F.C. Copenhagen and entertainment company Nordisk Film have formed a new esports organization dubbed North and have acquired the former Team Dignitas roster on a two-year contract, the organization announced Tuesday.
“We are two leading companies within entertainment and sports venturing into eSport at the very highest level. We see great potential and have high ambitions with NORTH that [we] will be among the world's strongest from day one,” said Anders Hørsholt, CEO of F.C. Copenhagen, in the team's press release.
The news closely follows an HLTV report on Dec. 20, based on an article in Danish finance publication Finans.dk, which stated that the Nordic football club was looking to acquiring FIFA, Dota 2 and CS:GO players. The report notably came a day after Dignitas parted ways with their CS:GO roster.
The team have also named Jacob "Maelk" Toft-Andersen, who was most recently the team manager for FC Schalke 04's League of Legends team, as the organization's sports director. He says that North's foray into CS:GO is only the beginning.
"Already, we have one world-class team within Counter-Strike, but we want to expand to other games. There is a large talent pool and we see ourselves as very competitive when it comes to attracting and developing the best eSport players," Maelk said in the team's press release.
Maelk was released from FC Schalke on Aug. 9, 2016 due to "restructuring" and notably after the team was relegated from the EU LCS. He was also the former owner of LoL team Elements, however Maelk is best known for his career in DotA and Dota 2 and attended The International 2011 as part of MeetYourMakers and The International 2012 as part of Evil Geniuses.
Regarding the new North branding, Maelk said in a video interview with FCK TV that he felt it was indicative of the team's overall goals.
"We are the north. It represents us really well. And it's important for us to not just be Denmark, not just be Copenhagen, but to represent an entire region that, eventually, will take over the rest of the world."
Maelk also noted that North was in esports "for the long haul, whether that's three, five, seven or 20 years."
The former Dignitas roster has had an up-and-down year in 2016 as they failed to qualify for the first Major of the year at MLG Major Championship: Columbus and finished 9-12th at the ESL One Cologne 2016 Major.
After the acquisition of Emil "Magiskb0Y" Reif from the former SK Gaming roster on July 15, the team has had a noticeable upturn in the latter half of the year. They won EPICENTER: Moscow and achieving Top 8 finishes during ELEAGUE Season 2 and ECS Season 2.
North is set to kick off 2017 by competing at The ELEAGUE Major 2017 on Jan. 22-29. Though the Danish squad are labeled a Challenger team after advancing through the qualifier, they will be one of the top contenders at the Major.
Here's what North's roster looks like:
- Mathias "MSL" Lauridson
- Emil "Magiskb0Y" Reif
- Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke
- Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel
- René "cajunb" Borg
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
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