es3tag: "I am not here not to play, but I will do my best to be valuable on and off the server"

We spoke to Patrick "⁠es3tag⁠" Hansen on his first official day as a member of Astralis to discuss his dramatic exit from Heroic and find out what the dynamic of the extended seven-man roster will be like and how his role in it will look.

On March 22, Astralis officially came out with the news that they would be creating a six-man roster with the addition of es3tag starting July 1. The move shocked the scene and unexpectedly sparked a discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of an extended lineup, but over the course of the first few days that conversation was overshadowed by the move's dramatic implications on the 24-year-old's former team.

Just before he committed his future to the Danish giants, Heroic had agreed the sale of their entire roster, which es3tag was a part of, to Flashpoint partner FunPlus Phoenix. Everything looked set in stone as the team turned up in Los Angeles ahead of the start of their campaign in the newly-formed franchised league and even played their first match, but a few days later it was clear that something had gone wrong.

After a three-month wait, es3tag just had his first day in the office (photo courtesy of Astralis)

The deal between the two organizations fell through as a result of Astralis swooping in to sign es3tag at the last minute, leaving the Flashpoint partner without a lineup in the middle of the competition and Heroic with a damaged squad on the west coast of the United States of America during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked about the chaotic situation, es3tag did not share much about his role in it, but he maintained that there is no animosity between him and his now-former teammates despite all the problems his decision caused. "I have a great relationship with my old teammates and they all understand my choice," he said. "They have supported me all the way and I am very grateful for that."

It would certainly be difficult to blame any player for saying "yes" to a team that has achieved so much, one that many have touted as the best of all time, in particular when that player had tried to reach the elite level himself with the same organization for three years without ever being able to cross that threshold despite occasional successes.

"Needless to say, Astralis is a step up and I don’t think many players would turn an offer down from this organization," he said.

But this is also far from the typical player signing. Being a part of an extended roster is bound to bring its personal challenges when you're the outsider coming into a five-man system that has been shown to work time and time again and you have to prove yourself as worthy of Astralis' grandeur. And not only is es3tag under pressure to get on the same level as the original five, now he has another teammate to compete with for a spot on the roster in Jakob "⁠JUGi⁠" Hansen on top of that, after the former North AWPer was brought on to eventually form a seven-man team when Lukas "⁠gla1ve⁠" Rossander and Andreas "⁠Xyp9x⁠" Højsleth decided to take time off almost simultaneously.

In the eyes of es3tag, being in a team with more than five players serves as a source of motivation. "We are all teammates and competitors. It's a huge motivation; otherwise, you shouldn't be on a team with a bigger roster," he explained. "If we're six or ten players makes no difference to me. I want to win with Astralis, and I want to contribute the best I can. Preferably on the server, but I know the conditions to be a part of this organization and I am so hyped I am here."

It's clear es3tag understands what he is getting into and that he won't always be in a playing position, but the prospect of sitting on the sidelines will be a tough pill to swallow nonetheless. "It will probably be difficult when you're not playing, at least initially, but it also gives the player a chance to analyse the game and to contribute to the playbook," he said. "I am not here not to play, but I will do my best to be a valuable part of the team on and off the server. If I can be a part of getting Astralis back to a dominant position, it will be something most players can only dream of."

And then there is the question of how having seven players will work in practice and how it will affect important team qualities such as chemistry and teamwork. The idea of an extended roster is a largely untested concept, after all, and it seems Astralis don't have all the answers themselves and will have to figure things out by trial and error. "Being in a bigger roster is certainly new and I don't know how it's going to work out," es3tag admitted. "But I have seen how the team and players have evolved every time these guys made a change, so I have a firm belief it will be a positive change. We have had a lot of talks and I also pitch in with ideas, but I am sure we will not do everything right from day one. It's certainly different, but I will give my all to make it a success!"

With ESL One Cologne being next on the horizon in late August, Astralis' newest member's official debut is at least a month and a half away. However, it's not certain es3tag will even get to play there, so all he can do is hope for the best and make sure he's ready when the time comes: "I focused a lot on my game, studied a massive amount of Astralis games, and grinded my butt off [during my time off]," he said. "I am going to play with some of the best players in the world and a team with a really deep playbook, so I have a lot to learn."

Denmark Patrick 'es3tag' Hansen
Patrick 'es3tag' Hansen
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
1043
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.15
Denmark Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1335
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.17
Denmark Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth
Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth
Age:
24
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1675
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.61
APR:
0.17
Denmark Jakob 'JUGi' Hansen
Jakob 'JUGi' Hansen
Age:
23
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
913
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.61
APR:
0.10
#1
 | 
Europe EnceIsSoBad
nice
2020-07-06 17:08
Ok
2020-07-06 17:08
underrated player
2020-07-06 17:13
pew pew
2020-07-06 18:10
"i am not here not to play" translation: "i am here to play"
2020-07-06 17:48
#75
 | 
Denmark Notallama
While it basically has the same meaning, it loses its emphasis. It's also misspelled but who cares about that.
2020-07-06 19:04
who cars
2020-07-06 20:11
#82
 | 
Denmark Notallama
You cared enough to reply, so you I guess?
2020-07-06 20:20
who cars
2020-07-06 21:25
#92
 | 
Denmark Notallama
You.
2020-07-06 21:25
i am not car, you car
2020-07-06 21:28
+1 danish potato brain
2020-07-07 17:52
#89
 | 
Panama FUN4ENCE
who cars
2020-07-06 21:13
#90
 | 
Denmark Notallama
#82
2020-07-06 21:13
who cars
2020-07-06 22:56
+1
2020-07-06 19:29
#141
 | 
Sweden Extremaz
i read "i am not here to play"
2020-07-13 00:37
ok
2020-07-06 17:08
GL mate
2020-07-06 17:08
Ok
2020-07-06 17:08
gl
2020-07-06 17:08
Nice 😎👍
2020-07-06 17:09
ok
2020-07-06 17:09
how the hell are you guys so fast? lol
2020-07-06 17:09
#10
 | 
Europe PiapA
Epic
2020-07-06 17:09
nice amigo
2020-07-06 17:10
Gl mate and hope you guys get back to winning ways..
2020-07-06 17:12
Wtf I am not here to play , "but" I will do my best Wtf is this. Hahahahahahaha
2020-07-06 17:13
I am not here NOT to play , read again rusich
2020-07-06 17:14
There are no double negatives in english so understandable to read it wrong
2020-07-06 18:21
I don't understand why can't he just say I'm here to play
2020-07-06 18:41
That is how you would say it with correct grammar
2020-07-06 23:56
#101
 | 
Finland HARD4ENCE
Basically the best way to put it would be "He's not there to be redundant." if he wants to retain the same emphasis.
2020-07-07 01:42
Double negatives, although discouraged, are not uncommon in English. Did you not see what I did there? Again...
2020-07-15 09:47
Didn't pay attention lmao My bad
2020-07-07 05:18
#40
 | 
Brunei ALEISTER!
Russian/8
2020-07-06 17:42
Didn't pay attention lmao My bad
2020-07-07 05:17
Damn that is funny
2020-07-07 23:46
no
2020-07-06 17:13
double negative in one sentence using English language xD
2020-07-06 17:13
"I AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAY" ?!?! why not just say: 'I'm here to play' stupid double negatives....
2020-07-06 17:14
#43
 | 
Portugal dracø
+1 xdd
2020-07-06 17:47
the statements are not equivalent. not being there not to play does not imply he is there to play, it just excludes a possible reason he is there.
2020-07-06 17:55
I think the author wanted to put the emphasis on this but I feel "I'm here to play" would have had the same emphasis to it anyway
2020-07-06 18:20
"I AM NOT HERE" that would be enough
2020-07-07 19:54
Not equal btw
2020-07-08 22:12
I dont think so is good move for him, but probably i wrong.
2020-07-06 17:17
WHO CARS
2020-07-06 17:17
Just like no one cars about jw and his fans
2020-07-06 17:20
flag checks out kkkkkkkkk dead team
2020-07-06 17:22
Eu rmr standings: Astralis - legends Fnatic - contender(11th lmao) Omegalul Fnatic dead team
2020-07-06 18:08
Interesting
2020-07-06 17:17
im not here to not post double negatives.
2020-07-06 17:19
cya in 10
2020-07-06 17:19
so he’s NOT gonna not play. gotcha.
2020-07-06 17:18
Good luck
2020-07-06 17:21
Good luck!
2020-07-06 17:21
They gonna sell his ass as soon as the other two get back.
2020-07-06 17:24
i think legendary astralis roster will part ways. either with org or with each other
2020-07-06 17:34
I can see xyp9x and Gla1ve sitting out with medical issues until their contracts expire. Then they sign with whoever they want.
2020-07-06 18:28
In Denmark the company can fire you free of charge from day to day when you have had 120 sick days in 365 days. Not sure if its the same with performance contracts as sport and esport though.
2020-07-06 19:09
No chance they fire them. Vitality wants 600k for alex. Imagine how much you could get for Gla1ve or xyp9x.
2020-07-06 19:10
#31
 | 
United States xcalibot
GL gaystag
2020-07-06 17:26
Es3tag new goat? jk, it will always be device <3
2020-07-06 17:26
nice joke kkkk
2020-07-06 17:30
#34
 | 
United Kingdom Dylan9007
my guy
2020-07-06 17:31
underrated af
2020-07-06 17:33
#37
ZywOo | 
India aR__
What is he trying to say>>>> smh
2020-07-06 17:39
A cheater when important online quals happened. GJ Astralis
2020-07-06 17:40
what a stupid way to phrase that
2020-07-06 17:41
xD
2020-07-07 13:52
I AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAY ????????????????????????????????????????? I AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAYI AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAYI AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAYI AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAYI AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAYI AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAYI AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAYI AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAYI AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAYI AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAYI AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAYI AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAY
2020-07-06 17:46
#42
 | 
Germany ConAction
"I am not here to play" I love that he is actually honest never read that before but he is honest and I appreciate and respect it so much!
2020-07-06 17:47
#142
 | 
Andorra BENZ1N3RA
This is a joke or u acctually have any kind of dyslexia?
2020-07-13 16:56
that's like the cs definition of friendzoned
2020-07-06 17:47
#46
 | 
Brazil xaxaxaxax
lmao
2020-07-06 17:49
#47
 | 
Spain elskio
will see what happend
2020-07-06 17:51
*Signs brand new player contract* First statement: "I am not here to play." uhm... okay then ???...
2020-07-06 17:55
ne pozor’sya chel
2020-07-06 18:10
Lmao ruski can't read English only cyka blyat " I'm NOT here not to play"
2020-07-06 18:10
KEK I blame Dane for phrasing it like autist
2020-07-06 18:24
+1
2020-07-06 18:40
#51
 | 
Brazil Triarii
I AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAY I AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAY I AM NOT HERE NOT TO PLAY
2020-07-06 18:00
#52
 | 
Pakistan LoOuU2
This double negative is so confusing mens
2020-07-06 18:03
Yes like my head will explode reading it
2020-07-07 01:05
-jugi plz mens
2020-07-06 18:04
Gl es3tag
2020-07-06 18:15
I am not here not to comment
2020-07-06 18:16
es3tag is really good. It's good addition for Astralis.
2020-07-06 18:21
dumb ass
2020-07-06 18:39
Wadufak does this mean
2020-07-06 18:43
I thought it read "I am not here to play" i was like the fuck you joined the team for? warming the bench or what?
2020-07-06 18:44
Well ur right it does read "I am not here to play" lol
2020-07-06 18:54
no its "i am not here to not play" really retarded sentence tbh
2020-07-06 19:08
#84
JD | 
Poland tutatek
lmao I read it like 3 times "I am here not to play" and I was like wtf, coach?XD then i read ur comment and checked the title again and "I am not here not to play"
2020-07-06 20:42
#74
 | 
Brazil Gunzel
I am not here not to play. I am feeling thank you
2020-07-06 18:55
ok
2020-07-06 20:38
Astralis will be solid once Gla1ve is back... nobody can replace that 500IQ brain and frag power
2020-07-06 21:26
WINNER MENTALITY GOOD LUCK ES3TAG
2020-07-06 22:17
When you want to say "I'm here to play" but go with "I am not here not to play".
2020-07-06 23:43
when your teacher set a minimum word count of 2000 and you are running out of time
2020-07-07 13:57
"I am not here not to play" Very wonderful very good and very well
2020-07-06 23:45
Hopefully he doesn't choke as hard as jugi
2020-07-07 02:37
#103
 | 
Colombia kibitz-
RIP ASTRALIS NOW THEY HAVE 2 BOTS JUGIOH AND ESETAG
2020-07-07 03:30
#107
 | 
Indonesia Exodd
Sooo what do you mean exactly? My englando not very good
2020-07-07 05:29
"i am not here not to play" ok dude im not here not to comment xd
2020-07-07 08:12
+1 i am not here to not +1 good comments about how not to not be something
2020-07-07 12:26
#109
 | 
Finland Vkims
You are not here to play? What are you then, a mascot?
2020-07-07 10:04
Shouldn't it be " I am not here TO NOT PLAY" ?
2020-07-07 12:17
or i am here to play?
2020-07-07 13:57
+1
2020-07-07 14:54
to play or not to play, thats the question
2020-07-07 13:56
I heard this is a quote written on Socrates tombstone
2020-07-15 03:24
ES3TAG INSANELY HOT
2020-07-07 14:05
nt bench warmer
2020-07-07 20:20
he and yugi will not be good enough to replace xyp9x and glaive, they dont have the skill. simple
2020-07-07 20:31
gay
2020-07-07 20:52
"I am not here not to play" so is he there to play since its double negative ? What a weird statement
2020-07-07 23:29
Exactly. He wants to trick us
2020-07-10 10:16
Yes. He confirmed he is going to be playing with astralis!! After all we thought he's just there to suck zonic pp
2020-07-15 03:23
great relationship with old teammates- left at middle of the tournment so teammates had to ff the match
2020-07-08 05:07
brainlets can only read the title and then proceed to comment.
2020-07-08 12:18
#139
 | 
Poland Adei127
ofc dude, who cares about his sad story or whatever.. we are here to comment title
2020-07-11 16:30
theres no sad story, only brainlets
2020-07-12 00:21
Please end this suffer, this has to stopp. m.youtube.com/watch?v=cqcEEFiZFfU
2020-07-08 23:33
easy for sextag future 6 major winner
2020-07-09 13:46
Fix your english
2020-07-10 09:51
#137
 | 
Poland Adei127
here is not here
2020-07-11 09:45
"I am not here not to play, but I will do my best to be valuable on and off the server" Translation: I am not gonna play.
2020-07-11 10:14
xD
2020-07-13 22:46
so if hes not going to play, why the fuck did they buy him? XDDDDDDDDD
2020-07-16 07:46
sMoKe 1st ask questions later.
2020-07-21 23:00
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