As Astralis sign Bubzkji to replace JUGi, and the legendary IGL ‘Gla1ve’ is scheduled to rejoin the roster as well, many have been concerned about the complete lack of information from Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth, who took a leave of absence due to stress and burnout shortly after Lukas ‘Gla1ve’ Rossander took his leave.
Some have been proposing that Andreas was simply abandoning the professional Counter-Strike scene all-together after four years straight for the Danish team Astralis, while others posited theories about the COVID-19 impacting his return.
Andreas himself completely removed his presence online, going silent on Twitter after a retweet from CSPPA regarding mental health for players that don’t get a break, back on May 19, 2020.
— Counter-Strike Professional Players' Association (@CSPPAgg) May 19, 2020
Everything appears to have been false as Andreas pushed out an image on Snapchat showing little more than Counter-Strike running on a PC in Casual, with the text ‘Feels good’ anchored above it.
We can safely presume that Andreas is beginning to step back behind the rifle and look at possibly rejoining Astralis in time for the ESL One Cologne Online 2020 tournament, although that somehow manages to bring about more questions than answers.
Pertaining to precisely what Astralis is planning on doing with an eight-man roster all wanting to play.
Many are speculating that they will maintain a deep bench for the interim while gauging and attempting to avoid the fallout of more star-studded players inevitably succumbing to long hours of grinding in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive while playing in high-stakes matches from their house.
Rumors have been circulating about a very high-impact training regimen for members of Astralis, necessary to maintain what was their number one rank in the world; now it has dropped to eleventh as the Danish team reels from losing two high-value players simultaneously, for months.
It’s very likely, therefore, that we will begin to see a circulating roster for Astralis in the near future, where they shift members to and from the bench in order to subsidize burnout while maintaining relevance in high-value matches, such as semi-finals and the like.
It’s necessary to state that Astralis has denied the rumors of having high-intensity training schedules for their roster that could lead to faster burnout than other teams would experience; it’s factually true, however, that Astralis has suffered the most during the COVID-19 period due entirely to burnout.
What remains to be seen is whether Astralis can maintain a high-level of play with multiple players on the bench, and rotating through them as necessary while not dropping too many points. It’s plausible that we’ll get our first look as to how this will play out during the upcoming Cologne Online tourney.