Valde becomes one-man band in North's search of success

Is the North project dead? Now, that might look like a question from Game Of Thrones, but this is Luckbox, and that means esports. While the rest of the world was worrying about which dragon might eat the other, or how Marvellous their superheroes were, the Danish CSGO organisation was attempting to fix their problems once again, but it seems like they are currently doomed to repeat their mistakes instead.

This time, and not for the first time, it is a change of leadership North have decided to try, with Casper ‘Cadian’ Møller leaving the side completely and Valdemar ‘Valde’ Bjørn Vangså taking over the IGL role. Valde has been comfortably the best player on his team for some time now, and arguably one of the world’s best all-around CSGO talents.

In to replace Cadian is Jacob ‘JUGi’ Hansen, formerly of OpTic and Heroic, but his signing is hardly a coup for an organisation as wealthy as FC Copenhagen-backed North. His form has dropped off dramatically since his peak in 2016, and the slight revival over recent months hasn’t brought him close to his level since then, meaning North need to rescue him as much as he must save his new team.

Blame k0nfig

While there is a logic to moving him into a more influential role, the player has never led before and is the only consistent bright spot in the team from a fragging point of view, meaning this is a massive risk. Given that the rest of the team is still not great, and the new signing is coming in without much form to his name, the general fan reaction has been underwhelming, and understandably so.

In a roundabout way, he is a victim of his former team-mate k0nfig. When Kjaerbye decided to leave Astralis for North, the Danes were forced to scramble for a player, and initially looked at signing k0nfig to replace their weakest link. While he is a talented player, his personality and team-work means he almost certainly would have failed, leaving Astralis looking for a new player right at the time when Valde was proving himself a god-tier player.

Instead, it was Magisk who replaced Kjaerbye, and the rest is history, meaning Astralis have no need of Valde. That’s probably a good thing for the rest of the scene, with the player arguably the only Dane out there that could make the world numbers ones even better, if indeed that were possible. The fact they haven’t tried to sign him makes sense though, as he’d be prohibitively expensive and there is no need for Astralis to risk upsetting the apple cart right when they have conquered the world.

Image: North