Danish organization Astralis (Founded January 2016) is owned in part by the former Questionmark lineup and is ranked #3 in the CS:GO world ranking. The team comprises star AWPer Nicolai “device” Reedtz, in-game leader Lukas "gla1ve” Rossander, skilled rifler Emil “Magisk” Reif, entry-fragger Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen, and support rifler Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth. All of the players featured in HLTV’s top players of 2018, making it the first time in the ranking’s history that an entire lineup made the list in the same year. Astralis is also known for remaining at the summit for a long time: they ranked #1 for 406 days on HLTV’s Team Ranking before being overthrown by Liquid.
Astralis was founded after a Danish team named Questionmark decided to found its own organization with the help of their manager, Frederik "realition" Byskov. The team had left Team SoloMid on amicable terms in November of the previous year and had decided to continue playing under the name “?”. In January 2016, after hunting for investors to receive proper funding, Astralis was born.
Rene ‘cajunb’ Borg Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen Nicolaj ‘device’ Reedtz Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen (Coach) The Semi-Final Streak The Danish team played nearly a dozen tournaments in the first five months and placed 2nd in two of them, they were off to a rocky start that saw them enter multiple semi-finals. In IEM Katowice 2016, the team picked off teams EnvyUs, Virtus.pro, E-Frag, FaZe Clan and Tempo Storm to reach the semi-finals against Fnatic. Some delays caused the match to start late, around midnight, and the teams finished battling at 3AM with Astralis losing 1-2.
When MLG Colombus arrived in March, the team managed to top their group and enter the quarter-finals with Fnatic, who were the favourites to win given their running +6 win-streak. To everyone’s surprise, though, Fnatic lost on Overpass 16-10. A further surprise was their losing 16-5 on their chosen map, Cache, due to an impressive performance by dupreeh. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t time for the team and they narrowly lost to Na’Vi in the semi-finals.
The following months were tough, the team found themselves in front of a slew of terrible losses. At DreamHack Masters Malmö, the team started off decently against Lounge Gaming only to fall 9-16 to a fellow Danish team, Dignitas, on Overpass. Poor performances from dupreeh and karrigan assured their loss against NiP, who went on to win the event.
In May, the team attended ESL Pro League Season 3 Finals in England. After losing 7-16 to OpTic Gaming, they struggled in a tricky best-of-three against Luminosity, winning the first one but losing the remaining two. It was then that the team cut cajunb and acquired rising star Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye.
After a month of practice, Astralis arrived pumped at DreamHack Summer 2016 and topped their group, but were struck by déjà vu when they lost in a best-of-three in the semi-finals against NiP. The next month, Astralis entered ESL One Cologne with a stand-in to replace Kjaerbye: Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander. Valve rules indicated that Kjaerbye had to sit out the event, given that he had already played and won the minor with team Dignitas. Astralis managed to beat Dignitas in the opener, but didn’t stand a chance against Gambit Gaming and lost 6-16. After this loss, dupreeh was suddenly struck by appendicitis and was forced to view the rest of the tournament from his hospital bed. Coach zonic stepped in and the team managed to beat Dignitas 2-1, but later lost against Virtus.pro despite device’s 68-43 K-D.
In the following ESL New York and WESG European Finals, the team’s performance confirmed that they needed a change. After a minor breakdown in the team, karrigan was replaced by the previous stand-in, gla1ve.
Astralis topped their group in ELEAGUE Season 2 and then again in the following IEM Oakland 2016, in which they lost against G2 Esports but won against Team Liquid, Na’Vi, Immortals, and TyLoo. Once again, they lost in the semi-final spot against SK Gaming, with dev1ce giving an unusually poor performance.
At ECS Season 2 Finals in Anaheim, Astralis obliterated the competition, winning 16-7 in their first match and then 16-3 against legendary FaZe Clan. The Danish team managed to win in the semi-finals against SK Gaming this time, allowing them to win the finals against OpTic and earning them their first-ever Major trophy since their formation.
Later in 2017, Astralis took first place in the ELEAGUE Major and in IEM World Championship with impressive performances by Xyp9x and Kjaerbye. At this time, dev1ce left the scene to take care of his stress-induced stomach issues and left the team scrambling for an AWPer.
On dev1ce’s return, the team chose to keep dupreeh as their AWPer and assign lurking responsibilities to dev1ce, this would prove to be a mistake. After being quickly defeated in the ELEAGUE Major in Boston in January, Kjaerbye, who had been named 16th best player of 2015 and 15th best of 2016, unexpectedly left the team to join North. Astralis discovered this just two hours before the press conference, leaving them with damaging uncertainty and little to no time to search for a fifth player. Fortunately, they signed Emil "Magisk" Reif and were ready to get back onto the battlefield.
The team began decently, arriving at quarter-finals in StarSeries i-League Season 4 and their usual semi-final finish at IEM Katowice 2018. A couple of months later, after rigorous training and integration of the latest member, Astralis dominated DreamHack Marseilles. The Danes smashed the opposition, dropping only one map out of ten and reaching the grand prize with very little competition. A day later, Astralis climbed to the top of the ranking.
They continued to grab the trophies in ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals, ECS Season 5 Finals, and ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018. Their second major title was earned at FACEIT Major: London, managing to not drop a map in the playoffs and repeating the win 6 days later at BLAST Pro Series Istanbul.
At IEM Katowice 2019, Astralis became the third team in CS:GO history to win two back-to-back majors, and the second to win three Major titles.
Astralis will be finishing off 2019 by attending ESL One New York, DreamHack Masters Malmö, and Blast Pro Series Copenhagen.