Astralis Remove Head Coach Trace

Astralis announced the departure of its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive head coach Martin "Trace" Heldt.

Astralis announced the departure of its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive head coach Martin “Trace” Heldt. The 32-year-old left the organization on Wednesday, October 12, after Astralis failed to qualify for the next Major – for the first time in the Danish esports organization’s history.

Trace Out Of Astralis

Astralis officially parted ways with its CS:GO head coach trace on Wednesday, when the Danish esports organization unveiled the news in a Twitter post. As stated, Astralis cut ties with trace due to the team’s subpar performances in 2022, which culminated with the team missing the Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major.

“Astralis’ Counter-Strike team is by many seen as the world’s best of all time. For us, it is an obligation, but the results have for too long not met our expectations, culminating in a missed Major qualification,” read the announcement.

“A new direction is now being laid for the team and the organization around it. The first step is a benching of the current first team coach Martin “trace” Heldt, who will no longer be responsible for the Main team, while more measures are to be introduced over the coming time.”

CEO, Anders Horsholt added a few words, explaining that Astralis haven’t lived up to the expectations at all this season, which ushered in team changes, which began with the departure of Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke earlier this week.

Moreover, as revealed by Horsholt, Astralis are planning on “modernizing and developing the organization around the Counter-Strike team” in the coming weeks and months in a bid to bounce back from the organization’s worst season since Astralis entered the CS:GO scene in 2016.

“First, we say thank you for your efforts to Martin “trace” Heldt, who will no longer be responsible for the Main team. Martin has put in a lot of effort, but we have to admit we have not got the best out of the potential and skills in the main roster, and we have concluded that other qualities are needed, also in relation to the coming tasks around the Main team,” said Anders Horsholt.

Casle To Step In

In trace’s departure announcement, Astralis also revealed Peter “casle” Toftbo Ardenskjold as a new head coach, who will take over the team in the coming period. Casle joins Astralis from the academy roster, Astralis Talent, who he joined just under two months ago.

Casle is a former pro player and coach, who started his esports career in 2015 when he competed for some lesser CS:GO teams. In July 2019, casle transitioned to coaching with maquinas, and has since led Team Singularity, MASONIC, and Astralis Talent, while also spending eight months as MASONIC’s analyst from November 2020 – July 2021.

With Astralis Talent, casle hasn’t achieved much, albeit he stood at the helm of the team for just a month. Notably, he led Astralis Talent through ESL Challenger at DreamHack Rotterdam 2022: European Open Qualifier #2 and CCT North Europe Series #1: Closed Qualifier, yet could only manage 17th-32nd and ninth-12th-place finishes, respectively.

Still, despite his lack of success with Astralis’ academy roster, the Danish esports organization gave casle a chance to prove himself leading the main team, which is in desperate need of an overhaul.

“In general, we experience an enormous support and backing from fans, who are of course not satisfied either, but for too long we have not delivered a clear direction. Going forward, we will be making changes with focus on the long term, so that we will once again live up to the expectations that we, our partners, and the world around us rightly set,” commented Anders Horsholt.

It remains to be seen whether Astralis will look to make further changes to its CS:GO division, before the season resumes for them. However, it’s been rumored that Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz is nearing a return to his former team.