The Danish esports organization Astralis has decided to play the currently ongoing IEM Katowice 2021 with a seven-man CS:GO roster. The official announcement was made on 17 Feb, a day before Astralis are scheduled to play their ‘Group-A’ opening match against a yet undecided team. The seventh player to join their roster is the 19-year-old Danish talent Mads 'vester' Vestergaard who is a part of ‘Astralis Talent’, the organization’s academy CS:GO team. According to the official announcement by Astralis Director of Sports, Kasper Hvidt “Vestergaard has been picked out to join the roster although it is not likely he will be playing any maps during the tournament”.
IEM Katowice 2021: Astralis expands to 7 man CS:GO roster
The Danish organization who has been criticised for toying around with their CS:GO roster by constantly recruiting additional players but not utilizing them properly, has decided to expand their CS:GO roster to a seven-man lineup once again for the ongoing IEM Katowice 2021.
This will be the first time since Patrick “es3tag” Hansen’s departure in Oct 2020 that Astralis will be returning to a seven-player iteration. The first time Astralis had done this was in May 2020 when they had signed the Danish AWPer Jakob "JUGi" Hansen from North’s bench. Just 2 months after, they replaced him with Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen to maintain their seven-man lineup until es3tag was signed by Cloud9.
Vester will be Astralis’ new seventh player who is actually already a part of their academy CS:Go team ‘Astralis Talent’. The 19-year-old will most likely not be competing in the tournament though, as this seems to be some kind of an exercise to give these young talents an experience of ‘Tier-1’ competitive Counter-Strike.
“We are not expecting 'vester' to actually play during the tournament and it would be a bit too ambitious to assume he can already play against the best teams in the world. Should we end up in a situation where two players are out, we will not hesitate to include him on the server, though.” says Kasper Hvidt - Astralis Director of Sports.
Astralis is scheduled to go up against a yet undecided opponent tomorrow at 15:30 CET (20:00 IST) and will be looking to put on a strong performance. The team has failed to show its best performance so far and will definitely be looking to change that at IEM Katowice 2021.