Danish organization North has announced that it has benched Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen and Philip “aizy” Aistrup from its CS:GO team. Both of the veteran players will be placed on the team’s transfer list. The duo will be replaced by Kristoffer “kristou” Aamand, who has been recalled from his loan with AGF Esports, and Rasmus “kreaz” Johansson, with the latter joining the team on a trial basis.
“I’d like to thank Mathias and Philip, they are two of North’s longest servants across their time here and have helped shape and re-shape North through many years. These decisions do not come lightly but sometimes change is necessary. Both players have aspirations to be at the very top and neither signed on for the type of project that we are moving forward with.”, said Graham Pitt, Head of Esports Operations.
It was also revealed that going forward, North will be implementing a new “sustainable CS:GO strategy” based on recruiting young, talented players from the massive Nordic talent pool. This will be in stark contrast to the way North has operated before, dishing out money and signing the best players available.
The roster changes will see Nicklas “gade” Gade take on in-game leading duties, while René “cajunb” Borg will be taking on a mentorship role within the team to help develop and integrate new talents into the team.
Both MSL and aizy were veteran members of North’s CS:GO roster. MSL was a part of the organization’s inaugural lineup before departing to Rogue in 2018. He returned to North in January this year, replacing JUGi in the active roster. Aizy on the other hand joined the team shortly after its inception, replacing Ruben “RUBINO” Villarroel, and has been a staple in North’s roster for the last three and a half years.
A new beginning?
Over the years, North has definitely had its ups and downs.
Shortly after its creation, North was seen as one of the premier teams in the competitive CS:GO scene, winning a plethora of events and peaking at #3 in HLTV’s official rankings.
This year will be one that North will look to forget sooner rather than later. Heading into 2020, the team started out as Denmark’s second-best team and top-five in the World. Roster stability was a prevalent issue throughout the year, with the current one being the ninth in total. The team also severely underperformed for a majority of the year, slipping to a measly 25th position in the world, a far cry from where it once was.
Heading forward, North’s future is looking fairly uncertain. With recent changes to the club’s management, and North looking for new investors the team has looked shakier than ever. The incoming players, although talented, are unproven on the biggest of CS:GO’s stages.
The new lineup will be making its debut at DreamHack Masters Winter Europe, which kicks off on November 30th.