Ex-TSM Counter-Strike players form Astralis, become co-owners

Ex-TSM Counter-Strike players form Astralis, become co-owners
Chris Higgins

A Danish Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team has become the latest eSports squad to self-organise and determine their own future.

Since leaving Team SoloMid at the end of last year - citing the complexities of living in Europe while being managed from the US West Coast - the Danish team has been competing under the name Team Question Mark while looking for sponsors or an established organisation to take them in.

Today, doing away with that original plan, the side have partnered with Danish investors Sunstone Capital and angel investor Tommy Ahlers to create Astralis.

“A perfect storm is brewing with a very fast growing eSports market and mind-blowing fan engagement” says Nikolaj Nyholm, General Partner at Sunstone. “We are thrilled to provide backing to support Astralis’ commitment to build the strongest franchise in esport”.

The name, purchased from a now-defunct Finnish CS 1.6 team, now serves as the banner under which all the original TSM players will attend tournaments, with a world-class roster unchanged in the move - though the players now all have a stake in their new venture as co-owners.

Self-organisation is becoming an increasingly common option for established players in the professional scene as they stand to earn greater equity and freedom over their own business affairs.

Origen, one of the EU region’s top League of Legends teams, was also formed by player Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez after leaving Fnatic, another top-flight EU team albeit one with a long and storied history in eSports.

Martinez has now transitioned to manager of that team after both playing and managing the squad for its debut year, showing the potential for player entrepreneurship within the growing ecosystem.

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