Astralis in talks with MAD Lions over Bubzkji
The Danish giants could strengthen their squad ahead of the new tournament season with the highly-rated rifler.
Astralis have opened talks with MAD Lions with a view to signing Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen, HLTV.org has learned. The two organisations are in the final stage of negotiations, with the 22-year-old likely to complete the move before Astralis' first tournament of the season, ESL One Cologne, which will start on August 18.
Bubzkji's future has been a subject of speculation since a report from 1pv.fr indicated that he had been moved to the bench. MAD Lions have stayed silent on the subject, only announcing that they were in the process of "reviewing our roster to position our team for continued success."
The 22-year-old's situation was briefly discussed by Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu on the Gamers Club Masters' official broadcast on Thursday afternoon. The MAD Lions coach, who is part of the tournament's on-air crew, said that Bubzkji "is currently being negotiated" and will join "a big team soon".
The signing will leave Astralis with an eight-man roster, with Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander and Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth currently on leave after requesting some time off before the player break. The Danish organisation is determined not to rush the duo back into the action to avoid losing the players due to medical reasons again. In a recent 'HLTV Confirmed' show, Astralis star Nicolai "device" Reedtz said that gla1ve will start playing again in August but didn't provide a timetable for Xyp9x's return.
Bubzkji emerged last year as one of Denmark's most exciting young talents under the tutelage of Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen. He was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in Tricked's win at V4 Future Sports Festival 2019, in Budapest, and also played a key role in MAD Lions' recent victory in Flashpoint 1, where he averaged a team-high 1.23 rating.
Astralis suffered a slump after losing gla1ve and Xyp9x, dropping out of the top 10 in the world rankings for the first time since November 2016. ESL One Cologne could also mark Patrick "es3tag" Hansen's debut for Astralis, with the 24-year-old having completed his free transfer from Heroic on July 1.