Since leaving TSM in late November, we have been looking for a new home for 2016 and beyond. During early talks with the players, they put emphasis on not only financial terms, but also being part of the decision-making process around strategy, partners and direction of the organization.
While the players had some interesting offers, they ultimately ended up with only one solution that would fit all purposes: Building our own team.
We have been working hard on getting the funding to create the proper support we believe that a world class CounterStrike team deserves. That isn’t limited to a competitive salary, but should also include a stable environment where worries over on-time salary payouts, dodgy contracts, exhausting streaming demands and gear problems does not affect performance.
As we enter 2016, Team Questionmark changes name to Astralis. and like most people have guessed, all the original players are staying on board. The only addition is that we have hired Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen as a coach:
- Rene ‘cajunb’ Borg
- Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen
- Nicolaj ‘devve’ Reedtz
- Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen
- Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth
- Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen (Coach)
When we first heard about this project, we all thought it was an extraordinary chance to make our own mark in esports. We chose this offer over countless others, including far more profitable in the short term, because we believe in building something that will have a lasting impression on the game we love.
Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen
Photo: C.Beener | ESL | eslgaming.com
We believe in transparency
During 2015, and especially during the time we were without an organization, we have seen multiple stories about the players, what they earn and what they do. As an organization and a company, we believe in transparency, which is why we want to make two things clear:
- Our players are allowed to openly discuss all monetary transactions they receive from us (including salary, sticker distribution, prize money and stream revenue). We won’t disclose their income, but we do accept and encourage them to discuss it openly if they are comfortable with it.
- The players are co-owners of the company behind Astralis. We believe that the players are an integral part of the growth and without them there would be no us. As a consequence all of the players are shareholdes in the company.
Going forward we intend to keep an open relationship with our fans and we vow to show you as much about running the team as we possibly can.
We are committed to provide an environment for our players and fans, where they know what they can expect of us, no matter the situation. We believe that a transparent approach will help us build something sustainable in the industry, and also attract talent from every corner of our business.
Frederik Byskov, Founder & Managing Partner
Partnering with Sunstone Capital and Tommy Ahlers
From very early on in the hunt for an investor, we were introduced to Sunstone Capital. Best known for selling Podio to Citrix in 2012, Sunstone is an early stage technology investor based in Denmark. Their knowledge and experience in helping companies develop and grow, made them a perfect match for us. In addition we’re proud to be backed by Angel Investor Tommy Ahlers, who has immense experience in leading and developing start up companies.
“A perfect storm is brewing with a very fast growing esports market and mind-blowing fan engagement” says Nikolaj Nyholm, General Partner at Sunstone. “We are thrilled to provide backing to support Astralis’ commitment to build the strongest franchise in esport”.