The era of the single-nationality team is in full swing, with another project in the ENCE/Astralis mould making big moves this week. Nordavind DNB is a fully-Norwegian CSGO project that has existed for some time, and this week they made three signings sure to propel them firmly into the consciousness of many European CSGO followers.
It is the ex-dignitas trio of Ruben ‘RUBINO’ Villarroel, Jorgen ‘cromen’ Robertsen and Jesper ‘TENZKI’ Plougmann that will join the organisation, with Morten ‘zEVES’ Vollan and Haris ‘H4RR3’ Hadzic both set to ride the bench for the foreseeable future. Haakon ‘Radifaction’ Tholo and Håkon ‘Hallzerk’ Fjærli complete the line-up, after rumours of friction between Radifaction and zEVES at the end of last year.
Hallzerk is an interesting player, at just 18 years of age, and there are some suggesting he may be the brother of legendary Oslo Lions CS 1.6 player Martin 'hellzerk' Solbakken, although Luckbox have not been able to verify that. The team will have high ambitions, although like ENCE they will have to make do without Norway’s most famous player, just as ENCE are currently without Miikka ‘suNny’ Kemppi, of mousesports.
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That man is of course Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard, currently of FaZe, and while it might seem like a good time for him to join a homegrown project there are certain realities that could make it hard to achieve, not least his wages with FaZe, and probable lack of desire to take a huge pay cut. Sure, FaZe aren’t winning right now, but Nordavind are a new project in some ways, and until they prove their potential there is no reason for rain to look elsewhere.
This move comes off the back of a shift in the CSGO landscape, as detailed in this article, and the success of ENCE and other single-nationality teams. The likes of FaZe and Mouz are fading fast, while MIBR are on the rise, ENCE have shocked the world and the all-Danish Astralis side is dominating CSGO in a way we’ve never seen before. Following the progress of Nordavind will be interesting as a result, but fans should temper their expectations, as EZ4ENCE wasn’t built in a day.