Astralis Is Light Years Ahead of Their Competition Because of One Practice

by Kevin Hitt

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(Photo: ELEAGUE)

As a jubilant Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen walked to one of their fan signings after beating Ninjas in Pyjamas in the DreamHack Masters Las Vegas quarterfinals, we walked with him and asked why Astralis’ baseline level of play has risen since the end of 2016. In his reply, he mentioned that it was really a combination of a lot of things including, Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander bringing back energy in the team with his leadership style, their sports psychologist, and how they practice.

“For a long time everybody has always said the more you play the better you get,” said Rasmussen. “To some point yeah that’s correct, but at the same time, it’s really wrong. Back in the day we would boot camp maybe 8-9 hours a day. Now we only play a maximum of six, with breaks in between, because we want to have quality of quantity. We know that every time we have played for a long time, everyone gets a little upset or a little tired and it doesn’t help.”

A lot of people have been talking about why Astralis has risen to the precipice of being the No. 1 team in the world. From changes in personnel to working with a sports psychologist, fans, journalists, and opponents have opined about the reasons Astralis has reached the apex of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive world. And now dupreeh has let you know.

Esports is in its absolute infancy when it comes to training and practice techniques. Often times you will hear professional esports players and their coaches brag about how much time they have been putting into their practices and boot camps. It isn’t uncommon for some CS:GO teams to put in 10-12 hours a day of grueling practices.

And it’s not really the fault of most of these teams as they have been taught that, the way you study for exams is to sit at your desk for hours studying every word there is in the hopes of retaining that knowledge.

It’s wrong, dupreeh knows it and science has proven it.

In just one of hundreds of examples, in 2008 Nate Kornell and Robert A. Bjork in, a research article titled Learning Concepts and Categories, they took 72 participants and placed them into two groups. The participants were then shown a series of paintings with the last name of the artists displayed on each.

One group would be shown all the artists’ paintings in order while the other would show the paintings mixed with paintings from other artists. Each group would be shown their paintings six times in 48 trials. In each trial, there was a 15-second distraction task administered to each participant who would then be shown the paintings. They would then be asked to indicate which artist painted each.

The results, just like in the hundreds of experiments before, showed that the, “…spaced study resulted in significantly better test performance than did massed study, as measured by the proportion of artists identified correctly on the test.”

Astralis, knowingly or not, has hit upon a concept that the best teams in the world have been utilizing for some time. However, esports, as they are in many areas, has yet to catch up to the training and practicing concepts that traditional sports teams have spent millions of dollars on in research. Until teams decide they want to change, you can be assured you will see the name of Astralis on the trophy of just about every tournament they enter.