RFRSH agrees to sell Astralis
RFRSH Entertainment has reached an agreement to sell its competitive branch, which includes Astralis, for an undisclosed fee, it has been revealed.
The deal will be completed next week and will see both Astralis and Origen, RFRSH's League of Legends squad, move over to 'Astralis Group ApS', a newly-formed company that includes Danish sports and business people among its owners.
According to TV 2 SPORT, the deal is worth in the region of 10-15 million euros (11.1-16.6 million dollars).
Nikolaj Nyholm will resign as RFRSH Entertainment CEO to assume the same position in the Astralis Group, with RFRSH co-founder Jakob Lund Kristensen joining him in the project along with Director of Sports, Kasper Hvidt, and VP of Communications & Brand, Steen Laursen, who will also quit RFRSH.
"I am really proud of what we have achieved, but at some point we had to make a choice, and my heart is close to Astralis and Origen," Mr. Nyholm told dr.dk.
"We also do this in order to separate ownership between RFRSH and the teams."
The news comes less than three weeks after it was revealed that Astralis would soon operate independently from RFRSH Entertainment, which will focus on the BLAST Pro Series tournaments and other BLAST properties.
In an internal email subsequently leaked by Dexerto, the RFRSH chief admitted that the public criticism over the ties between Astralis and the company had affected the team, who were knocked off the top of the world rankings by Liquid on June 3 after 406 days sitting at No.1. In that email, it was also revealed that RFRSH is looking into the possibility of creating its own league in 2020.
Astralis are third in the rankings ahead of the StarLadder Major, where they will look to defend their title from IEM Katowice - one of just two LAN tournaments that they have won since the start of the year.
The announcement comes on the same day as RFRSH released its financial results for 2018, showing 48 million DKK (7.12 million dollars) in losses. The Danish company has three more regular BLAST Pro Series stops planned for 2019 (in Moscow, Copenhagen and in an as-yet undisclosed city) in addition to the Global Final event, where $500,000 will be on offer.