Astralis has confirmed that Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth will be taking an indefinite period of leave from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The player, who’s widely known as the clutch minister, is now the second player from Astralis to go on leave with stress-related symptoms.
A report from DBLTAP yesterday suggested Astralis was struggling to find a replacement for Xyp9x, but the organisation has now confirmed Marco ‘Snappi’ Pfeiffer will step in to man the ship. Patrick ‘es3tag’ Hansen, who has in principle signed with Astralis, will join them once his contract with Heroic is complete in July.
“I have sadly been feeling burnout/stress symptoms chasing me over many months,” Xyp9x says via the official announcement. “It’s time to take the necessary break to rest and find the motivation to get back to competing for Astralis. Everyone around me has done a great number of things in order to avoid it, and there is nothing that I would rather do than keep on playing without a break, but the time has come to take care of my health and therefore I have given in a sick note to Astralis.”
Xyp9x’s decision to take a break from competitive CS:GO comes one week after Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander’s. This now means the core Astralis roster has been pulled apart for the first time in years, prompting serious conversations in the industry about the demand of the competitive scene.
— Andreas Højsleth (@Xyp9x) May 28, 2020
While Kasper Hvidt, director of sports at Astralis Group says the “timing isn’t optimal,” the organisation is committed to providing the care and support to its players. The way to do that, Hvidt believes, is by having bigger rosters that can share the responsibility of competing. However, things need to change.
“For 4 years, we have worked with the focus on health and performance and we still have a lot of areas to improve as an organisation and as an industry,” he says. “An acceptance of bigger rosters is needed if we want to give the players time to recover and even take time off for personal reasons, and I am glad we see a growing understanding and support in the industry.”
The new look roster will face some of the world’s best teams at the Blast Showdown on June 1-7.