Two days before the start of the 2023 LEC Spring Split, Astralis has finally announced its new mid laner. The team, which benched its former mid laner Oliver “Dajor” Ryppa three days after being eliminated from the Winter Split, has brought Adam “LIDER” Ilyasov on board. Astralis also revealed Alejandro “Jandro” Fernández-Valdés to be their new assistant coach.

“We were looking for an experienced, highly skilled mid laner and are happy to present “LIDER,” who brings both quality and experience through his time with Misfits and Vitality in the LEC,” Astralis’ announcement reads. “He is a strong mechanical player well known for his proficiency in aggressive playing style and ability to play with resources.”

LIDER returns to the LEC after almost two years of absence from the league. He last played in Europe for Team Vitality, in the 2021 LEC Summer Split, where the team finished in sixth place. In 2022, LIDER crossed the Atlantic Ocean to play in Golden Guardians’ Academy team for one split.

Improving after a Winter Split surprise

LIDER and Jandro join after a positively surprising Winter Split for the team. Although Astralis seemed to head for last place after a disastrous 0-5 start in the best-of-one stage, the team recovered in time to make it to the Group Stage. They almost beat MAD Lions in a best-of-three and eventually landed in sixth place—far higher than analysts and pundits anticipated.

Towards the end of Astralis’ journey, though, it became clear that the team struggled heavily with internal issues. Top laner Finn “Finn” Wiestål said that there were many fights that went unresolved, but that the team surprisingly put aside its differences in official games. Bot laner Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup later described a similar environment and stated that it would take some time for the team to fix its issues.

Astralis gets to improve upon its already surprising results soon. The team takes to the stage on Saturday, March 11th, at 9 PM CET to take on KOI.