Duncan “Thorin” Shields’ has never made any secret of his outlook on Astralis. The British esports journalist has actively been pointing out “shady business” in Astralis groups for months. Most recently, Thorin took to Twitter to expose some crucial details about the Danish organization’s director’s involvement in HLTV organization.
Thorin revealed a screenshot from Astralis Groups IPO prospectus which included brief information about Better Collective’s co-founder Jesper Søgaard’s shares in Astralis groups.
Earlier this year, Better Collective acquired Hltv.org for €34.5 million. Both the companies made general announcements and press releases; however, no particular mention of Astralis was made. Thorin brought this to the knowledge of esports fans that Astralis’ director Jesper Søgaard owns 50% shares in Better Collective.
The esport historian is of the view that the news website should have made it public that a shareholder of a top team is the new owner of HLTV. It’s important to mention here that HLTV is one of the biggest news portals of CSGO, their rankings hold great importance in deciding a player’s or a team’s worth.
Keeping that in view, Thorin and fans are now questioning Astralis’ continuous hold on the number one spot. However, the ranking system in HLTV is based on points earned and lost, which makes it entirely transparent. Manipulation of news and suppressing the negative aspects of an organization, however, remains to be an issue.
Thorin has previously accused Astralis’ of overworking its players and attributes the burnout issues in the organization to the same. In his recent tweets, he said that by conducting interviews with the players and publishing first-hand news from the organization, HLTV might have played a role in showing events in a different light.
The mega news portal HLTV has been operating for more than half of a year without revealing details about their connection with Danish esports organization. Fans are infuriated as HLTV has continued to create content around Astralis and its players without disclosing their ties, creating a conflict of interest.
Where some fans are of the view that Astralis itself is not responsible for the ownership history of its stakeholders, others believe that this event is another addition to Astralis’ belt of suspicious activities. Both Astralis groups and Better collective have eluded the discussion, as no one has commented so far.
A previous version of this story mentioned “CEO of HLTV” instead of “owner of HLTV.” Regret any inconvenience it may have caused.