Astralis started as a player-owned organization borne out of the ex-Team SoloMid roster. At its inception, Astralis had the following players under its banner at the start of January 2016.
- Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz
- Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen
- Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth
- René “cajunb” Borg
- Finn "karrigan" Andersen
This original iteration of the Astralis roster is the same one that upset Fanatic at the MLG Columbus Major quarterfinals in 2016, just before losing to Natus Vincere in the semis. At the time, Astralis had a proven ability to power through group stages before stalling out in the playoffs. The constant struggle to progress created a mystique around the Danish team, one that would become the “Astralis Choke” meme.
After exhausting losses to OpTiC, Luminosity, and Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis switched out cajunb for Marcus “kjaerbye” Kjaerbye. With the switch made, Astralis attended both ELEAGUE Season 1 and ESL One Cologne 2016. Unfortunately, the team was forced to use stand-ins for both events. Head coach Danny ”zonic” Sorrenson was forced to fill in for a late-arriving karrigan at ELEAGUE just before and Lukas “gla1ive” Rossander then stepped in for kjaerbye, who was ineligible for the 2016 Cologne Major due to his time with Dignitas. To make matters worse, Zonic had to once again step in during ESL One Cologne when dupreeh suffered acute appendicitis during the event. Somehow, Astralis made it through groups but lost to Virtus.pro in the playoffs once again.
The end of the year saw more of the same for Astralis, as playoff losses at several events in a row forced the team to remove karrigan, believing his calls to be the root of the team’s issues around closing games. In his place, Astralis would make the move that would eventually lead them to a historic run. Gla1ve returned to Astralis, not as a stand-in, but as the team’s new in-game leader.
For the next year, Astralis experienced little structural change. The roster flashed moments of brilliance from players like Xyp9x and Kjaerbye, with Astralis eventually winning their first tournament in over a year at the ECS Season 2 finals. There they defeated OpTiC Gaming after flying through both the group stage and the playoffs with ease.
The winning was short-lived, however. February saw Kjaerbye suddenly leave Astralis, the reasons for which are still unknown. While Kjaerbye joined North, Astralis signed Emil “Magiskboy” Reif. Now known as “magisk,” Reif would prove to be the missing piece that Astralis has struggled to find since even its time under the TSM name years prior.
After competing in two tournaments together, the team managed to win DreamHack Marseille 2018 and did so by beating some of the best teams in the world in Virtus.pro and Fnatic. The win also put the Danish team on the map for the IEM Grand Slam, which offered a $1 million bonus to teams that met certain qualifications. Astralis would have to win four out of ten events over a period of time to snag the bonus.
After Marseille, Astralis’ Major win in London cemented the team as a conquering star. The Major title combined with Astralis’ IEM Grand Slam completion turned the Dane from a Danish team to the Danish team for the foreseeable future.
Astralis’ dominance over competitive Counter-Strike Global Offensive continued over the course of the 2018 year. During this time, Team Liquid would become Astralis’ main challenger. Although Team Liquid lost to Astralis in five grand finals matchups over the latter half of 2018, Counter-Strike had a brand new rivalry.
After the 2018 winter break, 2019 saw Astralis slump early in the year. The team finally gave up a grand final to Team Liquid at iBUYPOWER Masters IV. Team Liquid added more firepower and a new coach to help surpass Astralis, and for the beginning of 2019, it worked. Despite Team Liquid taking the IEM Grand Slam Season 2 in a record 63 days, Astralis won both Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Majors in 2019 at IEM Katowice and StarLadder Berlin.