Astralis announce talent development program roster
The Danish organization has selected the first six players that will form their youth squad, known as Astralis Talent.
Astralis have revealed the players that will be part of the organization's talent development program, an internal recruitment platform and sparring partner for the A squad that was announced in November.
Astralis Talent will count with five players to start with, aged 16-21. The team is made up of in-game leader Mathias "R0nic" Pinholt, who played the Malta Vibes Cup 6 with Singularity in the summer, Andreas "Void" Dietrichsen manning the AWP and three riflers in Rasmus "Zyphon" Nordfoss, Mads "vester" Vestergaard and Victor "vigg0" Bisgaard.
The squad, led by head coach Dennis "vnG" Vang and assistant coach Mathias "spdr" Dohn, will start competing in local, regional and international events in 2021, and will also add a sixth player in the summer, 16-year-old Mikkel “MistR” Thomsen.
The Astralis Talent lineup decidedly marks a break from the Danish organization's previous recruitment strategy of signing established players such as Patrick "es3tag" Hansen, Jakob "JUGi" Hansen and Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen, with the latter being the only one of the three remaining under contract and currently playing as a rotating sixth man on the A squad.
"We have prioritized hard based upon criteria that, besides game sense and technical skills, also revolve around personality and the ability and desire to lean how to work as a professional in a culture like ours," says Kasper Hvidt, Astralis' Director of Sports. "Here we strive to progress every day, not just as individuals but as a team and as a part of the entire organization."
Results aren't expected immediately, however, both on the server or in creating a pipeline to the first team, as Hvidt explains that "the goal is not to win everything from the get-go but to gradually improve as an organisation, team and individual players. We will most likely not develop player for the A-team the first 12 months, but we will improve and develop the methods, the teams, the culture and each player so we can achieve long term goals for both the organization but also the individual players."
The Astralis Talent lineup is:
Mikkel “MistR” Thomsen (begins Summer 2021)
(Disclaimer: HLTV.org and the Astralis Group)