Astralis signed Jakob "JUGi" Hansen recently, boosting their squad to seven players. One reason for the larger roster was stress reduction and this should pay off now - Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander is out with stress symptoms. In steps JUGi.
The new member of Astralis is going to make his debut today in the DreamHack Masters Spring opener vs. Heroic. Heroic themselves are related to Astralis' growing numbers as their own player Patrick "es3tag" Hansen agreed to become Astralis' sixth man before JUGi completed his transfer. Es3tag won't join Astralis until July, though, so it's JUGi who'll play for the team first.
The reason for that is in-game leader gla1ve needing rest. The captain has shown stress symptoms in recent times and the team used the opportunity JUGi's presence gives them to give gla1ve some well-deserved rest. He's initially supposed to be out right up to es3tag's arrival on July 1, which means JUGi will step into his shoes for the entire duration of DreamHack Masters Spring.
This is what gla1ve himself stated on the decision to step down for a while:
I have long had symptoms of stress and burnout. The Astralis Group and everyone in the team have tried many different things to help, but after discussions with Kasper Hvidt and my own doctor we have come to the conclusion that unfortunately I have to take sick leave. During the next three months I will focus on getting healthy and recovering 100%, and then return as an active part of Astralis. I would like to express my great thanks to my team colleagues and the organisation for dealing with my situation so understandingly and for being so helpful and trying to find a solution.
Sports Director Kasper Hvidt added:
From day one, the health of the players has been something we have put at the forefront of our teams, and it is part of the reason why we announced the expansion of the Astralis roster. We want to give players more opportunities to take breaks and rest when necessary, and we want to create a culture where the pressure is positive and all players can make the best use of their time and resources.
He also talked about how they tried to help gla1ve and reduce their tasks. Unfortunately this was not enough, so he now needs to take a break. He said that it's not uncommon in the esports scene for players to suffer from stress and burnout and regrets not reacting sooner. In the future, the seven-man roster is intended to prevent such situations.
Coach Danny "zonic" Sørensen also commented on the situation and wishes gla1ve quick recovery while also looking forward to working with JUGi. The team has been in boot camp in Copenhagen since Monday to prepare for DreamHack Masters Spring. It was probably already clear for quite some time that gla1ve will not play in this tournament, so they are well prepared to play with JUGi in the team.
We share zonic's sympathies here. We wish gla1ve a fast and easy recovery, but at the same time, we want to see what this roster can do with JUGi and even more so who is going to take the IGL mantle in gla1ve's absence.