gla1ve signs new three-year deal with Astralis
The Danish in-game leader has laid speculation about his future to rest.
The news puts an end to speculation over the Danish tactician's future. His contract was set to run out at the end of the year, which would allow him to join another organisation for free on January 1.
gla1ve admitted that he had doubts about signing a new contract with the organisation before concluding that "I am Astralis by heart and no matter how I look at it, this is where I feel at home."
"Astralis is an organization that will always strive to progress, to change the game, and to develop the players – and it is engrained in everyone here that we always compete to win the biggest titles," gla1ve said.
"To me, it’s all about being in a place I can see myself progress as a player while surrounded by dedicated people with the same ambitions and values. I have had a lot of talks with [Sports Director] Kasper Hvidt about the future, how I can develop further as a player and how we develop the team and set-up. There are so many things to achieve and areas to improve even further, and personally I feel confident that Astralis will leave marks on professional Counter-Strike for many years to come.
"At the same time, my girlfriend is expecting our first child later this year and the safety of knowing I will be met with understanding and flexibility when that time comes means a lot to me. I feel really good about this extension and I’m excited for the coming years on so many levels. I am sure we will have a lot of occasions to celebrate new titles with all the amazing Astralis fans."
Astralis still have three players with contracts expiring at the end of the year: Emil "Magisk" Reif, Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen and Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth. Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen has a year left on the two-year deal that he signed with Astralis when he was signed from MAD Lions in July 2020.
The Danish organisation also has to sort out the coaching situation for next year. HLTV.org first reported on July 4 that Danny "zonic" Sørensen was considering leaving Astralis, with Jaxon reporting on Thursday that the 34-year-old coach will not remain with the team beyond the end of the year, when his contract expires. Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen, whose future with Heroic has been in doubt since he missed IEM Cologne, is the main candidate to replace the four-time Major winning coach.
gla1ve has been a part of Astralis since October 2016, when he was signed as a replacement for Finn "karrigan" Andersen. He has played a key role in the team's success since then, with his tactical prowess and high-fragging potential making him one of the most revered in-game leaders in the game. He was named the eighth-best player of 2018, when Astralis won ten international titles, including the FACEIT Major, and the first edition of the Intel Grand Slam prize.
"When we look at our Counter-Strike team in a historic perspective, Lukas has been instrumental for the way Astralis has developed the game," Kasper Hvidt, Astralis' Sports Director, added. "His thorough preparation and constant attention to detail have been key to the team's successes, and the way he continues to contributes with new ideas will also be vital for the coming years.
"He is one of the most self-aware players I have worked with and during our talks around the new contract it hit me how hungry and dedicated he really is. We have come far with the team, but as a team and an organization we still have a lot of unredeemed potential in regards to how we work inside and outside the server. Lukas thinks about Counter-Strike on a completely different level than most others and we will see a lot more of that going forwards.
"With the contract signed, Lukas can focus on his role as In-Game Leader, rest easy about his coming fatherhood and think about the long-term development of the strategy and the team’s playbook. It is a great day indeed."
Astralis will return to action in mid-August in ESL Pro League Season 14, which will be held online. The Danish team will be hoping to keep the momentum going after reaching the semi-finals of IEM Cologne — their best result since the departure of star player Nicolai "device" Reedtz to NIP in April.