Is Astralis eyeing NiP, Heroic players after alleged Xyp9x departure?

Olivia R. May 27, 2020

Multiple sources close to Astralis have allegedly confirmed that Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth has left the organization for the time being. 

In a report by Jarek Dekay Lewis, it's rumored that coach Danny "zonic" Sørensen has taken his place in recent practices. Meanwhile, Astralis has reached out to Ninjas in Pyjamas about acquiring Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson and inquired about Patrick "es3tag" Hansen on Heroic. So far, Dekay's report states that no agreement has yet been made. 

es3tag has reportedly agreed to join Astralis, but not until his contract expires at the end of June. Astralis allegedly attempted to negotiate an early transfer with Heroic multiple times, which ended up being unsuccessful. After that failed, Astralis asked about Lekr0, but Astralis and NiP couldn't seem to agree on a transfer fee. 

It's not yet clear how long Xyp9x's absence will be, when it will officially start, or what the reason for the departure is. With no official statement from Astralis, fans can only speculate. Astralis finished the DreamHack Masters Spring Europe group stage with two wins and one loss, which isn't too shabby considering Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander's absence. Xyp9x is expected to play for the remainder of the series. 

Would Astralis struggle without gla1ve and Xyp9x?

If Xyp9x leaves Astralis, that wouldn't be the first roster move of the season. gla1ve announced a three-month leave earlier in May, leaving Astralis without their captain. He explained in an official press release on the matter that he was experiencing "symptoms of stress and burnout." 

"In the next three months I will be focusing on getting better and recovering 100%, and then afterward returning as an active part of Astralis. I want to say a huge thank you to my teammates and the organization for being so understanding towards my situation and for being so helpful and trying to find a solution," gla1ve said. 

Jakob “JUGi” Hansen became Astralis' new in-game leader, although those duties were instead given to Emil "Magisk" Reif in recent matches. 

Astralis started the 2020 season of BLAST: Premier Spring in last place, but partially redeemed themselves with a semifinals appearance at IEM Katowice. They quickly adapted to online play, claiming third at ESL Pro League Season 11 and then first place at the ESL One: Road to Rio competition in Europe. But without gla1ve, it's yet to be seen how they will perform through the next few months.

Their 2-1 record in DreamHack Masters Spring's group stage is promising. Their next match is schedueld for June 9.