Steven R. July 12, 2019
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Astralis and LEC franchise Origen are splitting from parent company RFRSH Entertainment.
According to a report by HLTV, RFRSH is seeking a new majority shareholder for the two brands. The move stems from RFRSH’s plans to pour greater effort into its BLAST Pro Series events. Details were not given in terms of how much RFRSH is seeking for its share in the two teams, but company CEO Nikolaj Nyholm suggested that the deal should be done by the StarLadder Berlin Major which kicks off on August 23.
This is big news for both CSGO and League of Legends fans.
Astralis is coming off one of the most dominant years seen in Counter-Strike history. From March 2018 to April 2019, the Danish squad won a dozen live events including the FACEIT Major: London and the IEM Katowice Major. The team has started to dip in recent months but remains generally solid, most recently placing in the top four of ESL One Cologne.
Origen is no slouch, either. The LoL team took second place in the 2019 LEC Spring Split, falling short against G2 Esports in the grand finals. They currently sit in fifth place in the league, but are in a decent position to make a run to the playoffs in the 2019 Summer Split.
It is unclear what sparked RFRSH Entertainment to begin splitting off from its teams but the news will likely be well met by many CSGO fans.
RFRSH and Astralis came under fire in 2019 due to Astralis’ focus on the BLAST Pro Series tournaments, which led to the team missing out on a number of high-profile live events including Intel Extreme Masters Season XIV Sydney and StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7. This frustrated many CSGO fans and the situation was exacerbated further when some pundits began questioning whether it was a conflict of interest for RFRSH to own one of the teams competing in its tournament series.
The BLAST tournament format gave like room for favoritism from the organizer, and Astralis coach Danny "zonic" Sørensen stated that the team’s prioritizing BLAST events was a matter of scheduling and the brutal travel that competing in other events would have required. Still, fan opinion on Astralis soured a bit as a result of the minor controversy.
Though Astralis is set to split off from RFRSH, they are still likely to compete in BLAST events.