Despite being such a new team, Astralis are already impressing having qualified for BLAST Premier Fall Final and the Playoff stage at IEM Cologne 2023.
Following an intense series against NAVI, we spoke to Astralis coach Peter "casle" Ardenskjold about the game, the team’s development, and being in the LANXESS so early into their time together.
Sam "AN1MO" McKenzie, BLIX: A crazy series there, how you feeling straight afterwards?
casle: Pretty good, of course [laughs]. It was a good series.
BLIX: It's the second event with the new team, the first real tournament environment, how it's all coming together so far?
casle: I think now that we are in the arena so it's obviously pretty good, but we're still a new team trying to learn while still playing, so we're learning a lot game by game. This game we learnt a lot, so the main thing is to keep improving.
BLIX: You've qualified for Fall Final, you've made it to the arena here in Cologne, two good showings so far. Are you surprised by that and how quickly you've found success?
casle: Yeah, I think it's going faster than I expected, but I think we have made a good team with good roles, so I'm not that surprised.
BLIX: What about device then, he took his break, he's come back, he's still one of the best players in the world, how does he do it?
casle: He's just good [laughs]. He also does a lot more than just shoot heads, he's really good at anti-stratting, he's a great teammate. In this game he kept telling the boys 'we have to keep focus on what we're good at'. He's just a very, very good player.
BLIX: A crazy overtime like that first map, what do you say to the team to keep them in it?
casle: I think we have some adjustments to actually play it better than expected, they're a pretty good Ancient team. I think they have anti-stratted us a little bit, so we had to make some adjustments, but the same as in the last game, you just keep reminding them of how we want to play.
BLIX: What about Buzz? He came in as someone pretty much unheard of, how do you think his development is going?
casle: I think it's going pretty good now on the new team. On the old team he didn't have 100% of his roles like he does now, and you can see it's more suitable for him. I think he'll be really good now, he's a really good player and a nice guy as well.
BLIX: You're now set for a huge Danish derby in the arena, how would it feel to win that game?
casle: I just heard it was Heroic [laughs]. Of course we want to win, but, we came here to learn and we're a new team, so it's okay. We'll go out and do our best, but we'll see how it goes.
BLIX: Astralis were always the dominant team in Counter-Strike, and now Heroic are the number one team, what does that mean to Denmark to have two teams that are so good?
casle: Of course it's good. We have very good players in Denmark and you can see that when almost every top ten team has a Dane. It's nice to have two good teams, but it's too early for people to call us a very, very good team. We still have a lot to learn so let's see how it goes.