments for Team Vitality going forward. It signals their huge ambitions and their fears of stalling as we have seen other Major winning teams do recently. There is ten years difference between dupreeh and flameZ. Ten years of experience in and out of the game versus the raw firepower and reactions of the 20-year-old Israelian.

A key thing to also remember is that dupreeh actually played well in both IEM Rio and the Paris Major. In Rio, he was the reason why Vitality came back against Cloud9 down one map and behind 3-12 on Vertigo. With a 2.55 rating on the T-side the Dane charged back and turned the match around which eventually gave Vitality the perfect build-up for the Major.

Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen should have no problems finding a new home.


Where were you, when NA CS died? Team Liquid is transitioning to Europe, and will take the only Legends Spot at the upcoming Major in Copenhagen with them. The Dutch-founded organization returns home to Europe after eight years in North America. The reasoning behind this is obvious with the lack of teams and tournaments in North America in general. The evolution of Counter-Strike is happening so fast in Europe right now, that everyone not on board will be miles behind the power curve if they are not playing in the EU regularly.

Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken realized this two years ago. Now Keith "NAF" Markovic and Joshua "oSee" Ohm are looking to relocate to Europe in the near future. Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski stayed back. It’s unsure whether it was his own choice completely, or if he was reluctant to relocate. His mission is now to elevate Complexity to a new level, where the NA team can compete with the teams from Europe. A mission impossible.


Three legends of the game (four if you include Xyp9x) found themselves benched yesterday. It was the first of many roster moves this summer, where the anticipation of Counter-Strike 2 is making several organizations think long-term. Quite refreshing but also brutal at the same time.


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