The most recent Major in Counter-Strike was held two years ago. Back then, Astralis won the team's third title in a row and the fourth overall.
A performance that no other team in the world has matched, and a performance that would normally place Astralis among the favorites to win the world's biggest and most important Counter-Strike tournament, which opens today with a match between Astralis and this year's positive surprise from Copenhagen Flames.
This is not quite the case this year, and that is something team captain Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander is okay with:
- We always go into these tournaments with equal parts respect for the opponents and believe that we can win the tournament. We have been favorites the last few times, but this year the expectations for us are not quite the same. I think we can use that to our advantage, the Astralis captain begins.
It's always cool when the Danish teams are doing well - Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
- If we manage a strong start, the rest of the tournament is live in the Avicii Arena with up to 16,000 spectators. There are entirely different mechanisms at play sitting home in front of your computer, and there is much greater pressure on the Major. You only experience this when you are in it, and that is where we in Astralis thrive.
- We open against Copenhagen Flames. They are probably the biggest surprise of the year, and they have performed well in the qualification. It's always cool when the Danish teams are doing well, and it generates a significant amount of attention from all sides. Everyone will look at the opening match to see if the Flames can deliver at the same level, and I think it will be a tremendous and viewer-friendly match.
- We have great respect for all teams for this tournament, and we come well prepared. I have had a break during my maternity leave, where I have had time to see it all from above, and we come with some new things that will probably surprise some teams and the experience it gives to have won the tournament several times.
- Counter-Strike may have been a bit dormant the last couple of years, but with the Major, BLAST, crowded arenas, and lots of fans, it's like it's all just turning on again. It is now, and we are looking forward to it.
The opponent is Danish Copenhagen Flames, which, together with Astralis and Heroic, makes up the three Danish teams.
Read all about the Major, Danish players, match program, format, etc., here.