April 14, 2020

Mixed emotions around our performance

by Danny 'zonic' Sørensen, Head Coach, Astralis

Pro League is over and I have a lot of mixed emotions around our performance. 

For one, we’re never ever happy when we don’t win a tournament. A semi-final is not the same as losing a competition, but it certainly feels like it the days after. We are not satisfied with the result, and we are very aware that we have yet to win a trophy in 2020.

On the other hand, and as I have said before, Astralis is not only about winning one or two tournaments. It’s about building, maintaining and developing a solid foundation and a structure that will secure long term success for Astralis. In this respect, I am actually proud of the team. We have not had a great start of the year, some of the players are definitely not feeling 100%, which is one reason why the organization has decided to upgrade the roster with a 6th player. 

On this background, I am actually very pleased to see how the team has handled, how roles have been switched while we developed our approach to each match, and how close we actually were to end up in the Grand Final. 

We had a horrible opening of both stages, but in both cases, we managed to turn things around and came back on a very strong note. We showed mental strength, we played some very disciplined Counter-Strike at times, and we proved we can also join a messy brawl when needed, and come out victorious. At the same time, we also saw that we need to take a deeper dive into a couple of maps and re-think our game plan.

Online CS is different in many ways, but it is something we should be able to handle and honestly, I am not sure the result would have been different, had we played in front of an audience. We miss the fans a lot, we miss the interaction, the energy, the excitement around a live event, but we are so experienced that we should and can abstract from our surroundings. 

What is obvious though, is that a couple of teams have really stepped up in 2020. The scene is extremely competitive and teams like Fnatic, Mouz, and NAVI have really made some impressive adjustments and deliver on a consistent basis. It is a great sign for the growing number of fans of CS and I am sure that we will see a lot of back-and-forth between the top teams this season. 

Some of the players are recharging, some are digging deeper into the game, but we have all begun to adjust and prepare for the coming months. We have opened the black book and we have a good idea about what to change, where to adjust and how to step up. 

In the meantime, I hope you will continue to reach us on our social channels. It means a lot to us to feel support from the growing number of fans out there. The foundation is strong, and we continue to build for the long term. That’s what it’s all about with this team. Onwards and upwards! Together!

- Danny 'zonic' Sørensen.