North sign Kristou as a part of talent development plan; enter partnership with AGF
North have announced a long-term talent development strategy, entering a partnership with AGF and signing Kristoffer "Kristou" Aamand, who is loaned back to the organization. With this move, North hope to reduce the load on their players and aim to help develop regional talent.
"North Esports intends to build a sustainable Talent Development model, giving some of the biggest Scandinavian talents a healthier path into the professional scene", North's announcement reads, as they reveal the signing of Kristou.
The 18-year-old player was loaned to North earlier this year, when Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye was sidelined due to to medical reasons. North initiated a clause in the loan agreement that allowed them to buy out the player permanently at the end of the period, North's Head of Esports Operations Graham Pitt disclosed.
"As part of the buyout, we negotiated with both Kristou and AGF to secure his return on loan to continue his development as a starting member of their roster, whilst also finishing his final year of education", Pitt explains, adding that Kristou will "continue to receive full support and coaching from the North staff, and where appropriate will also be brought back for practice sessions to monitor his progress, simultaneously providing members the starting roster time to rest during the season".
Kristou will follow a development plan made by North during his stay with AGF, with the player and his coach Rasmus "FaagaN" Møller Thomsen set to be in constant communication with Jimmy "Jumpy" Berndtsson to "ensure the development and progress for Kristou".
North will not be operating a six-man roster directly during this period, with the organization instead entering an agreement with AGF that will help them reduce the load on their players and simultanously give talents from the Scandinavian-Nordic region a path to develop on.
"Our new setup with AGF will allow us to develop talent in a way that ensures all players can be playing regularly, ensure a gradual introduction to the professional life for Kristou, and we make sure that all players can recharge during the season", Pitt adds, revealing that the aim is to have new talents, in time, develop into first-team candidates. Additionally, the agreement with AGF will allow them to perform specifically focused practice sessions with their partnered team.
North revealed that they plan to go further than just AGF and "partner up with several ambitious Nordic esports organizations to help young players develop and prevent burnout of seasoned players". "Our new Talent Development Strategy is one tool in that toolbox," says Christian Engell, North Performance Coach.
North's starting lineup remains unchanged:
Jimmy "Jumpy" Berndtsson (coach)
Meanwhile, AGF, ranked 54th in the world, are as follows:
Rasmus "FaagaN" Møller Thomsen (coach)