Astralis reestablish extended roster with Lucky signing
The young AWPer is expected to be an "active part of the team" from day one.
Astralis have completed the signing of Philip "Lucky" Ewald on a transfer from Tricked, the organization has announced. With the addition of the 18-year-old AWPer, the Danish team will reestablish a six-man roster after NIP bought Nicolai "device" Reedtz out of his contract with Astralis in April.
"I have really enjoyed my time in Tricked and I have a lot to thank them for," Lucky said in a statement. "When Astralis comes knocking, everything changes, though. It’s without a doubt one of the most professional organizations and I already feel welcome and part of the family."
"I know some people are going to compare me to ‘dev1ce’ but no one can do what he does. I hope I’ll be able to show who I am, though, and I will work hard to contribute to the team in my own way."
The Danish organization has yet to reveal when their sixth player will step onto the server in official matches, but according to the Director of Sports, Kasper Hvidt, he will be expected to "be an active part of the roster from day one". During the previous time Astralis featured more than five players, Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen was only used on specific maps at first, an approach the team abolished in early 2021 due to Valve's ruling that penalizes teams for changing lineups during and between Regional Major Ranking tournaments.
"I expect Philip to be an active part of the roster from day one, and with Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander about to enter fatherhood in the Fall, having six players could prove advantageous," Astralis' Director of Sports, Kasper Hvidt, stated. "Even not considering Lukas’ potential break, I expect Lucky to contribute and to prove why we’re bringing him in."
One of the hottest prospects in Denmark, Lucky has impressed on the lower-tier scene as of late, averaging a 1.13 rating in 2021. The Dane last represented Tricked, whom he joined at the beginning of 2020 and went on to help win two of the last three Dust2.dk Ligaen seasons on the local scene.
He will get his first opportunity to play at the top level with Astralis, with his first official showing as the newest member of the team set to take place in ESL Pro League Season 14, which will run online from August 16-September 12.
"Philip is a young player who has shown immense potential," Kasper Hvidt said. "He has not been tested at a top-level yet so it wouldn't be fair to him or the team to compare him to anybody else, however, he has a lot of what we have been looking for and we have a strong belief, he will demonstrate his skills from the get-go."
Astralis' signing of an AWPer has been on the cards ever since Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander admitted ahead of the team's campaign at IEM Cologne in early July that it would be difficult to reclaim the status of the world's best team without a full-time sniper.
The role was being passed between two members of the team following device's departure, with Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen taking it on at first before he began to split the AWPing duties with the in-game leader towards the end of the first part of the season.
Lucky's addition to the lineup comes at a time when there is an air of uncertainty around the long-term future of Astralis, with Danny "zonic" Sørensen's, dupreeh's, Emil "Magisk" Reif's, and Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth's current contracts set to expire at the end of the year. So far, the only member of the Major-winning roster to re-sign with the organization is gla1ve, who inked a new three-year deal with Astralis on Friday.
Astralis' extended roster looks as follows:
Danny "zonic" Sørensen (coach)