aizy, MSL placed on transfer list as North recall Kristou, trial kreaz
The Danish organisation is taking the next step in its talent development strategy.
North have announced that Philip "aizy" Aistrup and Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen have been removed from the starting lineup with immediate effect and placed on the transfer list. Taking the duo's places are Kristoffer "Kristou" Aamand, who has been recalled from his loan spell with AGF, and Rasmus "kreaz" Johansson, who joins the team on trial.
The announcement is described by North as the second stage of its talent development plan, which was launched in September with the goal of providing "a healthier path into the professional scene" to Scandinavian players. The first stage of the strategy saw the Danish organisation enter into a partnership with AGF, who picked up Kristou on loan.
kreaz is the first of a "number of players" who will be tested by North, according to Graham Pitt, the organisation's head of esports operations, who added that the team will not be rushed into a decision. The Swedish player, who has represented teams like Budapest Five and Syman in the past, recently stepped in for Gen.G in Flashpoint 2, averaging a 0.98 rating.
"Rasmus has been on our radar for quite some time as a potential diamond in the rough within the Swedish scene and we are very excited to see how he performs with us even with minimal preparation," Graham Pitt added.
Nicklas "gade" Gade will once again take the up the team's in-game leadership, with assistance from team coach Jimmy "Jumpy" Berndtsson during this online era caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with René "cajunb" Borg also having increased responsibilities as he will take on a mentorship role to help develop and integrate new talents into the team.
aizy was North's longest-standing player, having been recruited from FaZe in February 2017. MSL was picked up a month earlier but left in September 2018, going on to play for Rogue and OpTic before his return to the team in January 2020. The duo most notably won DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018, where MSL was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
"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," Graham Pitt said. "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.
"They are both deserving of a project that will see their talents be put to the best use, and North will not stand in the way of finding them new homes."
North now have:
Jimmy "Jumpy" Berndtsson (coach)
Meanwhile, North have announced that they are developing "a large-scale scouting tool" together with IT company Capgemini to help identify the best possible young talent in the Nordic region. This is part of the organisation's new economically sustainable CS:GO strategy, which will also lead to changes in the company's salary structure.
"We offer so many great things apart from a decent salary," said Christian Engell, North's Performance Manager. "We have excellent facilities, and we're working individually on the highest possible level with diets, treatment and the mental aspect of the professional life, to name a few things, which I think is valuable to every aspiring esport athlete."