Astralis have been in overall decline the past year, and despite a win at StarLadder Berlin have not been the same juggernaut as of old. With a recent defeat at BLAST Copenhagen, are Astralis safe favorites even in their home country?
Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander (1.02)
Gla1ve has been one of the greatest IGLs in the modern era of Counter-Strike, but his magic touch has seemed to run out. The team's failures to figure out their teamwork and situational awareness have shown themselves when there is not $1 million on the line and it is only a matter of time before Astralis looks to make a roster change.
Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz (1.23)
While his numbers have been good, Astralis have still struggled. The star AWPer has not had the same impact and the team has struggled. Look for dev1ce to have a bigger impact especially with some of the lower-level teams in attendance.
Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth (1.08)
The man who could never die has seen his contribution to the team fall dramatically as he has been unable to be the 1vX clutch player in recent tournaments. While his numbers are certainly not the worst on the team, he feels to be a weak link once again as the team has floundered to find their former top form.
Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen (1.07)
Dupreeh was ranked fifth in the world last year, but his performance in 2019 has been anything but. His headshot percentages and kills per round (KPR) have declined despite this being the golden age of the SG. Look for dupreeh to try and regain his winning ways at EPL because a good dupreeh makes Astralis truly unstoppable.
Emil "Magisk" Reif (1.10)
Magisk was the key to Astralis maintaining their dominance and winning an additional three majors, but he has certainly come down from his peak at 7th best player in the world in 2018. Still, a remarkably good player, Magisk has seen his stats fall off a bit and seems a bit lost at times. Magisk should be a safe fantasy bet, but not a focal point star like a Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev.
Astralis 2 - 1 BIG (ECS)
Astralis 2 - 0 FaZe (ECS)
Astralis 2 -0 M1X (ECS)
BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen (4th)
ESL Pro League S10 (1st-4th)
DreamHack Masters Malmo 2019 (3rd-4th)
ESL One NYC 2109 (2nd)
The recent form for Astralis has been average at best. Their loss at New York was shocking and the followup at Malmo was very unimpressive. BLAST Copenhagen was a particularly poor showing from the Danish boys and certainly hurts their aura of invincibility to perform on home territory.
The EPL performance was good to allay some fears, but Astralis will need to step up their performances if they wish to avoid an early trip to the losers' bracket.
Potential for Sucess
Operating on home soil against an average field, Astralis can find the old Astralis to retake the EPL crown. Points toward winning the Intel Grand Slam are at stake and being at home gives Astralis a ton of advantages.
Astralis need to lean heavily on their heavy hitters and wow the crowd if they want to beat teams such as EG.
Prediction: Astralis place 3rd-4th.