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Astralis Becomes Strong Bet as gla1ve Returns

Astralis gla1ve
Helena Kristiansson via ESL One

2020 has been a turbulent year for Astralis, a team many considered to be the greatest of all time. The squad saw numerous transfers throughout the year, with key players stepping down from the team for medical reasons.

With an ever-changing lineup and clearly missing players like captain Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander and veteran Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth, the team stumbled and fell through a handful of events, rarely even winning a series.

The four-time major-winning team quickly dropped from first to 17th in the HLTV world rankings as they crashed out of event after event. However, things are now looking up for the team as gla1ve has returned to the active lineup.

Astralis gets huge boost as gla1ve returns

Gla1ve’s return is massive for the Astralis squad. The team was without one of the best leaders and tacticians of CS:GO for almost four months, and it was easy to tell. They lacked the usual teamwork, strategies and mid-game adjustments that had made them a force to be reckoned with.

One of their star players, Emil “Magisk” Reif, took over the captain role, which had a detrimental effect on his individual performances. Having to focus on the game as a whole and think of strategies and mid-game adjustments, his ratings crumbled. Magisk was once the player who would dominate and get the team out of sticky situations, but having to lead, he rarely made an impact and often found himself near the bottom of the scoreboard.

Now that gla1ve is back, we can expect not only the ingenious strategies of 2019 Astralis, but for Magisk to be freed up and once again destroy his opponents. As well, with a core member returning, the squad is back to four of five members from the legendary lineup, meaning the return of a lot of synergy and team play.

Is Astralis worth betting on?

With the return of gla1ve, bettors will be asking themselves one simple thing: Are they worth betting on? Quite honestly, they should be, but maybe not just yet. The big thing the team was missing was a leader, to both refine their strategies and free up their young star Magisk. Now that they have gla1ve back, their results should start picking up.

So far, they’ve only played two matches. The first was a 2-0 loss to Complexity. This was somewhat expected – gla1ve hadn’t played a competitive match in about four months and each player has to get used to their role. Meanwhile, Complexity is a top-10 team and was hungry for the win.

Even so, the match was still very close, with both maps going to overtime and ending 19-17 in Complexity’s favor.

Astralis’ next match was really the one to watch, though. They rolled back the months to a classic 2019 Astralis performance, as they dominated FaZe 2-0, losing just 12 rounds over two maps. However, we still shouldn’t get too excited. It’s very possible it was a one-off, with FaZe having a bad day or everything just clicking for Astralis.

Overall, both of their games so far have shown they are capable of competing against the best once again, and I’d expect the team to really start putting together consistent results after a few more weeks of practice.