Astralis, the current #1 force in the Counter-Strike Global Offensive scene have been top of the scene for 6 months now. The 3 man core lineup of Device, Dupreeh and Xpy9x have been on top of the Danish scene since 2013 and have joined forces with gla1ve, their in-game leader, and the young talent of Kjaerbye.
After leaving TSM, and playing temporarily under the name of TeamQ(uestionmark), the 5 man lineup (Device, Dupreeh, Xpy9x, Karrigan and cajunb) became players and co-owners of Astralis.
The three man core lineup of Device, Dupreeh and Xpy9x have attended all 10 CS:GO major championships, including
1. Dreamhack Winter 2013–5th-8th (Copenhagen Wolves)
2. EMS Katowice 2014–3rd-4th (Team Dignitas)
3. ESL One Cologne 2014–3rd-4th (Team Dignitas)
4. Dreamhack Winter 2014–5th-8th (Team Dignitas)
5. ESL One Katowice 2015–5th-8th (Team SoloMid)
6. ESL One Cologne 2015–3rd-4th (Team SoloMid)
7. Dreamhack ClujN 2015–5th-8th (Team SoloMid)
8. MLG Columbus 2016–3rd-4th (Astralis)
9. ESL One Cologne 2016–5th-8th (Astralis)
10. ELEAGUE Major 2017–1st (Astralis)
Not only has this 3 man lineup played in every major championship, they have reached at least the quarterfinals meaning they have retained their legend status throughout.
The 2015 run
In 2015, Astralis, then known as Team SoloMid (TSM) made a run of top placings at tournaments running from April right until the end of the year when the lineup left TSM.
PGL CS:GO Championship Series Kick-off Season was the first premier tournament win of the 5 man lineup (including karrigan and cajunb). In this tournament which only featured 4 teams — EnVyUs, TSM, fnatic and NiP. TSM won this tournament by only dropping 1 map to the dominant fnatic team of 2015–2016.
FaceIt League 2015 Stage I Finals (the 2015 equivalent of ECS) was won by TSM after they came 5th in Europe (last team from Europe to qualify for the LAN finals) and ended up coming second in their group of Virtus.Pro, NaVi and eLevate losing only to Virtus.Pro. TSM ended up beating fnatic 2–0 and beating NiP in the final 2–1.
Another small win at Alienware Area 51 Invitational Cup #2 over Team Dignitas and Team Kinguin (fox, Maikelele, rain, ScreaM and SKYTTEN) saw them win their 3rd tournament in a row and win another $7′000.
The last LAN tournament win in their run was at Fragbite Masters Season 4 winning ~$27000. What is interesting about this tournament is that they played fnatic 3 times, once in the winners round 2 bracket 2–1 and then twice in the finals losing 2–1 in the winners finals, to then return from the lower bracket and win the tournament 3–1.
After this run of 4 premier LAN tournaments in a row, this solidified the teams place as the #1 team in the world.
TSM had a slip-up in the first season of the ESL Pro League finishing 7th-8th but managed to stay at #1 in the world after fending off EnVyus and Virtus.Pro in the finals of Counter-Pit League and PGL CS:GO Championship Series Season 1 Finals respectively.
2016 — Removal of cajunb, addition of Kjaerbye
At the beginning of 2016, the 5-man lineup left TSM and played under the name of Team Questionmark for a few weeks before they became the first CS:GO player owned organisation under the old Finnish clan name Astralis.
This lineup had be famed for being making it out of group stages and making it to at least the quarterfinals. After failing to make it out of the group stages of two of the largest events the team had ever attended — Dreamhack Masters Malmo and ESL Pro League Finals Season 3 the team decided to bench cajunb and bring in the young talent Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye.
The team still failed to make top placements at high-tier events placing in the quarterfinals at ECS Season 1 finals, ESL One Cologne 2016 and ELEAGUE Season 1.
2016 — Removal of karrigan, addition of gla1ve
One of the largest and most effective roster changes ever seen in CS:GO history that rivals the addition of krimz and olof to fnatic, byali and snax to Virtus.Pro or TACO and fnx to Luminosity Gaming.
Astralis stated in numerous interviews that karrigan’s strategies had become stale and after numerous bad tournament showings,
1. SL i-league StarSeries Season 2 Finals (5–8th)
2. ESL One New York 2016 (7th/8)
3. WESG 2016 Europe & CIS Regional Finals (9–12th)
These 3 tournaments mainly prompted the move as Astralis were seen as hot favourites going into all of these tournaments.
The removal of karrigan was expected by many and the addition of gla1ve seemed like a match made in heaven. Immediately after he joined, Astralis seemed like a completely different team, they placed 2nd at ELEAGUE Season 2, placed in the semis at IEM Oakland, and won their first tournament at ECS Season 2 Finals. These 3 placings saw them go from 15th on the HLTV rankings to 4th in the space of a month.
2017 — When the stars align
Placed at 4th on the world rankings and going into the major as favourites as their form was at the highest since 2014, Astralis had the pressure on going into the ELEAGUE Major 2017. With help from their newly acquired sports psychologist, a new tactical approach from gla1ve, their stars in kjaerbye and device hitting new levels and the clutch-king of xpy9x also reaching new levels of winning 1vsX situations.
Astralis didn’t have the easiest run going into the group stage of major, proceeding through groups 3–2 in the swiss format beating Optic (previously lost the ELEAGUE Season 2 Finals to in the Grand Final), Liquid and G2, but losing to Godsent and SK (17–19).
The playoffs were no easier challenge, showing signs of NiP from Cologne 2014 where the pulled off the win even though every game looked like a grind. The quarterfinals against NaVi went 2–1 to Astralis only losing Mirage. The semis against fnatic was their first break as they won both their maps with the second (Nuke) being a 16–5 victory.
The finals against VP is storied to be one of the greatest major finals ever, with record breaking viewing numbers and a unprecedented amount of highlights. The first map went to VP 12–16 and many thought that VP might win their second major 3 years after their first. Instead, another legendary tale unfolded, the next two maps went 16–14 to Astralis. The final map, Virtus.Pro were up 13–7, Astralis showed some of the best A train strategies ever seen from the mastermind of gla1ve. Astralis grinded out the map to 14–14, the second final round, Astralis took the major win in a way never seen before, gla1ve made the call to rush A main. Within 15 seconds Astralis had flooded onto the site with dupreeh taking the win with a 3k.
2017 — Where are they now
After the major, Astralis’ online performances unfortunately meant they did not qualify for ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals just by 1 map. However, up til as of writing they have placed in the semis of Dreamhack Masters Las Vegas losing to their enemies and eventual winners, Virtus.Pro. They continued dominating at number 1 by winning IEM Katowice and placing second at SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals and then just yesterday winning the rematch of the Major Final against Virtus.Pro winning $250,000 in the ELEAGUE Clash for Cash.