A relatively unknown player when he was brought into the fold, Christian "Buzz" Andersen struggled during his first season with Astralis. Now playing under a new IGL and in different roles, the youngster is beginning to show why Astralis saw so much potential in him while on MASONIC.
Following their advancement from the IEM Cologne Group Stage, we spoke to Buzz about his development in the team, those new roles, and playing in a Danish Derby for his first appearance in the Cathedral of Counter-Strike.
Sam "AN1MO" McKenzie, BLIX: You've made it to the LANXESS, it's your first time there, how are you feeling?
Buzz: I feel super excited, it's still a bit surreal, actually. To qualify for the arena with this lineup so early on, we are really focussed on the progress and trying to keep getting better, so it's a huge bonus we're getting these results already.
BLIX: You'll play versus Heroic in the quarter final, a Danish Derby, how do you feel about that aspect?
Buzz: I'm excited about it, obviously there's been banter between Heroic and Astralis, but I'm excited to see who the fans will like the most in the arena. I think it'll be a good match, hopefully we can bring a good game if we play our best.
BLIX: About the fans, Astralis were always the biggest team in Denmark, with Heroic being as good as they are now, is there a point to prove to the Danish fans?
Buzz: A little bit, but as I said, it's really early in the progress of this lineup and we're trying to work long term. I would say that it's unfair to count us as the favourites against them, they're a really good team and they've been together a long time, we only had a limited amount of practice before coming here because we had BLAST. So yeah, we'll do the best with what we have.
BLIX: In terms of being here with Astralis, did you ever expect to be on Astralis so early in your career?
Buzz: I wouldn't say I expected it, and I certainly didn't expect it to be so soon, but I always believed in it and believed I would end up on a tier one team. That was my dream and what I was playing for. I didn't expect it, but I hoped for it, and it happened.
BLIX: You have a new IGL now, but what did you learn from your time with gla1ve?
Buzz: I think he has a lot of experience, obviously he taught me a lot in game, but he taught me a lot outside of the game as well. He's really good at taking responsibility and looking at things from other people's point of view, so that was one of his really good qualities, he acted like a leader outside of the game as well.
BLIX: Inside of the game then, how does he differ to blameF as leader?
Buzz: The calling is pretty different. With blameF, he calls a bit more of a loose style, he gives more responsibility to the players and expects more from them. He doesn't want to micro-manage and he wants every player to bring something into the rounds and makes sure that if he's on A and I'm on B, he knows what to call.
BLIX: We spoke to casle about how your new roles and spots are helping you, can you give us more insight into that?
Buzz: I changed Nuke and Inferno on CT side, but the change is mostly on T side. I'm lurking a lot now, before I didn't do that because I was Support and Entry, but now I have all my Lurk roles back on the T sides and that's how I played before I came to Astralis. Obviously that's more comfortable to me and where I think I can play the best.
BLIX: In terms of playing in the more supportive roles before, was it disheartening to you because you felt like you couldn't show the best version of yourself?
Buzz: Yeah, a little bit. Obviously when you get a big offer, and they want you to compromise, of course you will do it, but I really think now with these roles, they can get the best out of me.
BLIX: The new roles then, they were the same as your old ones on MASONIC, but this level is very different to that. Is it a case of learning how to play them again and we've not seen the best of you yet?
Buzz: Of course. I just got into my new roles on Astralis and played them for half a year, and now I'm going back to what I used to play but there's been half a year where I didn't play them, so it's taking some time to get used to them, but I think it comes fast to me and fits me more as a player.
BLIX: That first half a year then, what's your biggest takeaway from it?
Buzz: I think I learned a lot about dealing with pressure from outside of the team. I think I feel a lot more comfortable in Astralis now. I think I learned a lot inside the game too, I got smarter and evolved as a player.