Expectations were high that Lukas Rossander is returning to the Astralis team roster in time for the ESL One Cologne 2020 tourney, an event that many were hoping would host a return to offline competition that ultimately resulted in it being held online and divided into regions.
Unfortunate, as the online tourneys as of late have resulted in pandemonium within the rankings; the German BIG still maintains the #1 global rank (for the first time ever), with Vitality behind by roughly 80 points in the second rank; Liquid has risen to ten and Astralis are floundering around at eleventh.
Latency and disconnects have plagued a multitude of tournaments while some teams have been using the online-aspect to the best of their advantage to levy pressure against officials to the chagrin of many. It’s unlikely that we’ll be experiencing a return to the classic offline LAN spectacles that have punctuated the professional Counter-Strike scene any time soon, unfortunately.
Yet Astralis was favored for the upcoming ESL One Cologne tourney precisely because Lukas ‘Gla1ve’ Rossander was expected to be making a return to form in the Astralis line-up; an aspect that was contradicted by Gla1ve on the seventh, when he announced that he wouldn’t be on the roster for the upcoming tourney.
I am looking so much forward to coming back ⭐️! I will take it step by step which means I won't be playing ESL Cologne, but I will help the team all I can so we can take the trophy home 👊. A huge thanks to all who supported me during my break, it truly means so much to me ❤️ pic.twitter.com/smLjqdCIYn
— Lukas Rossander (@gla1ve_csgo) August 7, 2020
Astralis confirmed this earlier this morning when they tweeted out the roster that they’re entering the tourney with; sure enough, no Gla1ve.
— Astralis (@astralisgg) August 13, 2020
Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif has been announced to be filling the role of IGL for the Danish team in lieu of Lukas, the legendary IGL that is widely considered to be one of the best in-game leaders in the professional scene at the moment.
Astralis is going to be sorted into the European region of the upcoming tourney, along with Fnatic, NaVi, and Vitality making it one of the more exciting regions (compared to the four teams each within Asia and Oceania) to watch in the tourney that begins on August 18.
Whether or not Astralis can turn around their recent performances to offer a bit of competition, after they’ve recently replaced JUGi with Bubzkji, is of hot debate at the moment.
Astralis recently dropped matches to G2 (in a clean sweep Bo3) and NiP (1-2); many are going to be looking closely at Bubzjki to see if his role within the team is likely to grow or shrink as time progresses once Astralis returns to their full form with Xyp9x and Gla1ve.
It isn’t the most promising line-up considering that two star players are currently out, but Astralis will need to show some competitive fervor and competence in the tourney to silence the critics that have increased in recent months.