Bubzkji on time in Astralis: "I was stranded in a battle between the players and the organization"
The up-and-coming player turned on-air talent appeared on HLTV Confirmed and shared his experiences of being the odd man out in Astralis and his recent foray into broadcasting.
On Tuesday, Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen joined the HLTV Confirmed podcast as a guest and spoke about various highlights in the early days of his career as well as the more recent struggles as the sixth man in Astralis and his new job as a Danish analyst and commentator for TV2.
After speaking on the topic of his earlier teams, Tricked and MAD Lions, the conversation naturally turned to the experience Bubzkji had as part of an Astralis roster that rarely made use of him as a player beyond situations where one of the original members were out of action.
When he first joined the team in the middle of 2020 amidst a period of uncertainty inside the Danish powerhouse, who had Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth and Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander out on extended leave, Bubzkji had high expectations, but soon the atmosphere changed when the in-game leader returned.
"I think it started very well when gla1ve and Xyp9x were out of the team and me and Patrick "es3tag" Hansen just played and didn't feel like we were stand-ins. The first problems started to appear when we would fight for play time, me and es3tag, and only one could play."
After playing less and less, the team announced the sale of es3tag and the return of Xyp9x. Bubzkji reflected on that period on the podcast, explaining that he found himself between a rock and a hard place. He spent much of his time on the bench as a result, playing only select maps for the next few months, only to return to a backup position once again at the brink of 2021.
"I was stranded in a battle between the players and the organization. The organization maybe wanted me to play and saw me as the future, as I was the youngest, and the team wanted to give the old five a go as they have won so much — and I totally respected that. That meant that I got stuck as I didn't want to fight the organization and I didn't want to fight the team, either, and did what was asked of me from both sides."
After Nicolai "device" Reedtz left for NIP in April, a spot in the active roster opened up again and Bubzkji was able to step into the team full-time, but it turned out that he was never in plans to remain there for long, as Astralis signed Philip "Lucky" Ewald and had Benjamin "blameF" Bremer and Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke lined up to join the team as replacements for Vitality-bound Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen and Emil "Magisk" Reif.
Eventually, Bubzkji was released earlier this year after being out of action for months following IEM Fall — his last appearance with Astralis, in which he helped them qualify for PGL Major Stockholm only to get the call that he wouldn't be part of the lineup at the pinnacle tournament itself.
When asked about his plans for the future, the 23-year old remained open to many scenarios but shared that competing is not in his plans at the moment, and that he's focused on his work with TV2. "The reason why I am not on a pro team is self-chosen. I got some offers from teams that I could take but I didn't want to join a team just to be a paycheck stealer and just play for the sake of playing."
“Right now if Heroic or CPH Flames asked me to join, I would say no. Maybe if one day I return to a grind mindset, I would happily look for a team. Maybe in three or four months if I have a different feeling and will go and play for a lower-rated team."
Other topics on the podcast touched on the recent news, with the Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt removal from MOUZ, NIP's addition of Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin, and ESL Pro League results being the main talking points. You can watch the whole HLTV Confirmed episode with Bubzkji on YouTube, or listen in audio form via popular podcast apps.