Winning is a feeling that Astralis has become accustomed to. The Danish Counter-Strike: Global Offensive powerhouses won two back-to-back Majors last year, lifted countless trophies, and cemented their place at the top of the world rankings. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the Kings of Counter-Strike are done.
Every year, the team meet up on a Danish warship to get away from their computers and plan for the season ahead. Astralis discuss their highs and lows from the previous year, what events they want to attend this season, and more importantly, what they hope to achieve, and it’s something Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth really believes sets the tone for the year ahead.
“I think it’s really important to get away from the computers, and see the guys in a different setting,” Xyp9x tells me at the BLAST Premier Series London media day. “The warship is great for that. You get out of your comfort zone and get close to your teammates. It’s just to plan the year and see how the tournaments are laid out for the year, what we want to pick, what we want to work on, what we have to take on from the past year, and what we need to leave. It’s something we work with the performance team and it’s been working wonders.
“The biggest takeaway from last year was how we bounced back obviously. It’s amazing how this team functions, how we operate as a unit – it’s a well oiled machine.”
Astralis has established a winning mentality, and for the players, it’s addictive. It’s easy to become complacent when you’re at the top, but the rifler thinks they’ll never fall into that trap.
“I don’t think about the rankings,” Xyp9x adds. “I want more. Every match matters for us. We want to do even greater things. We want to win more majors and we want to do everything we can to be the best versions of ourselves. The hunger is still there.”
Astralis face Complexity in BLAST Premier Spring Series London at 19:30 GMT (11:30 PT / 14:30 ET). You can watch it here.