cs_summit 6 was recently announced as the second tournament used to distribute points to qualify for the ESL One Rio Major scheduled for November, but it looks like at least one top team has decided not to participate.
Astralis has announced that it has “declined an invite” to the summers Regional Ranking tournament, which is used to determine spots for the upcoming ESL One Rio Major. The Danish organization has consistently been one of the world’s top teams since 2016.
In an official statement to outlets, Astralis Group Director of Sports Kevin Hvidt said that, due to the late announcement of cs_summit 6 and Valve’s recent rule change, Astralis would not participate in the tournament.
“We can confirm we have decided not to participate in BTS, which was added rather late to the calendar as a part of the Major Qualifiers. This is due to our general planning around the team and the way we would be punished for substituting players. Unfortunately, it would make no sense for Astralis to play this tournament under the given circumstances,” Hvidt said.
Astralis’ official comment included a clarification that the team had not “withdrawn” from the tournament, but had simply “politely declined an invite.”
Astralis also confirmed that the team is concerned about the number of Regional Major Ranking points it would lose due to their replacement of both in-game leader Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander and rifler Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth. Both players took official leaves of absences from the team in recent weeks, citing health reasons. Both cases cited burnout from CSGO’s never-ending tournament cycle as the reason for the breaks.
In their place, Astralis brought in Jakob “JUGi” Hansen and Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer to stand in for the veteran players. Unfortunately, Valve instituted new rules regarding qualifications for 2020’s only CSGO Major, ESL One Rio, due to its postponement in March. Valve rescheduled the tournament to November before announcing that all teams, even those who would have normally been automatically invited to the Major, would have to requalify.
Part of the rule change includes a 20% point penalty for each substitution made between RMR tournaments. Astralis, which currently sits atop the European rankings to qualify for ESL One Rio, would lose 40% of its 2400 ranking points if it participated in cs_summit 6 with two stand-ins. Astralis was initially awarded 800 points for their win at last year’s StarLadder Berlin and another 1600 for their first-place finish at last month’s Road to Rio competition.