Is the return of Devveking enough ? After all, it’s not the same roster as it was when he left.

Astralis, an organization once home to the greatest roster of all time, has now failed to make the major for the first time in their history. That disaster can be largely attributed to the absence of their aggressive star k0nfig. But that isn’t the only issue the team is facing right now. BlameF’s carry potential is maxed out, and yet it is also limited by the role he plays in the team. As Denmark’s current best player, he needs a support structure that can utilise that potential.

On top of that, the farlig move has been mediocre at best. No fault to the young awper, but he just isn’t consistent enough to keep Astralis’ sinking ship afloat. Even when he performs, the team’s current structure is focused on making the two riflers shine, and does not benefit from his AWP performances.

And the two pieces you’d hope would be slam dunk pieces, Gla1ve and Xyp9x have also struggled. In his prime Gla1ve was not only the best IGL in the world, but also someone who could keep up with the best in terms of his individual performances. His top 10 placing in HLTV’s 2018 ranking might be an overexaggeration, but the player wasn’t a low fragging megamind like karrigan. Unfortunately for Astralis, the days of him dropping a 1.48 rating across an S-tier event have long since passed, and these days the leader occupies the sub-1.00 rating area on the scoreboard.

His long time partner in crime, Xyp9x has also met a similar fate. A star player turned support, Xyp9x’s fragging was never a liability. And with his insane clutch ability, some might even say Xyp9x was at a time a top 3 piece in the legendary Astralis. These days, it’s a miracle if he can scrape together more than 13 kills a game.

Can Dev1ce save the Astralis squad?

With all these issues circling the half-alive Astralis, the question in our mind is, “Can Dev1ce even save this squad?”

Assuming dev1ce returns to a level on par with an average tier 1 awper, he immediately fixes one issue: AWP impact. As an uber-veteran of the game, dev1ce knows how the AWP works, and reuniting with his IGL and support, there is a high chance that they will be able to nail the AWP question.

Astralis might buyout Device's contract from NiP.
Astralis might buyout Device's contract from NiP.

Sceptics of gla1ve make the argument that gla1ve has failed with both the AWPer’s he has used. While that seems true on paper, one can not forget the importance of experience at the tier 1 level. Lucky came into tier 1 CS: GO with no prior experience, and Farlig’s body of work is almost entirely online, a realm so vastly different from LAN play that even a great roster like Cloud9 took nearly a year to adapt.

And if you consider the one time gla1ve had an experiences awper since Device, albeit for just one event, the team looked at it’s peak. Gla1ve donned the awp himself back at the team’s debut event. And they managed to make the top 3 at BLAST Premier Fall Finals 2021, outplacing their danish brethren in Heroic. With their immense history, I still believe that dev1ce gla1ve and xyp9x can get the AWP firing at it’s full strength. And that shift of focus from the rifles to the big green might also improve the team’s calling to a competitive level.

But a question remains

The Astralis Major winning roster - with Device lifting the trophy.
The Astralis Major winning roster - with Device lifting the trophy.

One question however still remains, who will be BlameF’s rifling partner? Who will be the entry fragging dupreeh to BlameF’s Magisk? As per a Jaxon report, k0nfig might not be the answer to that question.

At his best k0nfig is an absolute monster, ripping defenses apart with precise bullets from his AK. At his worst he is a liability that might keep running into a brick wall without stopping for an entire T half. But the form we have seen from k0nfig has been somewhere in the middle with occasional peaks.

If we could get that k0nfig around blameF and dev1ce that would be a top 7 contender right there. But if k0nfig is to be sidelines then Astralis might not have any option but to spend for another buyout alongside Device’s 600k for Astralis. The names at the top of my list would be Fnatic’s roeJ or Apeks’ Jkaem. The former just qualified for the major and is currently in a team far better that Astralis. But Astralis not only have the draw of Dev1ce but also the immense name value around the org. Being a part of Astralis in Denmark continues to be sports celebrity levels of fame.

Jkaem on the other hand is someone who might get overlooked. The Norwegian star who once propelled Renegades-100T to Major Semis, has been languishing in tier 2 European cups. His latest squad, Apeks have announced that their roster is on hold while they figure out how to improve their results. What that means for Jkaem’s future is unknown, but in my eyes, he’s an amazing pick for an aggressive rifler.

What are the options?

Astralis’ options are already limited due to their wish to stay Danish-speaking, so a Norweigian player might be a cheeky way to get an upgrade on the position. But would Astralis be willing to make that move, along side a massive Device buyout? Or will farlig potentially be back on the rifles like lucky and jugi were in the past?

And will CSGO’s dynastic name return to the top? Or will they struggled to make the majors for a while, much like their predecessors in Fnatic did?