Blow it all up
Astralis haven’t had a fantastic 2022, but being eliminated from the IEM Rio RMR event 1-3 is a new low. There was plenty of promise when they signed Krisitian “k0nfig” Wienecke and Benjamin “blameF” Bremmer, but with the recent controversies surrounding the former and now this result, it really feels like it’s curtains for this team.
It didn’t help that k0nfig’s desire for a good scrap meant that they would be without him for the RMR, and neither would the rumors around Nicolai “device” Reedtz’s return, but even going one series further and being eliminated would have been a better result for the former GOAT team.
A poor start
No one really knew what to expect from NIP coming into the event, especially with them showing off their new IGL Aleski “Aleksib” Virolainen for the first time. As Astralis discovered, however, it seems this NIP team might actually be quite good as they opened up their Rio RMR games against the now-international roster.
Without the shackles of having to IGL for bums like Patrick “es3tag” Hansen and Nicolas “Plopski” Gonzalez Zamora, Hampus “hampus” Poser has been freed to frag like a true star. He dropped 30 against Astralis as NIP took down the Danes 16-12.
Astralis followed up with a 16-9 victory against Eternal Fire. The Turkish team has a couple of stars in İsmailсan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş and Özgür “woxic” Eker, but it runs somewhat dry after that. They’re not a bad team, but they’re a team Astralis should beat every time, even with a stand-in. Besides, the Danes have to win sometimes, right?
The Danes couldn’t keep up this winning form against Bad News Eagles, however. They were utterly dismantled 16-3 on Ancient. Asger “Farlig” Jensen, Andres “xyp9x” Holsjeth, and blameF got 16 kills between them. It was awful to watch. Or brilliant, depending on your thoughts on the team. We’ll let you decide which side of the fence we sit on.
Who saw that coming?
Okay let’s be fair to forZe here, they played a very good series versus Astralis as they took them down 2-0 to knock them out of the RMR. That said, we don’t think anyone really expected Astralis to qualify with Mikkel “MistR” Thomsen playing in k0nfig’s stead.
Astralis lost both maps 16-14, the first being Mirage and the second Nuke. They looked for a moment like they might be able to push Nuke to overtime after Aleksandr “KENSI” Gurkin just missed a chance to put the game out of their reach, but forZe were consistently allowed to take triple entries to force Astralis out of rounds.
Blamef was put in the unfortunate position of a 1v3 retake on the B Site of Nuke in the 30th round. Some might have expected the former Astralis magic may have clutched it up for them, but it wasn’t to be the case. ForZe secured the round and took the map 16-4. Just like G2 moments before them, Astralis were knocked out of the RMR and won’t be on their way to Rio.
It’s been a long time coming, but it really does feel like it’s time for the organization to blow up this roster and start again. K0nfig’s disciplinary issues seem to be pushing him out of the team, and Farlig simply isn’t good enough. Don’t even get us started on xyp9x, he’s been stealing a paycheck for the best part of a year now and it’s far past the time it stopped.
Unfortunately for Astralis, they missed the boat on the former Copenhagen Flames team, so they may need to get the checkbook out to fix the team now.
The solution isn’t clear, and whatever they do may take some time to stick, but something needs to be done. This is the former best team of all time, failure like this can not be allowed to continue.