MSL: "Getting benched was a huge kick in the gut"

After being picked up by Rogue following his exit from North, talked to Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen about the criticism directed at him while leading the Danish team and about the challenges he now faces in North America.

The 23-year-old made the move across the Atlantic to lead Rogue after North benched him in early October following several months of disappointing results ending with a somewhat surprising victory at DreamHack Masters Stockholm.

The triumphant feeling in the team wouldn't last long, though, as MSL's last event with North was the FACEIT Major, where the squad once again failed to impress by going out in the New Challengers Stage after losing to Spirit, HellRaisers and Vega Squadron.

MSL says he is proud of his achievements in North

In an interview with prior to MSL's first LAN-showing with Rogue at DreamHack Open Atlanta, the Danish caller opened up about the end of his tenure with North, his way of handling negative comments from the community, and what he will bring to the NA team going forward:

After some time in North with victories at smaller events, you won DreamHack Masters but were eliminated early from the Major. What was the atmosphere on the team like after an up-and-down period like that?

Those two weeks were a wild ride. Going from winning in Stockholm by beating some of the best teams in the world, only to lose to lesser teams at the Major. We went through every possible emotion and, of course, the atmosphere on the team was bad when we went out in London, we were all disappointed and sad.

You suddenly found success with the AWP and got the MVP medal in Stockholm, but still got benched. What was that like for you, personally, lifting a big trophy on the back of your own great performance, only to be replaced shortly thereafter?

Winning DH Stockholm was fantastic, it’s probably the event I’m happiest about winning ever, considering the teams we beat and the fact that we only had two weeks with niko before it started. The team spirit at that event is the best I’ve experienced on any team, and lifting the trophy alongside people I care that much about was amazing. Performing well individually was also great, of course, I’d never imagined I would do so well with the AWP, and especially not since I only had two weeks to prepare with it. I’m really proud of what I accomplished at that event.

Getting benched was a huge kick in the gut, and I’ve really been down after the decision. I didn’t see it coming at all. I finally felt like we had a team that actually was a team, and I would have liked to see how far we could have taken it, even in spite of the disappointing result at the Major.

You've received a lot of criticism as an IGL, and a lot of people called for you to be kicked from the team, with some messages being pretty harsh. What has that felt like for you? Has it been fair criticism?

Obviously, facing criticism is not pleasant, but I’ve always tried to look past it. Since 2015, I’ve almost constantly held a top 10 placement with my teams. I’ve always had the task of bringing up players from nothing, and when they got good, a better team bought them out. Still, I managed to keep an averaged top 5 placement on the HLTV ranking last year, and when I was kicked, we were top four in the world, plus I won two big events and a lot of smaller ones. When I reflect on the past four years, I’m proud of what I accomplished, especially considering I’ve never had four players who were already ‘educated’ and had their shit under control, like on a team like Astralis.

MSL has brought up several Danish players during his time as in-game leader

I know what kind of IGL I am and what type of person I am. I think about the team all the time and I’ll do anything to make others perform and feel well. It’s a lot of work, and no one outside of the team sees that. So, if you only look at the stats, it makes sense that I’m criticised a lot. That said, though, we’re at a place in CS right now, where everyone must perform, and that means I also need to change the way I think, think more about myself and develop more individually while still focusing on the team. It’s a difficult balance to strike, but it’s something that I work on every single day. Leading up to Stockholm, I focused a bunch on developing my AWP’ing game, and succeeded in doing so, so I hope and believe that I can develop my own game while still improving the players on the team.

You've moved on to new, exciting challenges in North America. How will you be using your experiences from the final months in North when leading Rogue?

I can especially use the last period in North, where we won two out of three events with two different stand ins. Our play style and tactics worked well since DH Tours, and we had the best T-side at Cologne in spite of going out in groups. So that’s a huge confidence boost for me, that my system works well on the T-side. For a long while, we had problems with our CT-side caused by bad team play, my own underperforming, but also just by the lack of team spirit. That changed, first when mixwell joined us in Valencia, but also when niko was brought on. Mixwell playing AWP, and layer myself picking it up calmed down our CT-sides, it became easier for us to play around a well-positioning AWP, it created more stability and and team play, which made everyone perform better.

Another factor was that niko cared less about himself and more about the team succeeding, plus the fact that he’s really funny, which changed the atmosphere on the team for the better and we just had more fun playing. What I’m bringing with me from North is that my system works on the T-side really well, I know how I can improve the CT-side and improve team play, and I can also play the AWP not and work on that. That said, there’s still so much to learn for me, like how I can make the team and myself more consistent.

Apart from your triumph at DreamHack Valencia, where mixwell stood in, you've only played in Danish lineups. What will it be like for you, calling, leading and generally speaking only English from now on?

I’ve only been playing with Rogue for a short while at this point, and obviously, it’s a huge challenge for me that everything is in English, but it’s a breath of fresh air for me, being challenged on other parameters. It’s difficult in the beginning, cause before, I didn’t have to think about how I say things, I could just say it. In chaotic situations, it can be difficult and frustrating, but overall I think it’s going well and I’m certain that everything will be natural and a lot easier for me after a few months.

MSL cites North's DreamHack Masters Stockholm win as one of the proudest moments of his career

NA has, as a region, become infamous for a lack of structure in both practice and officials. You're known for being a leader focusing on the tactical and structural side of things. Will this be a problem for you?

Like I’ve said, I’ve only been playing with the guys for a short time. They’ve taken really well to me and the way I want us to play. They definitely need to get used to the structure that I bring, but so far, they’ve been really hard working and positive towards it. Their individual skill has generally impressed me, but I can definitely feel that there’s a difference in communication and team play compared to what I came from, but I don’t think that has to do with NA/EU difference as much as which IGLs they’ve played with before, because every player must be taught how to communicate well and help out your teammates correctly.

We’ve been very privileged in Denmark by having great IGLs throughout history, who taught me and a lot of other players who are now at the very top. I love improving comms and team play, so I basically see it as a really cool challenge and experience. It’s a long term project, and my first goal is to reach the top 15 before March next year.

A lot of European players, and especially Danes, have not had the best success with leaving for NA and living away from friends and family while being expected to deliver 100 percent. I can only imagine it'll be even harder when you're in-game leading at the same time. What are your thoughts on this change in your life?

I actually feel very safe about it. I moved to Copenhagen and lived there for one and a half years when I played for North. That was three hours by car away from family and friends, and when you only have what amounts to one day off per week and you travel 100-150 days a year, there’s really not much time to see them anyway. So I’ve gotten used to not seeing family and friends a lot. Apart from that, moving to the US is obviously a huge leap, but I’ve actually been looking forward to it a lot. I think it can develop me a lot as a person, towards becoming a more open person and getting to know new people. Aside from the personal stuff, I’ll also become a lot better at calling in English, so the whole thing is mostly positive.

Denmark Mathias 'MSL' Lauridsen
Mathias 'MSL' Lauridsen
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Poland @Fridzu 
2018-11-14 10:01
Norway AndersBreivik 
2018-11-14 10:02
Poland @Fridzu 
2018-11-14 10:02
2018-11-14 11:33
Nt try
2018-11-14 21:19
MSL misspelled nut
2018-11-15 18:50
Portugal S4nd 
2018-11-14 10:02
fox | 
Netherlands ohitsporto 
benches every star on his team > no emotion gets benched > HuGe KiCk In ThE BuTt get rekt msloser
2018-11-14 11:05
lamo true
2018-11-14 11:16
nt ohitsloser.
2018-11-14 21:20
Finally First using HLTV BOT application. Thanks MOM.
2018-11-14 10:01
Poland @Fridzu 
2018-11-14 10:01
how he faster than a bot ?
2018-11-14 10:03
African Union wtbx 
Faster bot
2018-11-14 10:06
May be he also have a bot. I created the bot:
2018-11-14 10:11
Poland @Fridzu 
Im better than your bot :*
2018-11-14 11:43
GMT: Wednesday, November 14, 2018 9:01:17 AM = Mine GMT: Wednesday, November 14, 2018 9:01:16 AM = yours One second different. Next time you have no chance.
2018-11-14 11:54
I could perform better if bot knew the threadId of the news.
2018-11-14 11:56
Poland @Fridzu 
ez human>bot
2018-11-14 15:20
2018-11-14 21:21
World breezy0 
His code is more efficient
2018-11-14 13:42
Norway AndersBreivik 
Nt prokda
2018-11-14 10:02
2018-11-14 10:03
Norway AndersBreivik 
Nt #17
2018-11-14 10:04
But I used bot application !!!
2018-11-14 10:05
refrezh | 
Denmark Sthus 
Get a life
2018-11-14 15:46
Greece deST) 
2018-11-14 21:48
dobu | 
Mongolia Hakku^^ 
2018-11-14 10:01
2018-11-14 10:03
Russia f0wlie 
2018-11-14 10:01
2018-11-14 10:14
United Kingdom Deymosmeister 
Tbh he is much better than cadiaN
2018-11-14 10:02
I miss him
2018-11-14 11:47
Lol no
2018-11-14 13:14
Plus atleast cadiaN isn't toxic.
2018-11-14 13:15
and more things you can pull out of your ass
2018-11-22 19:47
Hmmmm you sure? There's a tweet in which MSL is talking about North having the same strats even with cadiaN and how he changed nothing. He also ironically talks about his 'free style'. Can't waste my time to link you that tweet but it's obvious that MSL is salty and toxic. Probably why he got kicked lmao.
2018-11-22 20:15
fair enough i take it back
2018-11-22 21:15
2018-11-22 22:33
Other Phinks 
Ofcourse he is
2018-11-14 13:36
Norway AndersBreivik 
Ultra lul
2018-11-14 10:02
Portugal S4nd 
2018-11-14 10:02
Hong Kong MannaharaHK 
2018-11-14 10:02
2018-11-14 10:02
So, what's now North?
2018-11-14 10:04
MSL bad?
2018-11-14 10:07
deserved... had North a Tier 2 team for like a year with players like Valde and Kjaerbye on it LUL then he dropped players like Magisk and Konfig but kept rubbish like Aizy
2018-11-14 10:11
oskar | 
Czech Republic PaYaB 
perfectly shows how he didn't utilize their full talent
2018-11-14 10:40
Other Phinks 
Nice man. Sidelined big mouth. You know things went inside of the team?
2018-11-14 13:37
2018-11-14 22:49
2018-11-14 10:09
Sweden SkG 
Good piece.
2018-11-14 10:12
Denmark CRAM3R 
Happy that he got replaced by cadian. But anyway, good luck MSL and thank you for the memories.
2018-11-14 10:17
What memories? Two years of mediocrity?
2018-11-14 10:21
Top 10 mediocity?
2018-11-15 09:49
Looking overall, they underachieved.
2018-11-15 11:37
Denmark CRAM3R 
Happy that he got replaced by cadian. But anyway, good luck MSL and thank you for the memories.
2018-11-14 10:17
What memories? Two years of mediocrity?
2018-11-14 13:48
Out-awping everyone and winning the tournament at Dreamhack Masters Stockholm :)
2018-11-14 16:47
NiKo | 
Europe trey_ 
once upon a time s1mple said "who's talking oh my gawd"
2018-11-14 10:20
Namibia banned_so 
Not being benched in 2k18
2018-11-14 10:22
India Ad1_KaM 
Punch to the gut, no?
2018-11-14 10:24
India Ad1_KaM 
Or kick to the butt?🤨
2018-11-14 10:24
gla1ve | 
Singapore FAZELUL 
2018-11-14 10:24
Should've kicked him in the balls
2018-11-14 10:29
vberg | 
North America Mang0 
"23" Lol what Maybe his teammates thought he was pushing 30 and past his prime?
2018-11-14 10:31
yeah i have no idea how this motherfuckers 23 look at that hairline
2018-11-26 21:34
Finland Jardeet 
>where the squad once again failed to impress by going out in thew New Challengers Stage "thew" Expected no typos from Hltv confirmed host tbh..
2018-11-14 10:34
God damnit, fixed.
2018-11-14 10:43
Finland Jardeet 
Also it says "no on outside of the team" Instead of "no one"
2018-11-14 10:54
Other VladimirLucas 
kicking him from North made no sense, they beat Astralis in the final of a big tournament, and he even was MVP
2018-11-14 10:56
a tournament that happened to be right before the most important event in the year. i arent think that
2018-11-14 16:37
North was looking so good. Then wow boom msl kicked or benched whatever
2018-11-14 10:56
>looking so good >lost to team spirit, vega squadron in a bo3
2018-11-14 16:39
2018-11-14 11:07
2018-11-14 11:08
shox | 
Latvia kebab_b 
2018-11-14 11:09
lmao he actually joined rogue i thought it was a sort of trade but wow he rly wants his career to die haha i hope when he gets eliminated early in dh atlanta he will find another team :$
2018-11-14 11:11
want his career to die? He's probably swimming in NA money for performing like crap
2018-11-22 19:50
i am pretty sure that na money is overrated if u can find proof that he is "swimming in money" let me know otherwise hes just a bum
2018-11-23 02:53
hes a bum even if hes swimming in na money
2018-11-26 21:36
clown had so much talent and destroyed every team. Teams are too stupid to trust him.
2018-11-14 11:12
2018-11-14 13:16
Lithuania KingOfPing 
North don't be better with cadian, MSL don't go to better team than North.
2018-11-14 11:42
yeah he has almost always been in the hltv top 10 because its a danish site but everyone knows most of the north/dignitas teams he was in werent close to be top 10 most of the time
2018-11-14 12:14
Singapore repu1se 
dignitas/North in late 2016-2017 were actually top 5 (hitting top 2 after their Epicenter '16 win). They became trash after RUBINO left, just like how SK/mibr went to shit after TACO left..
2018-11-14 13:18
epicenter was a fluke just like the dh tournament theyve won in september
2018-11-14 15:00
Yeah always in the top 10-15. That's actually pathetic with the amount of talent he had on his teams. Bad player, bad IGL, huge ego. Glad North dropped him.
2018-11-14 13:17
United Kingdom Fizzhaz 
Get up that personal level and then things will start going your way
2018-11-14 13:20
blameF | 
Denmark s0MATiC 
bb cybercity
2018-11-14 13:29
Other TapioKuusela 
"When I reflect on the past four years, I’m proud of what I accomplished, especially considering I’ve never had four players who were already ‘educated’ and had their shit under control, like on a team like Astralis." Can understand this with mertz, but who was the uneducated in the lineup which consisted of cajunb, konfig, valde and aizy? Or who was it in the last version of north?
2018-11-14 13:33
Europe w1ntermu7e 
MSL is crying as always
2018-11-14 13:36
Brazil Collee 
Yeah good job on losing Magisk and k0nfig
2018-11-14 14:01
Feel bad for him, not only are North way worse than they used to be with MSL but Cadian is fucking useless which is obviously expected since Cadian has been around since basically the beginning of CS Go and was always literally the most horrible Danish trash player I've ever seen but hey I guess they are happy with Cadian since they were already used to losing all the time not like North was ever even an average team they've also always been shit.
2018-11-14 14:11
jOELZ | 
Korea Hunyango 
MSL was 23? lol
2018-11-14 14:32
Germany xkillua 
thought 27 atleast lol
2018-11-14 15:26
He looks like 35 tbh lul
2018-11-14 15:55
Germany xkillua 
2018-11-14 21:23
2018-11-22 19:51
Think he would do great in MIBR instead of tarik. Fallen, cold and fer have been playing structured cs and stewie would also have an understanding of it having been an igl himself.
2018-11-14 15:01
Other TapioKuusela 
+1 Actually doesn't sound that bad, only worry is that how would they do if msl and fallen didn't agree in something as both of them seem to be some kind of leader type guys.
2018-11-14 15:49
Europe n0kay 
Since Yanko came in, it was said, “in this team there’s the only one IGL and it’s FALLEN.” (they were trying Coldzera to call, etc.) so MSL wouldn’t even be considered as a pickup. Overall, Fallen is just > MSL without discussion.
2018-11-16 14:35
Other TapioKuusela 
That's a bit black and white thinking over there imo. As soon as fallen and the rest of the team would be ready to respect msl's calls, i cant see a reason they couldnt try it out. He's one of the few igl's who has experience from tier1 games, so he could be useful if they really need to start from scrap somewhere in future.
2018-11-16 18:05
qz | 
China Hudz0 
2018-11-14 15:17
Germany xkillua 
2018-11-14 15:25
2018-11-14 15:28
Understandable tbh
2018-11-14 15:31
Admins get you again?
2018-11-15 23:33
2018-11-16 19:52
Argentina Fa7e07 
2018-11-14 15:38
says the guy who benched some of the best players on his roster at times.....
2018-11-14 17:28
What if he sleepwalked and benched himself after getting MVP?
2018-11-15 03:12
Ya'll retarded for thinking he benched those guys. If only you had context. Ya'll STOOPID. DUM DUM DUM
2018-11-14 18:27
And you have all the context?
2018-11-14 18:30
yeah and I guess nobody wanted to kick him too, he was kicked by a supernatural force
2018-11-16 12:18
Well he got to taste some of his own medicine
2018-11-14 18:30
are you for real MSL? is was expected a f.
2018-11-14 21:08
"The triumphant feeling in the team wouldn't last long, though as MSL's last event with North was the FACEIT Major" Who hires the writers for HLTV? I swear I'll do a better job, with actual correct grammar, HLTV. Hit me up.
2018-11-14 21:39
MSL you got gifted a team. Make use of it. I hope you do well with the boys! Good luck and welcome to the states bro have a blast!
2018-11-15 02:23
steel | 
Belarus Ruble 
bot msl should have been benched already in 2014
2018-11-15 03:10
f0rest | 
China ZerOck 
2018-11-15 12:47
Ofcourse that kind of roundhouse kick hurts your gut if it caughts you off-guard and you are not prepared for it. How about blocking the kick? How about getting a proper stance and being ready?! Jesus Christ these kids these days...
2018-11-15 20:12
“Huge kick in the gut” from someone who kicked 3 of his best players. Lmfao
2018-11-21 02:55
Europe Ondra_Vlcek 
2018-11-21 23:18
its like a disable leading a disable - wtf Rogue
2018-11-22 07:20
Gut gut goha
2018-11-23 11:03
2018-11-24 20:50
I Hate msl and his personality
2018-11-26 02:46
2018-11-27 08:07
United Kingdom Xradas185 
>5 man team >Top ten placement Sure bro, maths works out >< Gl either way
2018-11-27 20:13
Good luck LMS, come back stronger!
2018-11-28 00:28
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