Credit: Igor Bezborodov, ESL

Maniac praises a revived Astralis: They are serious candidates to win IEM Cologne

The Danes seem to have found the right formula after a couple of tough years in Counter-Strike.

Is Astralis finally back in top-tier Counter-Strike?

One individual who’s excited about the current Astralis side is Counter-Strike expert and analyst Mathieu "Maniac" Quiquerez. In a recent episode of Counter-Points with Duncan “Thorin” Shields, Maniac praises the Danish super team to the skies.

The Swiss expert especially highlights Astralis’ new roster composition, where they brought in br0 and moved device to the IGL role as the reason for their current success.

- Right now, Astralis is showcasing what Jabbi and stavn can do when they have solid fundamentals around them - something that protects them from losing silly situations and round losses. Just look at how Jabbi and stavn are performing now compared to under blameF. It’s absolute night and day!”

- Personally, I think br0 and Staehr are doing an incredible job stabilizing this team and being beacons of safety. device - unbelievable enough - hasn’t skipped a beat even though he’s now the in-game leader. So yeah, I’m very excited about Astralis and I believe they are serious candidates to win IEM Cologne.

The new captain and in-game leader, Nicolai “device” Reedtz, also received praising words from Maniac during the podcast, after the AWPer led Astralis to two consecutive Top 4 results at IEM Chengdu and ESL Pro League Season 19.

- device is capable to have plays that is set around him, but I don’t think he has any problems in taking a support role in some scenarios. If he can enable someone else by being a security AWPer or second line of defense then he’s cool with that. That means all of the aggressive and assertive resources are used for Jabbi and stavn. I think this triangle of Jabbi, stavn and device is working really well.

- The work has definitely been put in. The strat book is strong and the calls are pretty aggressive and daring as well, like the way they call an A rush on Ancient three times in a row. It takes a particular idea about the game to call that. What is actually relatively scary for everyone facing Astralis is that bar the honeymoon concept, I don’t really see a reason why their level would drop. Why would Astralis ever not be in a playoff from this point on? Who would not put them in the Top 8 of any tournament they go to, Maniac said on Counter-Points.

You can watch the entire podcast down below.

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