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Published: January 25, 2023

Written by: Isabella Aslam


  • Trace was removed as head coach of Astralis CS:GO team three months ago
  • “I personally believe it was a mistake to let me go,” he said
  • He is now ready for the next chapter of his career

After announcing his status as a free agent, former Astralis head coach Martin “?trace?” Heldt talked about his experience with the team.

Trace Is Now a Free Agent

The past week saw Astralis’ former head coach Martin “?trace?” Heldt announce his free agency, a move that happens three months after the organization removed him from the position. He spent most of 2022 in the head coach position, helping the team achieve a few important heights, like a semi-final appearance at IEM Cologne. However, Astralis didn’t really achieve much more last year and trace was eventually removed from his head coach position after the team failed to qualify for the IEM Rio Major.

It seems that his removal did not sit well with the 32-year-old legend. In a recent interview for HLTV, trace talked about the reasons the team struggled and his own feelings about being released. 

He opens up by saying that there was some turmoil and imbalances that negatively impacted Astralis’ roster. “With that said, I do believe our results in my time there were what one could expect, perhaps we even did better than what we should have, keeping in mind the team and composition of players at the time – which is why I personally believe it was a mistake to let me go.” Despite that, he says he respects Astralis’ decision and harbors no ill feelings towards them. 

Trace Learned a Lot in Astralis

The former head coach’s stay in Astralis was not for nothing, as the Dane learned a lot of important things, amongst which are managing multi-Major champions and the pressures of leading a team from a large organization. “How to coach 5 different players, some with Major trophies, with different personalities, and how to get the best out of everyone and make the team work together and be in sync.”

Trace also talked about every player has a different approach to the game and the challenges associated with trying to make everything work. The former head coach explains that despite him having his own views of the game, he found it enlightening when during practice players would come up with new solutions. “Everyone learns something from each other.”

Trace concluded by saying he is also open to other positions, aside from coaching, that will make use of his leadership, initiative, and knowledge. With experience dating back from the days of CS 1.6, trace would be a powerful asset to any team that contracts him.

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