Astralis are hailed as the best CS:GO team in the world, but in recent times, their performance dropped drastically compared to their domination of 2018. This could be attributed to the existence of BLAST Pro Series tournaments, which are also run by the team’s owners, RFRSH Entertainment.
The decorated Danes are consistently receiving flak for prioritizing BLAST events over other events, with StarLadder Season Seven, IEM Sydney, and DreamHack Masters Dallas being prominent examples of their absence from international tournaments. The last time Astralis attended a non-BLAST event was the IEM Katowice Major in February, and the conflict of interest seems to be evident. They might as well rebrand the team to Blastralis.
Without regurgitating what's already been discussed by the community in the past weeks, like how BLAST events seem to be a ploy by RFRSH to monopolize events away from ESL and DreamHack, and how Astralis is tarnishing their legacy as the G.O.A.T. of CS:GO, it definitely seems like Astralis are in full denial about where their focus lies.
"There is so much talk going on these days, but I honestly do not believe that anybody really believes in stuff like this,” coach Danny "zonic" Sorensen said in an interview earlier this week. “Astralis is prioritizing Astralis. Period…We prioritize these events the same way we do others: Time for preparation, quality, travel time, and everything that affects the team and players."
Zonic's sentiment doesn't seem to be the case though. Astralis failed to win two out of three of their last BLAST events in 2019, compared to their four straight wins at the end of 2018 at IEM Chicago, ECS Season Six, EPL Season Eight, and BLAST Lisbon. Astralis also lost their coveted 31-0 win streak on Nuke, which ENCE Esports snapped in the finals of BLAST Madrid last weekend. That's what happens when your team plays one tournament a month and not as many offline maps due to a crappy tournament format (that consists of a five single-elimination matches and one best-of-five final).
The community needs the humble, yet low-key cocky Astralis that could dominate group stages and playoff brackets without dropping a single map. They had the formula and proper game plan for dominating the CS:GO scene in 2018, but they're not the same team anymore. They're Blastralis, a team seemingly filled with complacency and bound to the desires of RFRSH. So we've came up with new aliases for Blastralis, you know, until they're back to their old winning ways.