Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen is the in-game leader for North and an important figure in Danish CS:GO. His Danish squad has made big strides in CS:GO, partnering with F.C. Copenhagen to form North, achieving Legend status at the ELEAGUE Major and now they've made a big roster move by acquiring Philip "aizy" Aistrup from FaZe Clan.
Ahead of his games at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas, MSL answered questions from theScore esports talking about his recent achievements and moving forward with the North's new all-Danish lineup.
2016 was a big year for you and the team as you’ve had some breakout performances, particularly winning EPICENTER: Moscow, then the year ultimately led to your acquisition by F.C. Copenhagen and forming North. How would you sum up the year?
It has been a crazy year with many ups and downs, but mostly ups.
In the start of the year we had a new lineup, a lineup I chose and we did some amazing results that people didn't expect. Then we had a bad period from around April-June, but since then it has only gone up.
The last four months before December were truly amazing and EPICENTER is of course the highlight for me that year. Overall it has been the best year of my CS career and I believe 2017 will be even better.
You guys have also kicked off 2017 on a fairly high note by achieving Legend status at the ELEAGUE Major 2017. How satisfied are you with this result? Was the break before the ELEAGUE Major good or bad?
We are satisfied with the Legend spot especially because we came from an 0-2 to qualify for playoffs, and we don't need to qualify next time. The game against VP will always hurt I think, but next Major we will take our revenge.
The break before the Major was good, everyone had traveled so much and needed time at home. Everyone got vacation and practice in before, so I think it was good in that aspect.
You also notably bootcamped at Parken Stadium, will this be the case for future bootcamps as well? What have been the other perks being part of North?
Yes, we are bootcamping for DreamHack Las Vegas in Parken Stadium as well. It's a really cool place and a nice bootcamp room with everything we need.
Other than that, the other perks are that all communication between us and North is Danish and it makes it a lot easier for us. They are just super professional and we don't have to think about anything other than playing.
In a feature, I’ve observed that the ELEAGUE Major had the most Danish players in the Top 8 of a Major ever. And after Astralis’ Major win and with so many good Danish teams/players, is 2017 the year of the Danes?
I always think there have been a lot of good Danish teams and we have always been there, but it's nice that we set that record. I believe we have three really strong teams right now in Denmark and I think we will all do a lot of damage in 2017.
You guys very recently acquired aizy from FaZe Clan. Why make this change? How have you worked him into the lineup?
RUBINO [Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel] told us at the Major that he didn't want to play anymore and needed a break. We talked together and aizy was our number one from the start. We knew it was gonna be hard to get him, but luckily North got it through together with FaZe.
I have played with aizy before and I knew how I need to play him, with that said we have a lot of really skilled player in our lineup and therefore we need to share positions. He has a lot of positions he likes and also some he doesn't.
I think we have found a great way, so that everyone is comfortable and DHM Las Vegas will be a test for our new positions and roles.
Going into DreamHack Masters Las Vegas, all eight of the Top 8 teams from the ELEAGUE Major will be in attendance as well. Is this potential “revenge” for the Major an important factor for you?
It's not about revenge, because the Major is something different, you can only take it at the Major. Every event for us is about winning, I think we have a really strong lineup and we will win, if we play up to our level.
DHM Vegas will be the first event to use the latest map pool, so Infer-new instead of Dust II. What are your thoughts on this?
I like that Inferno is back, I have always loved the map, but I'm not so sure that I like the fact that Dust II got removed. I think it should have been Cache or Cbble, because Dust II is still a good map compared to those.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
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