Astralis to split from RFRSH Entertainment
Astralis will soon fully operate independently from RFRSH Entertainment, HLTV.org has learned.
The Danish team and Origen - the iconic League of Legends brand acquired by RFRSH Entertainment in November 2018 - are already operating under a new company called 'RFRSH Teams', a temporary name that will soon be changed.
RFRSH Entertainment CEO Nikolaj Nyholm told HLTV.org that the company will focus solely "on the BLAST Pro Series and other BLAST properties", stressing that the "truly important parts of the teams' and the tournaments' organisations have already been separated".
At this point, a limited number of key people still hold positions of influence within both companies, including Mr. Nyholm himself. However, in the near future, the few people with group responsibilities will not be able to be involved in both projects.
Negotiations have already started with a view to "acquiring the majority shareholding of Astralis and RFRSH Teams currently held by those also involved in BLAST", according to Mr. Nyholm, who guaranteed that the teams "will be fully separated" from RFRSH Entertainment "by the StarLadder Major".
The management behind RFRSH Teams is also expecting "extensive interest from outside investors" in the company, which houses not only one of the most decorated teams in the history of Counter-Strike but also a highly-successful League of Legends squad who finished in second place in the LEC 2019 Spring Playoffs.
Despite the recent criticism targeted at the potential conflict of interest between RFRSH Entertainment and Astralis, and at how BLAST Pro Series' heavy event schedule and business model have changed the landscape of competitive Counter-Strike in 2019, Mr. Nyholm insists that this move has long been in the pipeline.
"Two years ago we spoke about how, after a build-up phase of a model esports team, a tournament operator and a team should not have common ownership," he said, revealing that Astralis are now "a profitable business, unique to the esports ecosystem."