dupreeh started out as an aspiring young player in Counter-Strike: Source, but he didn’t get to play for any notable teams until he switched to CS:GO, in 2012. Shortly after the new game arrived, the Dane got his first chance in 3DMAX and started gaining some experience at his first international LANs, setting himself up for the move to the highly-regarded CPH Wolves team in early 2013.
There, he joined forces with Nicolai “device” Reedtz and later into the year with Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth to create the long-standing core that has now been playing together for close to eight years. dupreeh didn’t win any titles that year apart from when he represented Denmark in the European Championship, but he and the rest of the team were clearly meant for bigger things as they made it to the playoffs at the first Major, DreamHack Winter 2013, and dupreeh made his debut appearance in the Top 20 ranking in 18th place.
When the Danish squad started to make it deep into tournaments after their switch to Dignitas, the 27-year-old improved on that placing with the 16th spot in 2014, a year in which the team was largely remembered for their semi-finals curse and a poor record against the legendary NiP, who often caused the Danes’ late eliminations. The team then started appearing on the highest step of the podium more consistently in 2015, after Finn “karrigan” Andersen replaced Henrik “FeTiSh” Christensen at the helm of the squad and the roster became TSM. With the new in-game leader, dupreeh & co. managed to secure three consecutive titles in the first half of the year and were briefly considered the world’s best team amidst the fnatic era, with the entry fragger then named the 12th-best player.
The only year that dupreeh missed out on a place in the HLTV Top 20 was in 2016. The year started off well as the team won the opening event, the Red Dot Invitational, and went on to place in the top four at nearly every tournament after the creation of Astralis, but a tough period followed and several early exits caused the team to sign Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye in René “cajunb” Borg‘s stead and eventually lose faith in karrigan, who was replaced by Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander.
The fresh blood seemed to make all the difference as Astralis immediately returned to the top in the last month of competition, and as the calendar turned to 2017, the Danes won their first Major in Atlanta with the new in-game leader. dupreeh had to change roles due to clashes with Kjaerbye that year, but great form saw him return to the Top 20 list in tenth place while the Danes showed the beginnings of their unrivalled consistency, scoring top-four finishes at 13 out of 17 events.
A disastrous exit at the ELEAGUE Major 2018 — the only time the dupreeh–device–Xyp9x trio did not make it past a Major group stage — followed a difficult end to 2017, when device had sat out a few tournaments because of recurring health issues. After the early elimination in Atlanta, Kjaerbye decided to make a surprise switch to North and Astralis brought in Emil “Magisk” Reif at the last minute in a move that would see them start an era to remember. The Danes went on to win 16 titles over the next two years, including three consecutive Major trophies, and earned themselves the right to challenge fnatic and NiP for the title of the greatest team of all time by pushing the boundaries of what perfect teamplay looks like. Meanwhile, dupreeh added two more top 20 appearances to his tally, with a top-five placing in 2018 and the 16th spot in 2019.
After their successful end to 2019 had seen them win three out of the last four tournaments, Astralis entered 2020 as the world’s best team, but they looked off when they arrived in London for their first outing in the new year at the BLAST Premier Spring Series, including dupreeh. The 27-year-old put in one of the worst-ever performances in his career in the group, featuring Natus Vincere, Complexity, and Vitality, with the Danish side falling to the Showdown stage after losses to Benjamin “blameF” Bremer‘s and Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev‘s teams.
“I don’t think I changed anything, or prepared differently, I just believe I had a bad tournament. Maybe some external factors impacted my performance, I’m not quite sure, as it’s been a while. I remember being frustrated about something, but I don’t recall what specifically. It was a disappointing beginning for me as an individual, but also for the team. We had high expectations after a very good end to 2019, so we were looking to be back with a great start to a — back then — hopefully good year, but soon afterwards, the COVID-19 situation quickly had its impact on the world and our game, unfortunately.”
Although still some ways away from his best form, dupreeh was back on his feet by IEM Katowice later that month. After the wake-up call in London, Astralis looked as dominant as ever while they coasted through the group stage after three convincing victories, with the entry fragger putting in one of his best maps of the year against Vitality with a 1.80 rating in a 16-9 win on Overpass. But when the playoffs came, the Danish powerhouse ran head-first into Natus Vincere in the semi-finals and suffered a second consecutive elimination at the hands of the CIS giants, who ran out 16-5 winners on both maps.
Astralis’ dominant group stage showing at IEM Katowice was overshadowed by a daunting loss to NAVI in the semi-finals
The pandemic struck shortly afterwards, and LAN play became off-limits. Online play had never been a significant weakness of Astralis‘, however, and they proved that once again in the following two tournaments, ESL Pro League Season 11 and ESL One: Road to Rio, with two deep runs. In the long Pro League format, the team topped their group in the first stage with a 4-1 record and went 3-2 in the second despite opening both phases with losses, before mousesports stopped them in a narrow semi-final affair. A couple of weeks later, gla1ve & co. clinched their first title of 2020 in the first Regional Major Ranking event after an undefeated run in the playoffs featuring two lopsided victories over G2.
dupreeh had to come to terms with the new situation, like many others, but despite having difficulties with staying focused, he looked more like his old self again with 1.15 and 1.09 ratings in the two long competitions. He stood out in the playoffs of the latter event in the team’s title-winning campaign in particular, for which he earned the first of his six Exceptionally Valuable Player (EVP) awards.
“Back when CS was partly online (with FACEIT League and Pro League games online) it was just a part of the game, and at that point, a very natural way to balance the industry. But as it slowly faded out and everything turned to LAN, I think everyone, especially our team, felt that we liked the new model a lot more. Sure, we had to travel a bit more, but the competition seemed more fair, more exciting and more real, so going from there to all of a sudden being in a situation where everything had to be played online, I especially had a hard time to adjust and feel comfortable around this new setup. Mainly because I missed the competition, the realness, the arenas, the excitement, the failures, the victories, the fans, everything that makes CS the game that I love and want to be the best in.
“Eventually, I said to myself that this was the situation, that I couldn’t change it, and since then I’ve tried my hardest to just enjoy the game online. Now I’m in a situation where I really want to get back to the LANs but at the same time will have a hard time having to get back to the habit of travelling, being away from family and girlfriend, and having a lot more time on my hands for my Peter-Peter time. But I do miss everything pre-2020.
“[Did I manage to maintain motivation throughout the year?] Both yes and no. As previously stated, I had my mental struggle but overcame it rather quickly when I realised I couldn’t change the situation, so instead of wasting energy on that, I focused it on the things I could change.
“I think my motivation has been pretty consistent, I’ve always enjoyed playing and working hard as a team, even though 2020 was different. However, the work ethic has been different. I think it’s been a challenge to find that tournament focus, as I need my teammates and coach around me to give me those final percentages. I seem to play worse sitting on my own. I need that hype and to share my feelings with someone, and that’s also why I shifted from playing at home to going to the office with es3tag, zonic and gla1ve a couple of times. I literally couldn’t find the balance between work and time off, so I had to get out of my apartment to kind of feel that.”
By then it was clear that something was going on within the team, after the organization had revealed their plans in March to form an extended roster with the signing of Patrick “es3tag” Hansen following the end of his contract with Heroic at the end of June. In May, they also signed Jakob “JUGi” Hansen, and it became obvious why when gla1ve took a medical leave ahead of DreamHack Masters Spring and Xyp9x followed suit just a couple of weeks later. Still playing with the ‘Clutch Minister’, the team made it to the playoffs in DreamHack Masters Spring, but once he was gone as well and Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer stood in, Astralis were in shambles and faced a tough elimination at the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown and an early exit in the DreamHack Masters lower bracket to end the first half of the season on a sour note.
“It was very difficult, not going to lie. Of course, in-game it was tough, but it was tougher mentally for me. I’ve been around these guys for years, and we’ve shared so many things together, and to suddenly see them fall and having to go on medical leave was difficult in a sense. I was worried about whether it would ever happen to me, and if my teammates would ever recover. Would we get back to the regular performances we had in Astralis, or was this the end?
“We worked a lot in the team throughout the summer period, along with our sports psychologist Lars Robl, dealing with the ‘unknown’. It was a good lesson, and a good way to approach this matter. It helped me to focus my energy on the right things. And now here we are, back as the #1 ranked team, with multiple titles in 2020. I’m very happy and very proud.”
Lineup changes continued at the beginning of the new season, when es3tag could finally join the team after a four-month wait on Heroic‘s bench and Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen was brought in instead of JUGi as the organization saw the fit wasn’t quite right with the AWPer. With the team having more time to prepare with the new players, things began to look up when competition returned in the middle of August as Astralis played with the new additions in ESL One Cologne and made it to the playoffs there.
gla1ve came back from inactivity in time for ESL Pro League Season 12, and although he didn’t immediately seize the reins as the in-game leader again, it seemed to make all the difference. After an opening loss to Complexity in which the team played with Bubzkji, es3tag took the former MAD Lions‘ player’s place and Astralis went on to rally through the group stage with six consecutive wins. A tough opening loss to Heroic then sent the Danes to the playoffs’ lower bracket, where the team went on a spree as they managed to win the whole event, with dupreeh being one of the key players in the massive run as he recorded 1.00+ ratings in all 13 maps after the upper bracket loss, earning another EVP in the process.
“We were tired of losing, honestly. It’s not something we’re very good at (laughs). I think one of the key factors was es3tag’s motivation. Patrick is such a humble guy and he worked his ass off to make it work and to make a name for himself, and he sure as hell did. I was around Patrick throughout his time in Heroic [when both parties were owned by RFRSH], but I never really got to know him back then. I’m happy that I’ve gotten a new good friend, and I still spend time with him outside the game.
“Apart from that, we were obviously glad that gla1ve had come back into the team. Lukas is such an important piece to the puzzle with his knowledge and understanding of the game. It was great to have him back, and to feel that the time off he took was well used and needed.”
Hints of Xyp9x‘s imminent return began to surface around then, but the Danish squad still played one more event without him, DreamHack Open Fall. dupreeh secured another EVP award in the last Regional Major Ranking event of 2020, in which the Danes picked up a top-three finish as they beat teams like local rivals Heroic and G2 in the groups, with losses to the grand finalists Vitality and Heroic in a rematch stopping Astralis at the last hurdle as they played their last event with es3tag.
With Xyp9x returning at the beginning of November to play the remaining five events, the three-time Major-winning lineup was back together to finish 2020 on a successful note. The roster was shaky at first — still advancing through the group at BLAST Premier Fall Series with some difficulty and making a playoff appearance in IEM Beijing-Haidian —, but soon they were back to winning ways after they got a bit more time.
Coming in clutch to end 2020 as the No. 1 team, Astralis went on to appear in three consecutive grand finals in the last month of play and won two of them. Only a loss to Vitality in the BLAST Premier title decider stopped the Danes from getting the perfect score, as DreamHack Masters Winter saw them take down mousesports to secure their third trophy, and the fourth came in the year’s closing tournament, IEM Global Challenge, in which Astralis took revenge on Vitality and beat Liquid in the deciding best-of-five series.
“[My favorite memory of 2020?] Winning the IEM Global Challenge by far. Mainly because we were all playing from the office, and we got that tournament-vibe going. It was great. And a great way to end the year!”
dupreeh was there to reap the benefits of putting in some highlight series and individual maps on the way to the two titles and one runner-up finish with three EVP awards in a row, bringing his total award count to six in 2020 to lock down his return to the top ten in the end-of-year ranking.
“I’ve probably said it before, but making the top 20 is always a goal of mine. So I’ve accomplished it once more, which makes me very happy, especially looking back at a very odd year.”
At 27 years old, dupreeh is making his sixth appearance in the top 20 as the oldest player on the list in 2020. We asked him about his age and whether he feels any signs of slowing down ahead of his 28th birthday, which seems to have some significance in players’ tendency to drop off as only two players have ever made it onto the list after turning 28 (Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg in 2016 and Filip “NEO” Kubski in 2015). In response, the Dane was somewhat nostalgic as he looked back at his long career but assured us that he’s here to keep winning.
“(laughs) I’m slowly getting into veteran mode, which is so weird. I remember when I was 20 and played my first tournaments, and here I am, eight years later, still going. But I guess it’s just part of life.
“I enjoy life, I enjoy the game and there’s no reason to slow down. I’m not done winning. Retiring hasn’t crossed my mind at all, but I’ve thought about what I would like to do once I’m done. I’ll continue to play as long as it makes me happy, and as long as I feel I can compete at the highest level. So, you’ll have me for a few more years! Hopefully!”
Why was dupreeh the ninth best player of 2020?
Looking at his entire 191 map resumé from all events relevant to the Top 20, dupreeh didn’t stand out at anything in particular in terms of the basic statistics but still put in well-above-average numbers with 0.70 KPR, 0.64 DPR, 1.10 Impact and 71.2% KAST, for an overall 1.09 rating. Some more specific statistics help showcase dupreeh‘s overall impact, however: Astralis won 70.7% of rounds in which he got at least one kill (the highest percentage of all players), and 83.1% of rounds in which he scored a multi-kill (the second-highest percentage behind FURIA‘s Andrei “arT” Piovezan).
On top of that, it is important to mention that dupreeh‘s performances improved when the challenges became harder. When filtering out the qualifiers for BLAST Finals and looking only at the Big events, the Dane’s average turns into a 1.11 rating across 172 maps. When you only consider the Elite-level events — all eight of which dupreeh played —, he comes out as the ninth-highest-rated player with a 1.12 rating in 116 maps.
Seeing as he was never in serious contention for an MVP award, he lacked the sort of peaks that some of the players who placed below him had, but he made up for that with his remarkable consistency as he finished every notable event with at least a 1.06 rating. That stability helped him earn six EVP awards — including one in each of Astralis‘ four title-winning campaigns —, and he came close to securing two more mentions in IEM Beijing-Haidian and ESL Pro League Season 11 Europe.
All of that allowed him to place this high on the list despite his numbers not looking as impressive as those of some of the players around him. In the end, however, he couldn’t climb any higher due to lacking some more big performances, despite a solid 1.09 Big event playoff rating in 62 maps.
“[My wishes for 2021?] Making the top 20 again. Getting back to LANs. Being happy. Healthy. Getting back to the fans. Win some more. Breaking my top-five record on the list is a wish too. We’ll see how it goes!”
“Alongside my teammate Magisk, TMB is my pick. He seems to be the new hot stuff coming out of Denmark, so I’m looking forward to seeing where he’ll end up! “
Stay tuned to our Top 20 players of 2020 ranking and take a look at the Introduction article to learn more about how the players were selected. This year’s ranking is supported by: