Astralis make key signings
by Christopher Eluemuno in
eSports Betting News

Astralis used to be a heavyweight in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene. Now, after some lean years, there is belief within the Danish franchise that a return to the glory days is not far off.

The last time Astralis won a major CS: GO title was in 2019 when they defeated Team Liquid 2-0 to clinch the BLAST Pro Series Global Finals 2019 title.

However, there is a renewed belief in the Astralis camp, as revealed by Asger “farlig” Jensen. The 23-year-old, who is one of the newest members of the team, said that they are now on the right track following a series of poor performances.

“After a series of poor results, Astralis are now on the rise. I think you can say so. We managed to reach the final of the LAN tournament in Sweden and the semifinal of the online event featuring many strong teams. Of course, we want to play even better, but even so, the current state of our team can be considered good,” he said.

“After IEM Dallas 2022, we had a detailed team talk about what needed to be fixed. It seems that we are now on the right track, even though it still takes time to reach the optimal form.”

In the 2022 Intel Extreme Masters Season XVII Dallas, Astralis failed to make it past the group stage. A loss in the first game of the tournament relegated them to the group stage lower bracket.

Although they defeated Encore ESC in the first round, they lost to G2 Esports in their next game, which ended their IEM Dallas campaign.

Since then, Astralis have put together impressive results. In the Pinnacle Cup Championship, they lost the grand final matchup against Heroic. They also managed a deep run in the just-concluded Roobet Cup, losing 2-1 to FaZe Clan in the semifinals.

Farlig referenced these displays, saying the team is hoping to build off them in the ongoing IEM Cologne.

“I think after we had a period of some rough results, we are actually on an upswing right now. We have somewhat of a joke in the team that we made pretty OK results,” he said.

“We just made the finals in [Pinnacle Cup Championship], and we made the semis of [Roobet Cup]. Obviously, we still want better results, but right now, we are in a period of delivering better than we did beforehand. There’s some optimism in the team off the back of these achievements.”

Astralis have started the IEM Cologne averagely, winning one of their first two games. They are one of the 16 teams participating in the play-in, of which eight will advance to the group stage.

The Danes lost their chance to qualify in the upper bracket after losing their first game to 00 Nation 16-6. With that defeat, they got relegated to the lower bracket.

A decisive 2-0 victory over Complexity Gaming has guaranteed Astralis a spot in round two of the lower bracket. However, they would have to overcome BIG, who are listed as -140.85 favorites with several esports betting sites.

If they beat BIG in the best-of-three game, they will secure a group stage spot alongside Heroic, Team Spirit, Outsiders, and Movistar Riders. The three other slots are yet to be filled.

IEM Cologne promises a prize pool of US$1 million, with the winner walking away with $400,000. Circuit points will also be awarded to the top eight teams. The event, which commenced on July 5, will run through to July 17.

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