Credit: Stephanie Lindgren, BLAST

gla1ve: We're ready to take some territory back

We spoke with the Astralis in-game leader before the Danes embark on some very crucial months.

A lot has happened since Astralis played their last match at ESL Pro League. Back in Season 16, both Kristian 'k0nfig' Wienecke and Asger 'Farlig' Jensen were still on the team that crashed out of the group stage of the event.

What followed next was even more shocking. The four-time Major winning Organization missed out on qualifying for IEM Rio after nearly also failing to qualify for the RMRs in the first place. This an unusual position to be in for the experienced in-game leader Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander, who does not hide the fact, that it was a difficult time.

- That was probably the worst I've ever felt when it comes to feeling pressure, but there is always some pressure when you're in Astralis. It's about how you handle it as a team and as a group, and I feel we're in a much better place today both mentally, quality-wise, and in-game. I'm not saying we'll win it all hands down, but I actually feel good about the team and the upcoming tournaments. We still have a lot to work on, but we're getting there.

“We don’t feel sorry for ourselves”

The 2023 version of Astralis does look like a solid improvement to last year’s lineup. The addition of Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz hardly needs any further comments, but perhaps more surprising is the performance of Christian Møss "Buzz" Andersen, who has looked very solid on Astralis’ two favorite maps of Ancient and Nuke. In combination with a new coaching staff setup, which gla1ve already has praised highly, there is a sense of optimism to detect in the answer given by gla1ve about the balance of the team in terms of roles and positions.

- Peter (casle), Nicolai (Hunden), and everybody on the team are working damned hard to improve as players and as a group. We have found a feeling of togetherness, and we're certainly in a much better place than we were in most of 2022. It feels really good in practice, and I hope we will see the same level in officials. You still have that small doubt, but that only proves how much we want it. We are where we are, we don't feel sorry for ourselves, and we're ready to take some territory back.

For Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander ESL Pro League and the upcoming European RMR will give some answers on the doubts that he and the rest of the CS community have on the 2023 version of Astralis.

gla1ve’s “dad brain”

On a personal level, Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander became a father in 2021 and has since then had to juggle his time between being a parent and leading Astralis back to the top of CS. Two full-time jobs to say the least. But according to recent studies, there are also physical changes happening to a father. In an American study, researchers identified that the most significant changes in the expectant fathers occurred in the cortex — the brain’s outer layer managing attention, planning, and executive functioning. Three key components for an in-game leader!

And maybe this has been contributing to the progress, that the four-time Major winner has felt lately. Or not.

- Ha ha. I heard that a "dad brain" should improve the ability to process things visually, and I do feel that I'm improving as a player and an in-game leader, but honestly, I'll give most of the credit to the way we work on the team and in the new set-up with the people involved. It feels like we improve and learns every day, and that's a great feeling.

Wednesday at 16.00 CET we will see, if the vibes continues to be positive, when Astralis face Team Spirit in their opening game at ESL Pro League Season 17.

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