Marta J. July 31, 2019
RFRSH Entertainment has sold its competitive branch to a newly formed Danish organization.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Astralis and League of Legends LEC franchise Origen are splitting off from RFRSH starting next week. Their new parent company, known as Astralis Group ApS, is an investor group comprised of individuals from the Danish sports and business worlds.
Financial terms were not disclosed but Danish outlet TV 2 Sport reported the deal was worth between $11 and 16.6 million.
News that RFRSH was looking to sell the teams has been known for weeks, with the company discussing the move earlier this month. The decision stems from their desire to put greater focus into their tournament organization efforts.
Astralis Group ApS will retain many executives from RFRSH. CEO Nikolaj Nyholm will take on the same role with Astralis Groups, with Director of Sports Kasper Hvidt, co-founder Jakob Lund Kristensen, and VP of Communications & Brand Steen Laursen all joining.
Astralis' relationship with RFRSH and BLAST Pro Series
Astralis was long regarded as the best CSGO team in the world, with a yearlong stretch that included two major titles and a number of other live event victories. That run ended in June when Team Liquid rose to the top of most CSGO rankings.
According to a report by Dexerto, RFRSH believed the team was affected by recent public criticism. Astralis came under fire in the spring for an alleged conflict of interest stemming from their participation in BLAST Pro Series events. BLAST tournaments are organized by RFRSH.
Though the BLAST Pro Series format did not afford room for preferential treatment of Astralis, some CSGO fans took issue with the team opting to participate in RFRSH’s tournaments rather than more prestigious events. Astralis coach Danny "zonic" Sørensen stated the team opted to play in BLAST events due to scheduling and travel concerns.
There are a few more BLAST Pro Series tournaments planned by RFRSH, including the Global Final event that will offer $500,000 prize pool.