Really happy that you didn't just take your time and scim through and take something out of it, but actually reading it and open up a debate where I have to use deductive reasoning for my arguments, opinions and statements.
1) We've seen them more often do mistakes, drop in form, and the drops are getting longer. But there are actually other reasons I think they might do changes. That Device have his stomach and/or heart issues which means they usually can't play in Sydney and Beijing, maybe not even in Chicago and New York, which means they will miss out on important events that count in for IGS and ESL Pro Tour. These might also count into future Majors.
Then we can take in Dupreeh's family life, just as an example doesn't have to be just him but it is an obvious case. Life changes, your situation changes. So that is one of the reasons I don't think they will stay together for much longer.
Also roles. Even though they usually are ahead of the curve when it comes to meta, they can't be like that forever, and how long can Clutch Minister have the impact he has? Not saying he is getting a worse player, but people should be able to read him in the future.
If we just discount all the mishaps of 2020 I would think it was one of the Core trio leaving, but now I will add in Gla1ve as well as a possile benching. Just because he doesn't seem like himself atm. Calls are wrong, missing basic nades and flashes.
But the rumors of Zonic leaving makes me wonder if Gla1ve even can be as good as he has been. I think the combo Zonic+Gla1ve has been astonishing.
Before the rumors about Es3tag I thought they had a long list of potential players to add, but I never thought Es3tag would be one of them. But then again, who thought Magisk would be a superstar?
If it is Xyp9x leaving I would say he goes to some lower DK team but will never live up to his old form. If it is Dupreeh he can become first awper, versitile player, entry... almost anything for almost any team in the world. So he might continue, depending on how he is feeling about his life.
Device will most likely retire if he is the one leaving.
Gla1ve will get whatever team he wants, make decent form of it, but never live up to the world class Astralis was.
2) Not my ranking. I used HLTV from the 16th. I think they are great and finally might win a few events. First time since 2017. But I got some minor issues with the team. They rely on individual performance, but not on single players. Anyone can step up and doing it. But sure, we should praise them with caution since they can't win events and I am sceptical to how long the team spirit can stay this good. But fun to see KennyS enjoying playing again.
3) Yeah, I mentioned that "I doubt they will have this 5-man roster as soon as the next major is played." They can only change Broky and Coldzera before the Major and I doubt that will happen, especially now that Coldzera seems to wake up. If NiKo got as much power over this roster as I believe, Rain won't leave until a golden opertunity opens up. So that leave Olof alone, but not before the roster lock is lifted.
But who knows when next major will be played? If they move Rio Major to the fall Major, that will screw some teams up, that have planned around having some warmup during the spring and then have their fully finnished teams after Rio. North, FaZe, Perhaps MIBR, C0ntact, probably more.
4) I think their position is more or less correct, but not the position of the teams around them. Some above should be lower and some below should be higher. But yeah, their oposition haven't really been world class for a while. They haven't won against a top 10 team since 26th of october, and haven't played a top 10 team since CS_Summit 5. So it is tough to know their position atm.
And again, I wanna make this clear, this is not my ranking.
5) Emi is more or less a coach that is a standin. He resigned as a player instead of a coach because of the Nexa + huNter deal to G2 where then Cr4zy needed to fill a 5-man roster and lost some players they thought they could sign. He is a placeholder.
Letn1 is good if he is the caller. But if he isn't, then what is his role? He doesn't really fit in with the current team. Was another thing when he was part of a core with nexa and huNter. I think a team with players like EspiranTo, OttoNd and SHiPZ, should have better players than Emi and Letn1. But they should stay in the org. They are also stuck with the Major roster lock. Don't know how Emi is accounted for that.
6) I think the only fix is to get rid of either Fer or FalleN, maybe both. They have tried almost every possible player to build around these players and nothing seems to work.
7) It depends on what time you take into perspective. The longer time the more they have improved, as most teams. But they have stagnated and been anti-stratted and the individual form that Sonic and motm had for a while has subsided a bit. It is definitely understandable that it did, but just because of the Flashpoint rules and WHY C9 added the rule into Flashpoint, tell me this roster needs to do better than they have for the past 3-4 months. Yeah, I just want Dexter to get to a better team and C9 is the most logical one, especially after listening to Dan Fiden about the afformentioned Flashpoint rule.
But I also bring up the age of the players and that perhaps all that is needed is a better analyst and a better coach.
8) Added on by me: You didn't react to my BIG piece? Might retract that alltogether