Refreshed after their recent two-week holiday, the Astralis boys are back and ready to get stuck in.
We caught up with Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen to talk about all things Counter-Strike including boot camp, new rosters, rule changes and the upcoming season.
“I’ve personally had a very calming vacation, where I’ve been trying to regain motivation and focus on the game and career,” he said during a break from their training camp. “Prior to starting back up again, I was very hyped about seeing the guys again, getting ready for our upcoming tournaments but also very excited to start practicing again with the team, improve and get better so we can reach out goal which we have been struggling to reach sadly.”
Energy at the boot camp is high while the team refocus their efforts into delivering top class performances that will hopefully see a return to the top four.
Tears in Cologne
Although it hasn’t been an easy ride for Dupreeh, who suffered a ruptured appendix in Cologne two months ago and peritonitis which affected his ELEAGUE performances.
He said: “Unfortunately the timing was horrific and I had to leave the ESL Major to undergo surgery where we already had a stand in for our own player Kjaerbye in the form of Gla1ve.
“But we still reached our goal with the help of our coach Zonic and I am extremely proud of my team that we, despite the unfortunate circumstances, still managed to retain a top eight placement.”
For Dupreeh, leaving his team mates on the main stage at Cologne was one of the toughest things in his career but he and his team mates, who have suffered poor results in recent months, are hungry to fight their way back to the top.
He said: “Personally, Cologne is my favourite place to play. It is the best eSports city and the stage, including ESL, is nothing but amazing. I cried and felt powerless when I had to leave the team, as I felt like I was letting them down but in the end my health comes first.
“We managed a top eight placement and had a very tight run with Virtus Pro in the quarter finals. I want to go back there. I want to win in Cologne. I want to win a major – no matter the cost.”
Boot camp and rule changes
To get back to winning ways the Danes have been putting in the hours at boot camp and discussing new ways of how to approach their careers, both inside and outside the game.
Part of their dry run of results has been put down to an identity problem where the boys struggled to invent their own play style and instead relied on the previous success of other teams but this strategy is about to change.
“We’re working on hard on new strategies and new game play tricks,” Dupreeh explained. “We have come up with a new idea for the next couple of months, which rely a lot more on teamwork and individual qualities – kind of like how we used to function when we were TSM. Time will tell how it will be but I’m confident it will work out.”
There is never a dull day in the professional world of Counter Strike and rosters across the world have been changing on a daily basis, creating more work for the coaches and the in game leaders in the build up to tournaments.
Considering the latest round of roster swaps, Dupreeh believes GODSENT will be the team to beat, with NaVi following closely behind.
Valve also sent shock waves through the professional scene when they announced they would be restricting coaches from interacting with players during matches, only allowing communication in warm-ups, timeouts and at half time in order to prevent coaches acting as a sixth player.
Players and fans alike spoke out against the restriction and the skilled Astralis entry-fragger thinks their anger is justified.
He said: “I’m not very pleased with it if I’m honest. Our team is not affected by it as much as teams like NaVi or NiP but I still think the decision has been made in a hurry and without much thought.
“I like the coaching aspect and I think it is a great addition to the game. I really hope that Valve doesn’t look at other games and think they can implement the same coach structure as games like DOTA and LoL where the coach is only available during ban-pick phases.
“CS:GO is a very different game – no round is ever the same and every time you spawn you don’t know what to expect – and this is where a coach can give his two cents.”
Looking to the season ahead
As dusty keyboards have been cleaned and trigger fingers oiled, the Danish youngsters are looking ahead to the upcoming season with optimism, and although they still have their sights set firmly on a major title, they have all agreed to set realistic targets for individual games and tournaments,
Astralis are aiming to win Power-LAN, Denmark’s annual regional tournament with a prize pot of $26,000, and hope to reach at least the quarter finals of the $300,000 StarLadder i-League StarSeries on September 7 which has been relocated to Kiev following heightened security in China.
Even though the Astralis journey for fans has been turbulent at times, their continued support helps keep the team grounded.
Dupreeh said: “You are the reason we are here today, so a massive thanks. Without your support, your interest and your love for eSports, Astralis wouldn’t be a thing and my job, as a professional eSports athlete wouldn’t be possible so a warm-hearted thanks.
“It’s always great to have trustworthy and loyal supporters that care more about the team and the players than just the results. They continue to support us because they like us for who we are, what we are working to achieve and don’t leave you behind because of a few bad results – so we owe them everything.”