North aizy: 'I actually wasn't planning to leave FaZe Clan before I got the offer from North'

by Dennis Gonzales Mar 28 2017
Thumbnail image courtesy of Helena Kristiansson / ESL

Philip "aizy" Aistrup is a Danish powerhouse and a rifler for North, after leaving FaZe Clan on Feb. 8. Since his inclusion in the lineup, the team has had some solid results, including a semifinal finish at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas and Top 6 at IEM Season XI Katowice.

Ahead of his games at the SL i-League Season 3 LAN Finals in Kiev, theScore esports asked aizy about why he joined North and his transition from FaZe.

First, I’d like to ask about your transition from FaZe Clan over to North. Both are big organizations, but from the outside they feel very different. One org was built from the ground up in CoD, while the other has the backing of traditional sports.

How does playing under each team compare? Can an org have an effect on your in-game performance?

The transition from FaZe to North went very smooth. I knew the guys well in North so I was welcomed with open arms, which was really nice. I actually wasn't planning to leave FaZe Clan before I got the offer from North.

A lot of aspects played a part in my decision, even though we started to be promising when we got karrigan [Finn "karrigan" Andersen] on board. The reason was mainly that I missed playing in a Danish team and it was hard to keep my motivation up playing in a English-speaking team. I had no issues with the management, players or anyone.

Obviously FaZe is a huge organization with a big fan base, and that was really cool to play under, but in the end that's not what matters in CS. Besides that, the organizations aren't that different to each other in my opinion. I think the main differences is the fan base and management.

Obviously some organizations have access to more tools than other organizations do, such as sport psychologists etc. and that can play a role in-game as well.

You notably signed a three-year contract with North, which is a lifetime in esports time. What was your motivation for signing such a long contract? What was the negotiation process like in securing a contract like that?

I think almost every team signs two or three-year contracts now, so I feel like it's kinda normal. Yes three years is a long time in esports, but if you believe in the team then I don't think three years is that long.

Mentioned prior, you’ve reunited with the roster you played with at WESG, and with Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen, who you played with on Dignitas. What are your thoughts on playing under MSL once again?

I always enjoyed playing with MSL, he's a great friend and I like the way he approaches the game, so it's good to be back.

You’re also back in a full Danish lineup and playing for a Danish org, how important are those factors? Is Danish/Viking pride important to you?

When you play in an international team, you don't really have any rivalries such as North against Astralis. So being back in a Danish team where we have those rivalries is really fun, also because both teams and organizations is full Danish.

Despite your reputation as a star, your numbers in those LANs have left much to be desired.

Obviously the ratings don’t tell the full story, so why have your numbers been low on LAN? Have you changed your role? Between, Emil "Magisk" Reif, René "cajunb" Borg and Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke, is there almost too much star power on the team?

So coming back into a Danish team, having to get used to communicating in Danish again and getting used to new roles and positions, it's hard to get a really good start individually.

And when you have so many good players in your team it's hard to dominate every game. Personally I've been very disappointed in myself, since I haven't played up to my own expectations, but I'm not in my best shape right now. Time will tell.

SL i-League features a diverse set of teams, most notably the two Chinese and one Korean team. What are your thoughts on this, do you think more events should give slots to Asian teams?

I think it's good that we get Chinese teams in tournaments, for the game and also for the competition. It's fun to see new playstyles and possibly learn from them. I think the slots given now is fair.

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 Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev Discipline Priest Pharah. You can follow him on Twitter.