Last month we reported on Danish esports organisation Astralis’ new talent team program; a development system that seeks to produce the next generation of (predominantly Danish) professional players. The org has now confirmed both its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends rosters going into 2021.
Under the guidance of head coach Dennis ‘VNG’ Vang, and volunteer Mathias ‘spdr’ Dohn, the CS:GO talent team will be lead in-game by 19-year-old Mathias ‘R0nic’ Pinholt. 17-year-old AWPer Andreas ‘void’ Dietrichsen is joined by riflers Rasmus ‘zyph0n’ Nordfoss (16), Mads ‘vester’ Vestergaard (18), Victor ‘vigg0’ Bisgaard, and, from Summer 2021, Mikkel ‘MistR’ Thomsen (16).
Meanwhile, the LoL talent team’s coaching staff consists of head coach Mikkel Donby, second coach Anders Schultz, and team manager Mads Nansen. The roster itself will feature toplaner Carl ‘Carlsen’ Carlsen (15), jungler Mikkel ‘Mixsi’ Bay-Schmidt (16), midlaner Mikkel ‘Rylle’ Christiansen (19), botlaner Kasper ‘Kadaver’ Nielsen (19), and Benjamin ‘RotteBengi’ Jørgensen in the support role.
As part of the announcement, Astralis’ director of sports, Kasper Hvidt, notes in the press release the sheer amount of interest in the talent project since the plans had first been revealed: “we’ve literally had hundreds of inquiries from interested players and parents. It’s been fantastic to experience the curiosity and I believe we could put together 5-6 teams of skilled young talent.”
— Astralis Counter-Strike (@AstralisCS) December 16, 2020
In order to whittle down the ocean of talent into a roster-sized pool, Hvidt states that Astralis has had to look beyond game knowledge and mechanics, choosing successful candidates based also on their personality as well as their “ability and desire to learn how to work as a professional” within the team’s culture.
Both teams will begin participating in local, regional, and international tournaments from January. And although Hvidt doesn’t expect the teams to produce a player who can take up one of the main CS:GO or LoL LEC roster spots within the first 12 months, he does outline his desire to “improve and develop the methods, the teams, the culture, and each player” to achieve longer-term goals for both Astralis and its fresh batch of talent alike.