MSL: "I had some very good offers money-wise, but I didn't feel that the lineups were strong enough"
The Danish captain explained what went wrong in North and talked about his future in the latest episode of 'HLTV Confirmed'.
It's been two months since North left esports due to financial issues that were aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic. For Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen, the wait to return to action has been even longer, with the 26-year-old having spent the final four months of his contract on the bench.
The Danish in-game leader appeared on Monday as a guest on the 'HLTV Confirmed' podcast and discussed the issues during his second stint with North, in which he was unable to lead the team to silverware.
"I wouldn't use the online era as an excuse at all," MSL admitted. "I think we had a lineup that wasn't strong enough. That was pretty apparent to me and before I came back to North I knew that some changes needed to happen for us to reach our goal [of becoming a top five team in the world].
"I think I also made mistakes and I could have probably got more out of the team we had, but in the end, it just didn't work out. I also felt that we were not a team but individuals trying to get good stats to avoid getting kicked. I also take some of the responsibility for that because I was the leader and I needed to change things like that fast, but I just didn't. That's one of the things that I will focus a lot on for my next team. To make my team feel like a team."
Six months after MSL's last competitive game, every player in that North lineup seems to have moved on, except him. Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson is currently plying his trade with Dignitas, while Philip "aizy" Aistrup and Nicklas "gade" Gade have put together a new squad alongside another ex-North player, Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye. René "cajunb" Borg is rumored to be creating a new team with players like Kristoffer "Kristou" Aamand and Fredrik "roeJ" Jørgensen.
Curiously enough, the Danish skipper hasn't taken part in any trials since leaving North. He has been playing pick-up games to stay in shape, some of which he streams on his Twitch channel. He is also trying to find new ways to push himself, joining Surf and KZ servers to improve his movement. But that doesn't mean that he's not eager to compete again.
"I feel like I'm ready to join a team now, I'd like that very much (laughs)," MSL said.
"At the beginning of the year, just when I had got out of North, I had some very good offers money-wise, but I didn't feel that the lineups were strong enough, so I chose to wait, which is risky, but I did it because I don't really feel that I need to hurry. I want the right project and I took a risk. We'll see if it pays off."
But MSL has set a timetable for his competitive return. He wants to find a new team by the next player break because he doesn't feel that it's good to be away from competition for more than seven or eight months. He's open to all offers, including from international teams.
"I just want players that are very hungry and a lineup that is as good as possible," MSL said. "In 2018, I got kicked after the FACEIT Major despite having just won Dreamhack Masters Stockholm, and I joined Rogue, so I'm not afraid of taking something smaller and putting in the work."
You can access the full VOD of Monday's episode of 'HLTV Confirmed' below.