North unveil a surprise return of MSL to their CS:GO team
North, a Danish esports organization, unveiled the signing of their former member and IGL, Mathias "MSL" Sommer Lauridsen who has returned to the team after over one year as their newest addition and a crucial member in North’s ambitious plans for the 2020 season.
North recently underwent a massive rebranding and are currently in the process of rebuilding their CS:GO roster for the 2020 season, in a bid to establish themselves as the biggest and most successful Scandinavian esports organization.
The North's rebranding took place early in January, where they took the meaning of "starting fresh" to a whole another level.The Danish esports organization made a huge, yet slightly controversial decision by deleting all of the content from their social media accounts, including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, while also deciding to completely rebuild their official website.
In their announcement after the rebranding, North unveiled their plans for the future, including their goal of becoming the "leading Scandinavian esports organization", which they plan on achieving in the next couple of years, by not only making waves in the CS:GO scene, but also expanding into other esports titles.
Their most notable expansion comes in Apex Legends, where North recently signed Dan "rpr" Ušić, who has joined Can "Taisheen" Öztürk and Mikkel "mande" Hestbeck in their Apex team, which will compete in the Apex Legends Global Series.
Their goal of becoming the biggest esports organization in their region, while a highly ambitious goal, seems like something North are determined to achieve, considering all the major changes they have implemented to their company. The most recent change, and arguably the biggest one to date, however, is the return of MSL, who has been announced as North’s new member in a video, which also showcased the team's new jerseys.
Shortly after the announcement, MSL released a statement, which read:
"I am very happy to be back! I got a project presented that I believe a lot in, I can't wait to play again. I believe we can do incredible things, though I do not expect us to do miracles from day 1, we need to get to work and find each other in and out game."
MSL is one of the most recognisable Danish CS:GO player in the world and one of the iconic figures of North. He started his career as a CS:GO pro back in 2012 and has since played for 14 teams, including Team Dignitas, North, Rogue and OpTic Gaming. While he has never won a major, MSL saw immense success while playing for North, when he made a name for himself as a great player and even better IGL.
MSL represented North from the team's inception in January 2017 throughout to the FACEIT London Major in September 2018. During his stay, MSL led the team to several trophies, including the DreamHack Masters Stockholm where he won his first and only MVP award.
Unfortunately, MSL got removed from the team after North’s disastrous performance at FACEIT London Major, where they completely dropped the ball and finished 17th-19th. While there is no denying North underperformed, the organization’s decision to remove MSL was and still is one of the most controversial stories in the esports scene. Shortly after MSL got removed from the team he teamed up with Rogue, where he remained until March 2019, when he joined OpTic Gaming as the IGL.
His stay with the North American organization, however, did not last long. OpTic was acquired by Immortals Gaming Club in June 2019, and in October the same year, OpTic declared they will be disbanding their CS:GO roster due to the lack of organization's support.
During MSL's campaigns with Rogue and OpTic, North have been struggling with their performances, and it soon became clear their decision to remove MSL was a major mistake on their part. The Danish organization have found themselves in a downright spiral as they failed to make much noise in the CS:GO scene, having won only two offline events since they let go of MSL.
In 2019, North also lost their coach Alexander "ave" Holdt and Casper "cadiaN" Møller, but perhaps the biggest loss came in December, when they parted ways with their star player Valdemar "valde" Bjørn who left for the newly established international roster which will play under OG banner.
Despite all the problems North have been facing in 2019, things are looking up for them, since they managed to retain their core, convinced the former Astralis member, Major champion and MVP Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye to extend his contract and have now added MSL to their team, with more changes rumoured to take place soon.
Shortly after the announcement of MSL’s arrival, North unveiled their former IGL will replace Jakob "JUGi" Hansen as the team’s new AWPer, meaning JUGi has been removed from the starting roster and will remain as an inactive member of North until further notice.
North’s announcement of JUGi’s benching read:
"Jakob's departure from the starting roster is an unfortunate necessity to restore balance to a team that has been lacking strong and structured leadership."
Philip "aizy" Aistrup
Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye
Nicklas "gade" Gade
René "cajunb" Borg
Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen
Jakob "JUGi" Hansen (inactive)