valde: "Perhaps I cannot expect myself to have the same numbers as before, but I do not want our game to revolve around myself"

We had a quick chat with Valdemar "⁠valde⁠" Bjørn Vangså after North's qualification for the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals to know about more taking over as in-game leader and the recent signing of Jakob "⁠JUGi⁠" Hansen.

The Danish team surpassed all expectations in the second round of ESL Pro League Europe as they topped a tricky group headlined by Natus Vincere after winning all three matches, losing just one map in the process.

It was North's very first LAN event since bringing in JUGi as a replacement for Casper "⁠cadiaN⁠" Møller - a move that also resulted in star player valde, the 20th best player of 2018, taking the reins of the team.

valde says he has had a "positive mentality" about his new role, even if he is no longer a carry player

The 23-year-old's troops will begin a heavy period of activity this Tuesday at DreamHack Masters Dallas, where they will take on cs_summit 4 champions Vitality in their first game. After flying back to Europe, North will attend the LAN finals of ECS Season 7 and the ESL Pro League Season 9, with the closed qualifier for the Europe Minor in between.

In this interview, valde discusses his transition to an in-game leader, the weight that his new responsibilities has had on him, JUGi's adaptation to the team and his expectations for the busy season ahead.

This will be your second LAN event since taking up the IGL role. How are you finding this new experience? Has it been harder than expected?

Overall, it has been a pretty smooth transition for me, taking over the team captain role and thus the in-game leadership. I don’t think it needs to be said that in-game leading is a very demanding and challenging thing on a Counter-Strike team. There are lots of things to be taken into consideration, and becoming successful takes time and experience - two things I don’t have yet in this new role.

I wouldn’t say it has been harder than expected so far. I had some time to think the decision through and prepare myself mentally for the task ahead, and having a positive mentality towards my new role has been crucial for me. Perhaps I can’t expect myself to have the same numbers as I had previously, but with me being team captain now I don’t want our game to revolve around myself. My number one priority is to make my star players perform well and implement my system the way I want to. As long as we are a winning team that continues to take steps forward, I will be satisfied.

Had the team come to a point where it had lost faith in cadiaN’s calling? How would you describe the team’s evolution under him?

I feel like that is a matter which should not be discussed in public. Out of principle and respect, I don’t want to go into specifics regarding former players of the squad, but it was apparent that change was needed.

Could you explain why the team went for JUGi and not, for example, for someone like NaToSaphiX, who is also an AWPer and has experience as an IGL? How has JUGi adapted to the team so far?

To me, this question is very self-explanatory. Disregarding the fact that I knew him beforehand from my time in Heroic, JUGi has shown much more than any other candidate for the role. He has more experience at big international events and against top teams and a skill ceiling that no other available candidate could match. Furthermore, he is a very calm and stable player I can count on when it matters in the big games. In the end, it is not my business to compare players directly - my job is to make the best decisions possible for the team and in this case going for JUGi was a no-brainer. In terms of adaptation, he has been doing very well. It will always take time to come into a new system, especially as an AWPer, but I think he will only get better with time.

NiKo has made no secret that he dislikes calling and that this role keeps him from focusing 100% on the game. What steps are you taking to make sure that your individual performances, which have always been a win condition for your team, are not affected by you calling?

People tend to forget that there are plenty of in-game leaders who perform quite well despite having to shot call. Players like FalleN, gla1ve, nitr0, Aleksib, etc., so, actually, I am not too worried. Also, the more we get to play and the more my team understands the system, the more time and freedom I will have to focus on my game and perfect it, in order to retain a high individual skill level.

valde says that going for JUGi was "a no-brainer"

What are the key differences between the team when it played under cadiaN and now? When can we expect the team to have fully integrated your style and to be at 100%?

As I said previously, I don’t want to compare Casper and me directly. Everyone can draw their own conclusions by watching us play, but I can say that I am definitely looking to bring some major changes to the team, which I hope will become more and more apparent along the way. With regards to my style, it is an ongoing thing that you always work on when you’re an in-game leader. I want to continually be a step ahead of the curve and since we’re a brand new squad it is difficult to say when we’ll be at 100%. As long as we keep improving and I’m satisfied with our progress, I will be happy.

You have a very busy month coming up, with three LAN events and the closed qualifier for the Europe Minor. What are your expectations for these tournaments?

My expectations are simple: I want us to be able to look ourselves in the mirror when these tournaments are over and be proud of the effort we put in. If we played our hearts out and grinded hours day in and day out, then I will think that we could not have done more.

Denmark Valdemar 'valde' Bjørn Vangså
Valdemar 'valde' Bjørn Vangså
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Denmark Casper 'cadiaN' Møller
Casper 'cadiaN' Møller
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Denmark Jakob 'JUGi' Hansen
Jakob 'JUGi' Hansen
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2019-05-27 16:32
Europe _EpiC_
esports is a bubble
2019-05-27 16:33
Valde is insane
2019-05-27 16:35
2019-05-27 17:43
2019-05-27 22:28
gAuLeS | 
Brazil 4ng_
Never was nor will be at this current t2 team
2019-05-27 22:53
Denmark Notallama
North > M♿br
2019-05-28 04:22
2019-05-30 19:20
United States IdolaMochi
what does it mean ?
2019-05-27 18:21
The unsucessful Astralis
2019-05-27 16:35
yes, mibrFTW
2019-05-30 19:20
2019-05-27 16:39
2019-05-27 16:41
Turkey Zarmoth
2019-05-27 16:32
Salam alekum
2019-05-27 16:35
Turkey Zarmoth
I don't feel like I'm muslim but alekum salam bro :D
2019-05-27 17:30
Flag checks out
2019-05-29 02:47
Turkey Zarmoth
Stop thinking every turks are muslim man.
2019-05-29 17:33
2019-05-27 16:32
Valde is Jesus himself
2019-05-27 16:32
2019-05-27 16:33
Archi | 
United Kingdom KainZ
2019-05-27 16:33
Ikr it's a pain to see them not fragging the shit out of the server and instead igl which they clearly not good at.
2019-05-28 04:40
Sweden ronkaball
2019-05-27 16:34
aug abuser
2019-05-27 16:35
Switzerland x676
2019-05-27 16:36
2019-05-27 16:37
valde says that going for JUGi was "a no-brainer"
2019-05-27 16:43
2019-05-27 16:46
it's true though?
2019-06-01 03:54
That's very kind from Valde. He Is not throwing shit on his past teammates like others. What a legend..
2019-05-27 16:47
+1 very polite player
2019-05-27 18:44
United States druggar0
He needs to get out of this “danes only” team crap. He would be great in an international squad with actual decent players around him. Valde is awesome, north fucking sucks, and they will never be even close to Astralis, or T1 for that matter.
2019-05-27 16:48
International squads are bad for the scene, just like globalism is bad for the world in general.
2019-05-27 17:21
tell that to dota
2019-05-27 17:32
What do you mean?
2019-05-27 17:37
the dota 2 scene used to have only national squads. early on it was navi, a bunch of chineese teams, EG that was entirely NA, [a]lliance which was swedish etc. the only international team i can think of was fnatic and they were kinda t2 material. fast forward a few years and all the top teams (excluding the chineese and CIS scenes) are intentional. EG have a single NA player, OG, secret, liquid which are all t1 teams are international. so no, international squads worked wonders for the scene. instead of recycling the same washed up or mediocre players they started using players from the entire world to build actual star squads. some of these players would have no chance becoming famous otherwise.
2019-05-27 17:48
This only benefits weak scenes with money like NA , no one else .
2019-05-27 18:08
EG won Ti5 when they still had their NA roster. their only non NA player was sumail. OG, Secret are both EU teams which have players that would never become known in the pro scene if those teams were international. miracle, gh, mind_control, nisha, ana and many more. all from no scene countries that became world famous and among the best players in the world. if you look back to ti1-ti4 period eu was complete trash. you had EG from na, navi from CIS, a bunch of tier 1 chineese teams such as DK, LGD, IG etc. the only t1 EU team was [a]lliance that popped out of nowhere after ti2, had an amazing year leading to ti3 and then a faster decline than navi until they disbanded. EU had literally no scene. nowadays secret, liquid and OG - all EU mixes, are among the strongest teams in the world.
2019-05-27 18:31
Okay maybe I was too harsh with saying it only benefits NA , it does benefit some players that wouldve not make in EU aswell , but my opinion remains the same overall .. In the end its all about the money .
2019-05-27 18:40
Portugal dracø
Everything is about money, that remains true even with national squads. VP were racking up paychecks even while sucking hard cuz they still had a fanbase to back them up for example. International teams are the way to go, cuz they give players a proper chance to shine. I'll give you a close to heart example.. just imagine cerq being stuck in a bulgarian team. Wouldn't you consider it a waste of his potential? Players like ropz, xantares, frozen, etc would be wasted in an national squad :\
2019-05-28 12:08
If CerQ was in Windigo for example I wouldnt consider it waste but yes being in weaker team than that and getting way less money would be a waste .
2019-05-28 14:24
man I see your point, but the issue in counter strike is communication, which is much faster than in dota
2019-05-27 18:45
i agree that it's harder, but it can definitely work. faze could have been the epitome of that if they didn't go for the 0 iq move of getting ONLY star players in. it would be like a dota team getting 5 mid star players into a team and hope they can become tier 1. if anything, im amazed faze managed to win any tournaments at all. mouz with sunny looked really promised, it's a shame they kinda gave up on that roster. that being said, the new roster has a lot of potential too. im not saying ALL teams should go international, but international teams is definitely something that can work and is especially good for players from no scene countries. look at frozen for example.
2019-05-27 18:58
Yeah I agree it can work, as I strongky believe mibr could have worked with stewie if Autimatic came along with him
2019-05-27 21:06
"Worked wonders"? I don't care which teams win when the players are just a mixed bag. Same goes for sport in general, works wonders to just import a couple of Africans and have them run for you but nobody cares when they win. Same for NHL or whatever cba which teams with zero homegrown players win. Just a bunch of mercenaries.
2019-05-27 20:08
what do you care about then? do you check the final score on hltv and proceed to violently jack off to the team with the "right" flag? that's amusing given you use the world flag. i for one care for spectacular games and i couldn't care less about that nationality, race or any other characteristic of the players involved.
2019-05-27 20:18
That's because you are a neo globalist trashbag. I care about people(and players) I can relate to in one way or another, nationality being one of the key factors obviously.
2019-05-27 20:46
hmm weird, i thought i was very skeptical of globalism, but you must know me better. i think im gonna keep enjoying good CS while your jerk off to a team with the "world flag". oh wait, that would have be an international team, wouldn't it? *thinking*
2019-05-27 21:01
World streetson
You are actually a legend to waste your time replying with solid arguments to those guys +fucking 1 my dude
2019-05-28 18:36
Nismo | 
Macau Bent0
tldr: I dont wanna be Niko style of IGL
2019-05-27 16:55
France oqald
Ez4vitality in openning match
2019-05-27 16:55
Valde, The King of the North.
2019-05-27 16:59
2019-05-27 23:34
Valde is the most professional dude in the scene
2019-05-27 17:03
2019-05-27 17:04
I feel bad for s1mple man.. that dude has never criticised anyone on his current team publicly..
2019-05-27 22:41
Dang, too bad he needs to do that for north to win but good for him for being humble.
2019-05-27 17:07
2019-05-27 17:10
Valde is a great dude
2019-05-27 17:19
Per0N | 
Venezuela 643
Never forget one of the cleanest 1vs5 in csgo history. Great player, looks like a great guy too
2019-05-27 18:02
nuke, right? beautiful
2019-05-27 18:47
Per0N | 
Venezuela 643
Yeah. Amazing crosshair placement + awareness
2019-05-27 20:17
He made it look so easy as if it was staged. Indeed one of the best clutches ever.
2019-05-27 21:11
my god
2019-05-27 18:18
Malaysia Suno[t]
To be fair to Valde, JuGi has been improving a lot lately.
2019-05-27 18:38
JuGi is a very good awper indeed
2019-05-27 18:48
Malaysia Suno[t]
Kinda lost hope for him in OpTic he was so bad there
2019-05-27 18:54
Yeah but I don't blame, the whole team was as mess
2019-05-27 21:05
Brazil 1_Flippy
Valde holds an unique way of playing the game, he excels at it in a brilliant way usually playing bad spots, or doing bad roles, you can notice that North is not built around him but he manages to top frag with ease... he's an extremely valuable individual
2019-05-27 19:02
He seems to be liked by almost everyone - doesnt see much hate for valde on hltv. Thats really cool because its deserved.
2019-05-27 19:29
This is a very mature move from valde imo. Potentially sacrificing his own elite numbers as a star player (and thus moving to another big team like Atralis, Faze, NA team) to make his team the best possible. This is the sort of leadership you can built a team around. If it doesnt work out he will be a better player later on anyways due to the tactical focus this role needs. In 2-3 years he should be a top5 player, he had the right mindset from the start of his pro career.
2019-05-27 19:04
Valde has always been one of the smartest players in the game. He's a student of the game and I'm sure he will improve North quite a lot. JUGi and Kjaerbye already look better than they have in a long time.
2019-05-27 19:17
Not Good enough 4 Astralis..........yet
2019-05-27 19:18
Wish this guy was still playing with MSL & konfig, with the right 2 remaining players they could/should be top8.
2019-05-27 20:23
good IGL thinking
2019-05-27 22:29
Europe KappaKaako
Valde easily a Top 15 Player
2019-05-27 23:06
South Africa @FyreCS
New North: Torben Valde JUGi Aizy/ Toff Karybye
2019-05-28 01:13
valde gonna drop out and will be forgotten in next 2'years
2019-05-28 08:52
Poland Ticket2Win
valde says that going for JUGi was "a no-brainer" Whats? Where does he say that
2019-05-28 10:21
"my job is to make the best decisions possible for the team and in this case going for JUGi was a no-brainer"
2019-05-28 12:07
Poland Ticket2Win
2019-05-28 13:13
Nothing revolves / has revolved around u valve. LUL
2019-05-28 10:35
North era part 2 is coming. Maybe its longer now XD
2019-05-28 19:49
North top 1 hltv 2019
2019-05-28 20:27
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.