- Kasper Hvidt talks about how he regrets not having expanded the Astralis roster size a long time back.
- He speaks about the tools at the player's disposal to help with their mental and physical well being.
- Shines a light on the situation of the player burnout while taking an indirect dig towards the substitution rules set by ESL and Valve for RMR tournaments.
In a recent blog by the Astralis Group, a few things about their CS:GO roster was revealed by Kasper Hvidt - Director of Sports for Astralis Group. He spoke rather freely, stating upfront that the one thing he regrets about the decision to expand the Astralis roster was that “We should have done it years ago!”
He followed this up by talking about their aim of protecting the mental and physical well being of their players, to achieve which Astralis has significantly invested on things in and around the team like,
- Sports Psychologist, who is available around the clock.
- Physical Trainer.
- Training Set-ups.
- Team Doctor.
- Dietician, Body SDS, and a range of other health resources are also available if and when needed.
The reason behind providing all the above benefits to the players was stated as being, “A part of our strategy to build a solid foundation around our teams and players to secure a strong competitive position long term, and it is done to help the players extend their careers.”
He reiterated the fact that Astralis would like to see a full ten-player roster across all their gaming titles, along with an academy team like in the professional League of Legends leagues.
With two of their most experienced CS:GO players taking a short leave of absence from their responsibilities due to prolonged stress and burnout, Hvidt revealed that a lot has been done to avoid fatigue like,
- Giving players the much-needed recovery time.
- Worked on them with mental tools.
- Prioritised their physical fitness.
- Monitored their sleeping patterns.
Despite all this, both Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander and Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth seem to be out of action to take care of their mental wellbeing, with speculations surrounding the possibility of them not returning back to the Danish lineup.
Talking on the matter Hvidt says that, “Players are hit mentally and the need to recover and recharge is a global phenomenon. We often do not hear about it, as other players have simply taken their place, injury periods are extended, or it’s simply called something different.”
He believes that Astralis is pushing for a change in the industry when it comes to acknowledging the fact that players do need to recharge physically and mentally every once in a while, and that is why “we have decided to be open about this.”
Hvidt takes an indirect dig at the roster shuffle rules put in place by Valve and ESL for the ‘Regional Major Rankings’ tournaments, where compound deduction has been employed whenever a player substitution takes place, stating that “It is not a healthy industry when teams and players are punished for taking breaks and being substituted no matter the reason.”
Urging everyone to help change this culture, he concludes by pointing out that “We will continue to invest in building a strong and solid foundation around our teams and players. We are here for the long run and we want to have top teams today, tomorrow and in 2, 5, and 20 years!“
Astralis seems to be in an uncomfortable position at the moment with two of their most experienced players out of action and a new roster at their disposal. The drop in performance was noticeable against NiP yesterday at the BLAST Premier: Spring 2020 European Showdown, though the team managed to win against sAw it will be quite the challenge for them to directly qualify for the grand finals or even the semifinals.