Astralis will add Patrick “es3tag” Hansen to their roster once his contract expires on July 1 as a permanent member of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster. The team will now play with a six-man team which is rather unique.
Astralis is probably one of the few profitable brands as the team has won many tournaments throughout the past couple of years, allowing them to take on a sixth contract.
The move is to primarily provide the other five members a chance to take a break if needed.
"For most pro Counter-Strike players, periods with tight schedules, high tournament stress and a constant strive to improve, leaves little time for physical and mental recovery. The Astralis roster has felt this and has coped by prioritizing tournaments and travel during certain periods. The improved structure in e.g. ESL Pro League is real progress, but it does not change the fact that a 5 player roster leaves no room for giving players a pause when needed for physical or mental recovery."
This could be a fantastic step in the right direction for many teams if they look to add more roster members, and give their players more breaks without the need to skip tournaments. The only problem is many teams will struggle to add a sixth contract and paycheck to their budget. Esports is already a difficult realm to stay sustainable, so adding one more thing to the list won't help.
One should expect many teams to keep an eye on Astralis for the latter half of the year to see if the move pays off.