How Astralis tries to combat burnout

Gijs Verhoeff
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Have you ever thought that there could be a little too much Counter-Strike? We do, and we're not even pro players, that are being air-shuttled around the World, living in hotels 200 days a year. Hell, this newsletter probably wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for the overwhelming nature of the event calendar.

So it comes as no surprise, that teams are currently trying to figure out how to make it easier for their players to cope with the constant stress. With two players already sidelined, Astralis are working hard to mitigate the problem and have talked extensively about that on both their website and in an article on ESPN.

With Xyp9x, Kjaerbye, gla1ve and olofmeister all taking breaks, the problem seems to be at it's peak. Everyone, the players, orgs, TO's and the CSPPA, are busy trying to figure out solutions, and in the ESPN article, dev1ce gave some interesting comments on the current situation. Having been on a break himself back in 2017, when the Astralis era was but a dream, dev1ce is in the unique situation that he's been there and come back.

He advocates that players' listen to their bodies: "After my break, I regained a lot of control on how my body reacts to stress and how to tolerate it, so for me, the last few years haven't been as tough as before" best advocates the importance of breaks. Not to be confused with brakes - although equally important.

What Astralis are looking to do - hipster trendsetters that they are - is create an environment in which "it is accepted and expected to be 'vulnerable'." While expanding their roster beyond five players may look to some as a way of increasing the competition between players, Astralis' Sports Director, Kasper Hvidt, believes it will allow for a better team culture. Team culture doesn't always win you games though. This is, amongst other things, how they imagine their future on top of the rankings. With how they're playing currently, that'll be the distant future.

June 11, 2020

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