In an attempt to find out more about that approach, we caught up with man of the moment Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander, who revealed all about his transfer from Heroic, his aspirations and feelings in this interview.
After karrigan was benched and subsequently transferred to FaZe Clan last month, gla1ve took over after being on the radar for some time.
“I think it was the perfect time for me to join the Astralis team,” he said. “The team had been in a slump for quite some time and they urgently needed some new energy and also a new leader. Replacing karrigan was tough because I actually think he is a good in game leader and also a good player. With that said, I think karrigan had an approach to the game that he could not convince the others was for the best. It feels like this was a much needed move, both for the team and for karrigan himself.
“It was tough to tell the players at Heroic that I really wanted this transfer to go through. When talking about it, we were really honest and realistic about it and at some point I know for sure that they understood my position and that is why they accepted to let me go.”
When the transfer was announced, the 21-year-old described it as a dream come true to his fans on social media and the impact he has had on the team has shown incredible results.
He said: “It is not simple to explain how much it means to me. I have always had a dream that at some point I would have a team like this with four players capable of turning round almost unwinnable rounds. It is a pleasure for me to be the in game leader for the Astralis team – hardworking players who want to improve every time we play.”
Change, change, change
After the transfer, the boys went back to basics at boot camp to get used to the call outs from their new in game leader, who has a very different style to karrigan and it took some time before the results started to pile in.
“I think it went all right from the beginning but we did not have a honeymoon period like some other teams have when they change players,” gla1ve admitted. “We lost five out of our first eight official matches at the boot camp I believe. One of them was to Dignitas and to be beaten 16-2 was a hard pill to swallow but we all agreed that we needed to work hard and work together no matter what. We have improved a lot since then and that is already showing in our recent results.
“I believe that I am really good at getting some kind of structure into the team like all other in game leaders. Where I differ from other leaders is probably my knowledge or intuition about what X does when Y does something and getting into the other teams head and trying to understand what they are thinking or how they are moving their players around.”
Although the change in roster also changed the way the boys thought about the map pool, their hard work is starting to pay off as they worked their way back into the top ten for the first time in months and secured a place in the ECS finals with a ten game win streak.
“When you work hard and it suddenly shows in your game it is an amazing feeling,” gla1ve said. “This definitely is the start of something new for Astralis and we are trying to improve every day and we have an appetite to succeed.”
Every great dream starts with a dreamer
Of course, this is not the first time gla1ve has worked with Astralis. Back in July, gla1ve stood in for Kjaerbye at the Major in Cologne and he said the tournament had a big effect on his career.
“There is no doubt that the greatest memory from that event was the winning round and winning moment against Dignitas. I will never forget that one round which won us the game or the time just after we won – it is something really special to me. Also playing Virtus.pro on the stage at a Major was one of the biggest things I have experienced in my career.
“I was performing well and it made me realise that if I work hard, great things could be achieved in my career and since then my work ethic has changed a lot.”
His time with us at Astralis was short lived but even though we were knocked out of the Major by the Poles, gla1ve helped us retain our Legend status and it ignited a spark within the Dane which never truly went away – until now.
Since taking over as in game leader, gla1ve has put his stamp on the game and continues to motivate the team to strive for success and improve on all seven maps.
He said: “My experience with Astralis so far has been really good and our come back on the T-side of Overpass against SK Gaming at ELEAGUE really stands out for me. The mental strength the team showed after losing the first map against G2 in the group stage [at IEM Oakland] stands out as well. Being able to reset and win the last four games and top the group was amazing.
“We are still unsure of what our best map is. I think we have put decent work into all seven maps but our Train is looking really good so far. If we had been playing more, I think we would have won against SK on it at IEM. Right now, we are winning a lot of rounds because of individual skill and team play. In 2017 I want to make sure we feel really confident on all seven maps and that we utilise more CT and T tactics on the maps.
“I have dreams about winning. So far the Astralis team has not won an event in 2016 but I believe we are more than capable of doing that in 2017. Time will tell.”
The roar of the crowd
Since taking gla1ve on as the new in game leader, Astralis have won 19 games out of 27 and are slowly climbing the ladder to success and the 21-year-old could not be more grateful for the opportunity to shine like a star.
He said: “Thanks to Astralis for giving me this opportunity and thanks to all their fans who have given me a great welcome – it means a lot to me. I could feel it when we played SK Gaming in the quarterfinals at IEM and when the stage host was trying to find out who the crowd were cheering for the most and it was definitely louder for Astralis.
“I did not understand it at first and I am not sure I do now – but what a feeling that was.”
Image courtesy of ELEAGUE