Astralis increased their Counter Strike: Global Offensive roster to six players by signing Patrick “es3tag” Hansen, the Danish organization announced Sunday.
Astralis’ addition of es3tag from Heroic will come after his current contract expires on June 30. It will also end reported negotiations between FunPlus Phoenix and Heroic, with Heroic CEO Erik Askered saying in a statement that Astralis had “acted in bad faith.”
FunPlus Phoenix forfeited their Phase 1 lower-bracket match against Orgless on Sunday following the “recent roster change news,” Flashpoint 1 announced.
Last weekend, China-based FPX agreed to take over the CS:GO team of Denmark-based Heroic.
Es3tag, a 24-year-old Dane, had been with Heroic since June 2017 after stints with Team Orbit and Tricked Esport, among other teams. He helped Heroic win the Toyota Master CS:GO Bangkok 2018 and the DreamHack Open Atlanta 2019.
“In order to improve working conditions for our players, it has been decided to increase the Astralis roster to six players,” Astralis posted on Twitter. “On this basis, Patrick @es3tag Hansen will be joining the roster. Welcome, Patrick!”
Astralis CEO Nikolaj Nyholm said over social media that expanding the roster has been in the cards since Nicolai “device” Reedtz took medical leave for several weeks in late 2017. The club was forced to utilize stand-ins during his absence.
“Our work with Astralis and all our teams is focused around performance and health. It’s our responsibility as an organization to secure optimal conditions for our employees on all levels, and especially our players, who on a constant basis experience the highest pressure to perform,” Astralis’ Director of Sports Kasper Hvidt said in a statement.
“Increasing the roster size to six players is something we have worked on for a long time with relevant stakeholders in Counter-Strike. This approach is no different than in traditional sports, but it’s new to Counter-Strike, and a change like this will take time to optimize for full advantage. The players, coach and our performance team have been involved in this decision and everybody agrees it is the way to go.”
Heroic’s Askered issued a statement to HLTV.org on Saturday: “I am unable to comment at this moment, as we are making legal preparations. This is due to the fact that we know and can prove that Astralis has acted in bad faith, and have considerably affected the sale of Heroic to FPX.”
The Astralis roster will consist of the following from July 1:
— Nicolai “device” Reedtz
— Andreas “Xyp9x” Hojsleth
— Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen
— Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander
— Emil “Magisk” Reif
— Patrick “es3tag” Hansen
— Danny “zonic” Sorensen (coach)
—Field Level Media