The solution is Staehring right at you

Harry Richards
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Illustration by NovaH. Source: ESL/Sprout

What’s harder, qualifying for the Major or getting a player out of Sprout?

Neither are easy, especially if your name is Astralis. But, they look to have finally managed to achieve the latter, at least according to Striker of

It was in October of 2022 that good old Jaxon first reported the Danish behemoth’s interest in the 18-year-old, but the two sides have STILL not reached an agreement on a buyout.

With no transfer forthcoming, Astralis have apparently got Staehr on a free transfer for the beginning of 2024 when his contract expires (just like the deal they struck with blameF and k0nfig).

It’s a deal that makes sense. Sign the brightest young Danish talent early while Heroic are comfortably a top-two team in the world, learning from their mistake with the likes of jabbi and stavn.

What isn’t clear yet is who Staehr might replace. The obvious answer is Buzz, who has been given nearly every role under the sun in his short time in black-and-red and has rarely convinced in any of them, or Altekz, who was named as a “temporary” addition in place of Xyp9x.

But there are rumours on the Twitter-sphere of “internal issues” that might result in blameF departing, which would make much more sense if Astralis are after a 1:1 swap role-wise.

There’s also the possibility of gla1ve hanging up his mouse and keyboard and letting blameF IGL, as was the long-term plan when he joined the org in 2021.

Considering there’s another 6 months of 2023 before Staehr will join — unless Sprout somehow budge on a deal — we doubt even Astralis know who he’ll sign for. Which is either bad planning (it’s this one) or an amazing Machiavellian game of “fight for your spot”.

It’s funny that this news has come out now, too, just as Astralis arrived back on LAN at IEM Dallas with a bit of a spring in their step. device is the highest-rated player of the event, Altekz has got 25% T side opening attempts from Xyp9x’s old lurk spots (how and why, we do not know), and blameF is still fragging away.

For the first time in a while, you can see the method behind the madness at Astralis. Adding Staehr for 2024 is another logical step in the right direction — we’re just not too confident it’ll be good for team chemistry in the meantime…

June 2, 2023

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