Astralis go into the ECS Season 5 finals as the firm favourites today, and in-game leader Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander is feeling pretty confident. Speaking to PCGamesN during the media day at Wembley yesterday, the 23-year-old birthday boy discussed the team’s preparation ahead of their match against Cloud 9.
“I think we deal quite well with the pressure of being the favourites, and have done for the last couple of tournaments,” he says. “Right when we won DreamHack Marseilles, we have been the favourites to win almost every game we went in to, so we have been dealing well with it.”
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“We have a sports psychologist helping us talk as a team, which really helps as well. It is mainly team sessions right now, but we have had individual sessions in the past, and it is really good. I actually think this team is really aware of what is going on around them and we are really open about talking about what’s going on in our heads, as well as talk about how we want to set ourselves up in our matches, both individually and as a team.
“We were definitely one of the first teams to use a sports psychologist, and now that people see how we are doing, they’re realising they should have one as well.”
The Danes, who won DreamHack Marseilles while only dropping a single map, have impressed with their recent run of success. Gla1ve attributes this in part to their confidence on every map.
“We can play all seven maps, and if you can do that you have a big advantage in every game you go into,” he says. “If you just hit your shots, you’re probably going to win the game, so we are really happy with [how] our map pool and strat book is looking right now. The things we have been missing in the last two or three tournaments, we have been working on, so hopefully, we can show that.”
“I do think we are the best we have ever been. Magisk has huge firepower, he is an offensive player, on the CT side he is really aware of what’s going on around him, he plays with his teammates and he’s just a really good player. I think I have evolved to be a better player as well individually, and zonic has been making a lot of changes too. The other three guys are just the way they were before because they were amazing all the time.”
The Danes have been busy preparing for their first match against Cloud 9, but the in-game leader admitted he was wary of Cloud 9’s roster situation. Last month, the North American team announced they would be benching FNS after the tournament, leaving teams guessing who their in-game leader would be. Despite that, gla1ve said Astralis will be playing their game.
Astralis will face Cloud 9 in the first match of the tournament today from 13:15 BST (05:15 Pacific).