The announcement of MSL’s return to North's CS:GO team was weirdly bundled in a video showcasing their new jerseys, with the team undergoing a rebrand in recent weeks.
At the end of the video, MSL steps out in the new North jersey. It’s since been confirmed he’ll replace Jakob “JUGi” Hansen on the roster.
Following the original video, MSL has released a statement about his return, saying: “I am very happy to be back! I got a project presented that I believe a lot in, I can’t wait to play again.
“I believe we can do incredible things, though I do not expect us to do miracles from day 1, we need to get to work and find each other in and outgame.
“We’re going to bootcamp for the next 5 days before going to DH Leipzig. It could be better preparation, of course – but we come with fresh energy and we’ll give it our all.”
A statement from North’s Head Of Esport Operations, Graham Pitt, also confirms MSL will be back to lead, saying: “I’m extremely excited to welcome Mathias back to North, it’s telling that his first words as he walked in the door was ‘it feels good to be home’.
“Nobody doubts Mathias’ abilities to lead the team, and I’m sure we are entering into a new era for North after a rocky 2019 with his strong structured approach to the game.”
Welcome @MSLcsgo!— North (@TheNorthIsHere) January 17, 2020
"I am very happy to be back! I got a project presented that I believe a lot in, I can't wait to play again. I believe we can do incredible things, though I do not expect us to do miracles from day 1, we need to get to work and find each other in and outgame." pic.twitter.com/vk9v2tFXJW
In a statement confirming JUGi’s exit, Graham added: “Jakob’s departure from the starting roster is an unfortunate necessity to restore balance to a team that has been lacking strong and structured leadership.”
MSL joined North when the team was originally formed in January 2017, staying there until he was removed following the FACEIT London Major in September 2018.
He led the team to numerous high profile victories though, most notably at DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018. MSL has gone onto represent Rogue and OpTic, with the latter disbanding their CS:GO team late last year.
Here’s the current active roster for North:
Philip "aizy" Asitrup
Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye
Nicklas "gade" Gade
Rene "cajunb" Borg
Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen
Coach: Torbjorn "mithR" Nyborg
It’s important to note North haven’t confirmed their starting line-up, so it’s unclear if there’ll be more changes to come.
The news also coincides with a report claiming Valve is set to introduce a new ranking system to replace the CS:GO Major direct invitations
MSL has returned to North (Picture: DreamHack)
According to HLTV, emails sent to tournament organisers state the rankings system would utilise two extra tournaments ahead of the second Major in November.
Points would be acquired in the new system from the ESL Rio spring Major in May, along with two other unknown events in the run up to the fall Major.
From this ranking, the top eight teams will be invited to the Major as Legends and the following eight as Challengers. The remaining teams would then go through the Minor system, giving two slots to the four regions; Europe, North America, CIS and Oceania.
The two unknown events are claimed to be taking place between July and September, with Valve throwing in a $250,000 prize pool.
Ginx TV has reached out to Valve for comment on the reported changes.