Examining Astralis' Major spot
With Finn "karrigan" Andersen being benched in Astralis, the team only has two out of five players in the active roster that hold the Legends' spot at ELEAGUE's Major. We've taken the liberty of examinining possible routes Astralis can take to secure their spot at the Atlanta event.
Prior to ESL One Cologne, Astralis swapped René "cajunb" Borg for dignitas' Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye. As a result, Astralis had to use Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander instead of Kjaerbye, who was part of the Minor cycle with dignitas and thus couldn't attend the Major with another team.
The exclusion of karrigan from the starting roster puts Astralis in a peculiar position
During the event's group stage, Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen fell ill and was forced to sit out the rest of the event, having to undergo surgery. Astralis used coach Danny "zonic" Sørensen instead in their last two matches (against Dignitas in groups and Virtus.pro in playoffs).
As Astralis played with coach zonic in the match that clinched the quarter-final spot, and thus their Legend status, the following players would have to form a trio to remain invited for ELEAGUE's Major, Valve confirmed to HLTV.org:
Scenario #1 - gla1ve
Danny "zonic" Sørensen (coach)
Scenario #2 - zonic
Another possibility would be for zonic to step into the active roster once again, as he did at ESL One Cologne, where he and the team held their own against Virtus.pro in the quarter-finals.
However, there's one more option in which Astralis could use zonic but wouldn't have to play any matches with him. Valve's rules say that the team can swap the coach with one of the players in the active roster at any point before or during the tournament in a one-time capacity. NiP used that option at MLG Columbus, when Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi was unable to travel to the States and the team used coach Björn "THREAT" Pers instead.
Astralis could use that same rule to their advantage. They could sign a new player who isn't listed in the roster above and register him as coach before swapping zonic for the new addition prior to their first match. Valve verified to HLTV.org that this would be a possible scenario according to current rules.
Astralis could technically only field two out of five spot holders if they registered zonic
If they were to attempt to sign a player from Dignitas, Astralis would probably have to complete the negotiations more than two weeks before the Main Qualifier begins (December 15). That was the case prior to ESL One Cologne, although ELEAGUE is yet to announce roster lock deadlines for their Major.
In this case, zonic would get the honour of having his own stickers in the game and the money from them despite playing none of the matches. The coach could personally transfer the money to that new player, though that would fall under massive double taxation due to Danish laws.
Previously unlisted player (coach)
Scenario #3 - karrigan
Danny "zonic" Sørensen (coach)
Scenario #4 - start from scratch
The Danes have a very limited amount of time to figure out whether they want to qualify with a new player, if they don't want to pursue scenario #2.
For that they'd have to start from scratch: advance to the Minor through the online qualifiers (which start next week), finish top two in Bucharest and then fight their way through the Main Qualifier.
That's obviously a very risky route considering they need to go through all three steps of qualifiers, the last of which will likely become the hardest Main Qualifier to date.
Which scenario do you see as the most likely? Let us know in the comments section below.