Reports indicated that MAD Lions player Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen may soon sign with Astralis, with MAD Lions coach Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu revealing that the young player would be joining a big-name team in the near future.
An unsourced report from HLTV has Astralis signing the player imminently. The MAD Lions' star was benched from the roster at the end of June following the its poor performance at the CS Summit 6 regional qualifier, but it doesn't look like that has stopped Astralis from stockpiling more talent after in-game leader Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander and rifler Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth benched themselves from the Danish roster. These moves are becoming familiar to Astralis fans, as the team has added two new players since March. Astralis looks to essentially be stockpiling talent on its bench, with little indication as to whether its recent additions will actually take to the server or not.
Astralis initially surprised the CSGO world when it announced that it would sign Patrick "es3tag" Hansen at the expiration of his contract with Team Heroic in March. That signing ignited a controversy due to Heroic's pending sale to FunPlus Phoenix, leading to the eventual withdrawl of the FPX organization from FLASHPOINT.
If Astralis signs Bubzkji, the team will officially bring its roster up to eight members, including es3tag and recent addition in Jakob "JUGi" Hansen. While teams have experimented with rosters larger than the typical five before, CSGO has never seen a team sign so many active and notable players in such a short amount of time to the same standing roster.
Complicating matters further reports indicate that Astralis may not have been planning an expanded roster for "several years" as previously stated, but instead sought out es3tag and others when it became clear that two of its players intended to take leaves of absences due to dramatic work demands placed on them by the organization and its director of sport, Kasper Hvidt. Both Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander and Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth removed themselves from Astralis' active roster over the past two months.
While the Astralis roster has commented publically that there are no rifts between it and the Astralis organization, the rumored addition of Bubzkji could signal that another Astralis member plans to take time off from competition. The report comes just days before the official end of CSGO's yearly player break, a one-month period during which tournament organizers have agreed to clear players' schedules in the middle of what has become a hectic CSGO competition circuit. This addition would also run contrary to Astralis AWPer Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz's statement to HLTV that gla1ve would return after the player break, unless Astralis simply plans on adding even more players to its bench.
Read more about how Astralis' public statements differ wildly from the behind-the-scenes story by clicking the image below.
Bubzkji's initial benching from MAD Lions came as a surprise, as the young rifler was one of the roster's top-rated players over the months before his benching. His play helped the organization take home the title at FLASHPOINT 1.
Two of Astralis' three signings have come from teams that have competed in FLASHPOINT. The additions raise intriguing questions as to whether Astralis is signing the best players available, or if the signings are part of a siphoning of talent from FLASHPOINT. FLASHPOINT is in direct competition with the ESL Pro League, of which Astralis is a part-owner.