Astralis have sold Finn "karrigan" Andersen to FaZe Clan for an undisclosed fee, the team announced on Wednesday.
“It’s with mixed feelings that I depart from Astralis, but I think it’s a fresh start for both parties," karrigan said in the team's press release. "I have had many good moments and these are the ones I’m taking with me in the future.
"The reason for this change is that in the past few months we haven’t been performing to our expectations, which led to different discussions on how to approach the tactical aspect of the game. We came to an agreed conclusion that it was for the best that our paths now split up and I wish the best in the future for Astralis. I hope they will find their way back to the top."
karrigan was the team's captain and a founding member of Astralis, which was formed on Jan. 19.
The news closely follows the odd situation on Astralis in which karrigan was benched on Oct. 11 and replaced by Anton "notaN" Pedersen, an unknown 16-year-old player. But after he played four maps for the team in ESL Pro League, Astralis parted ways with notaN two days later on Oct. 13.
Karrigan’s move to FaZe was one of the worst kept secrets in competitive CS:GO as reports of the transaction were first posted by DeKay on Twitter on Oct. 17, before mousesports player Nikola "NiKo" Kovač allegedly met karrigan at the airport in Atlanta on Oct. 19. karrigan was also spotted in ELEAGUE’s periscope stream wearing a FaZe Clan jersey.
With karrigan’s departure, the state of the team’s slot in the ELEAGUE Major is put into question. The only players remaining on Astralis’ primary roster that earned the team’s Legend status at the ESL One Cologne 2016 Major are Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth and Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz.
During ESL One Cologne 2016, Astralis coach Danny "zonic" Sørensen stood in for Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen since he required surgery for appendicitis. They also relied on Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander as a stand-in, due to Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye being unable to play for Astralis since he qualified through the EU Minor with his former team, Team Dignitas, and was not allowed to play on any other team.
Legend teams are required to retain three out of five of their players in order to keep their spot at the Major. Should Valve enforce this rule regarding Astralis, the team would be forced to again play with their coach zonic, or acquire gla1ve from his current team Heroic, in order to retain their Major slot.
Astralis have not yet named a replacement for karrigan. It has also not been announced which player karrigan will be replacing in FaZe Clan’s primary roster.
As karrigan was one of the founding members of the Astralis, a player-owned organization, he is also a co-owner. However, he was not the first co-owner to leave the roster as former Astralis player René "cajunb" Borg was traded to Dignitas for Kjaerbye on May 19.
After his transfer to Dignitas, cajunb vested a small amount of his initial stake and remained a minority owner of Astralis, but would not have any voting rights in how the organization conducted its business. As for karrigan’s co-ownership of the organization, the team has tweeted that they will release a Q&A regarding the topic next week.
FaZe Clan will play in the opening week of ELEAGUE Season 2, which also features mousesports, Immortals and, their first opponent in the group, Cloud9.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev. You can follow him on Twitter.