DBLTAP’s Jarek “DeKay” Lewis caught up with Astralis’ Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander during the Danes’ championship run at the FACEIT London Major last month. They talked about his evolution as an in-game leader, pressure of being the No. 1 CS:GO team in the world, and dealing with the departure of Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjaerbye.

Jarek “DeKay” Lewis You guys, at least lately, have been favorites almost every event you play. Did it take some time to get used to being favored? Did it add more pressure?

Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander: I think I could really feel it after the player break. I could feel it so much. Everybody was copying all of our stuff, especially North. A lot of teams are copying. Of course, we’re copying teams as well. But a lot of teams are looking at us, looking at what we do right. (Since) the player break, it has been really tough. So now we’ve got to think about (how to) evolve our game all the time now to be ahead of people.

JL: You play so well as an individual while in-game leading. Do you have any idea what you do that is so different from everybody else? Because so many believe they are good players, but when it gets deep into a series, they focus so much on the micromanagement, and it’s not so easy to focus on individual play.

LR: Probably one of the things that helped me was I took a step down from being in-game leader at some point (in the past), I tried to evolve my own personal game. In doing that I think I became a better in-game leader as well because I could both in-game lead and just play my own game. When I’m not that good of an in-game leader, I’m bad at playing. It combines, right? If I’m a bad in-game leader, I’m a bad individual player, and vice versa. So I’m not sure what I’ve been doing besides that. I just think a lot about (the game). Before the game, I think about what I wanna do in the game. So I’m prepared. It doesn’t have to be anti-strat. It just has to be -- maybe there’s a strat book on each map with 10 tactics, let’s just say. I’ve got to pick out four, five tactics and say these are the ones I want to go for this game. So I always have it in my head.

JL: Describe an impact of a player like dupreeh. I personally believe he’s one of the most underrated players in the whole world. It may be hard to believe that because he’s on the best team, but what is his impact like?

LR: He has a lot of impact. He’s running out with me. He’s doing entry a lot as well. We try to set him up to get some kills and set me up to get some kills as well. Don’t get in any bad duels is the No. 1 point for us. So we try to utilize our grenades well. He’s unique with the point that dupreeh can fail a grenade here if it’s not something we’ve been throwing a lot, and he can fail a flash bang. But he has the best aim when he’s on point. He’s so fast. You can’t touch him. His reflexes are amazingly good. Maybe double as good as mine, I think.

JL: Back when Kjaerbye left, how worried were you when that happened? Were you worried at first because it happened out of nowhere? So now that it’s been a long time and you’re able to look back, how were you feeling at that time?

LR: I was actually really worried. I was worried and I was mad as well at him. I was worried because I didn’t play that good myself when he decided to leave. I felt like I was in a bit of a slump. I didn’t hit my shots. I wasn’t the best in-game leader I could be. With him leaving, I was really worried. I don’t know if Magisk was the one who did something for us, but Magisk brought a lot of firepower, so it turned out to be really great.

JL: Do you keep an eye on (Kjaerbye) at all? Obviously you had to because you just played them at Stockholm. But besides leading up to that, do you keep an eye on him? Do you watch their matches? How did you feel, other than the fact they beat you at DreamHack, about what he’s have done there?

LR: Yeah, we had a big rivalry (with North) after he left us for them. It was just some personal thing. I wanted the team to be bad, and I wanted him to do bad because I felt like he stabbed us in the back. But as time goes on, me and him have been talking at events. He’s still a really nice guy, and he’s a cool guy. I really like him and his personality. I’m still sad that he did it the way he did it, but things happen. He’s a young guy. I was disappointed at us in DreamHack Stockholm. But yes I was a little bit, just a tiny bit happy he won the trophy.

JL: You guys played Rogue in groups I believe it was at the first stage on the Major. I’m just curious what you think of CadiaN and what he’s been able to do?

LR: CadiaN is doing a really good job. I’d say he has some pretty good players, but it’s not like he has the best players in North America. He still seems like he does such a good job of setting himself up for kills, just like FalleN does. He’s obviously not as good (as FalleN), and he’s not as good of a leader, but I think when time goes by, he’s a really good leader. He trusts a lot in himself, and I think he can do things.

Photo by Adela Sznajder/DreamHack