UPDATE 07/07/23: Astralis have announced that Kasper Straube Hansen will join the company earlier than announced, in July 2023. The article was updated to reflect this and to include Hansen’s quote.
Danish esports organisation Astralis has announced the appointment of Heroic’s Head of Performance Kasper Straube Hansen as its new Sports Director.
Straube was initially set to join Astralis in October, but he has ended his relationship with Heroic earlier than expected and has joined Astralis, starting July 7, 2023. He will oversee the Astralis teams and their management.
Straube joined Astralis from another Nordic organisation, Heroic, where he has held the position of Head of Performance since early 2021. Prior to working at Heroic, Straube occupied similar positions at companies SAP and Efficax. He will replace Kasper Hvidt, who’s been with Astralis for the last six years.
Astralis noted in a release in June that any changes to the Sports Director role require a company announcement because Astralis is a publicly listed company, but did not initially share any details out of respect for Heroic. However, Straube ended his relationship with Heroic earlier than announced.
The company claimed that talks were short and efficient, and that the move was initiated by Straube’s adviser, who reached out to Astralis shortly after the position became vacant.
The news comes just one day after Astralis was fined $100,000 (~£79,000) by the ESL Pro League for a conflict of interest, likely pertaining to a 2021 case in which the organisation initiated talks with Heroic’s coach while the coach was still employed by Heroic, with Heroic alleging confidential materials were shared.
Kasper Straube, new Sports Director of Astralis, said: “After all, I primarily know the organization from the outside, but what the people here have created in terms of results, recognition of esports in Denmark as well as commercially, is truly impressive. It’s a bigger organization than I’m used to, and it’s an exciting challenge to work in a place, where I can concentrate even more on my core area of responsibility around the teams.
I come with clear thoughts around how to facilitate a healthy performance culture, but I also have great respect for the history of the organization, the context I step into and the big footsteps I have to fill.
At the same time, I would like to emphasize that I have had a fantastic time at Heroic, and I hope for all the best for players, coaches and now former colleagues, Astralis’ new sports director comments.”
In March, journalist Richard Lewis published a series of reports which uncovered details surrounding the Astralis-Heroic scandal, and suggest Nicolai ‘Hunden’ Petersen was the one involved in the conflict of interest case.
Petersen joined Astralis from Heroic, but his contract was terminated around the same time that former Sports Director Kasper Hvidt left the company.