zonic leaves Astralis, legendary Danish stack could dissolve

By Kenneth Williams


Jul 22, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

Longtime Astralis Counter-Strike: Global Offensive coach Danny “zonic” Sørensen has officially declared his intention to leave the organization.

Confirmed news of zonic’s departure was broken by esports news app Jaxon. The legendary Counter-Strike 1.6 player was a founding member of the Danish CSGO organization in 2016. His new team or potential retirement is yet to be announced.

Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen, who coached HEROIC before being banned during the coach bug scandal, has been floated as a likely replacement. It’s difficult to say whether Astralis’ third-place finish at IEM Cologne will keep the team together or shatter it to pieces.

zonic first rose to prominence as arguably the greatest Danish Counter-Strike 1.6 player of all time. He began coaching Astralis right after the stack left Team SoloMid and played under the name ?. zonic coached the team through an incredibly dominant streak from 2018 to 2019. The Danish legend earned Best Esports Coach at The Game Awards for both years.

zonic will continue his duties as Astralis’ CSGO coach until a suitable replacement is found. Considering zonic’s close connection to the Astralis brand, that could take a while. 

Original reports noted that if zonic left Astralis, he would probably bring some players with him to a new organization. All of the player contracts, with the exception of Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen’s, will run out at the end of 2021.

Poaching the team’s core trio of Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander, Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth, and Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen is possible but a large amount of friction has allegedly piled up between zonic and his players since early 2021. The four-time CSGO major champion has considerably slowed over the past two years.

Who plays for the Astralis CSGO roster?

Assuming zonic doesn’t take any players with him, Astralis’ CSGO team will consist of the following players:

  • Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen (Rifler)
  • Emil “Magisk” Reif (Rifler)
  • Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen (AWPer)
  • Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth (Rifler)
  • Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander (In-game Leader)

No Astralis players have confirmed their intentions to leave the organization. The Danish icon’s next tournament will be ESL Pro League Season 14 starting August 16.