The 29-year-old told us about the short time he spent back under Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen‘s leadership in OpTic and his decision to switch teams when North came knocking following DreamHack Masters Malmö, which eventually led to the disbandment of his former team.
cajunb went on to discuss rejoining some of his former teammates and his initial impressions of the new team, as well as their first results together, including a third placing in ESL Pro League’s Group C, where North lost close matches to Astralis and fnatic and beat Aristocracy to secure a spot in the second stage.
Can you tell me about joining up with OpTic after a quick break and how your short time there transpired into your departure to North?
First of all, I wanted to wait for the right offer to come. There weren’t that many offers before I joined OpTic. I wasn’t even supposed to join OpTic in the beginning, it was just that I had to stand in at the New York qualifier. Surprisingly, we won it and afterwards they wrote to me and asked if I wanted to join. And I did, of course, because, like I said in other interviews, at some point I really wanted to play with MSL again, even though people think we have a beef. We don’t. I think he’s a really good caller, I like his style of calling, so I was really happy about that offer overall.
I wanted to join North again, I felt like they had a great foundation of players, players I like to play with, who communicate really well and have initiative, I missed that a lot.
North contacted me after DreamHack Masters Malmö and asked if I wanted to join. To be honest, I wanted to join North again, I was quite sure about it because I felt like they had a great foundation of players, they have players I like to play with, they have players who communicate really well, and that’s something I’ve been missing for a while, people having initiative, I missed that a lot. In this team, I can feel that everyone has it and I think that’s how a team should work, not one guy who is making every decision. I feel like we have five guys who can… I wouldn’t say do whatever we want, but when people have an idea, they can do it if it makes sense, of course.
Did you at all see the OpTic disbandment coming?
Even though we didn’t have that great results with OpTic, I thought we were doing quite decently, so I didn’t see it coming at all. But I do understand the decision because they had no choice of buying players or anything, so I don’t think they had that many options. I think it makes sense, in the end.
From back when you played with North, the only teammate you have from there now is aizy, although you also played alongside gade and JUGi in OpTic. You’ve already touched on how the team is working, but can you elaborate on that dynamic, especially with gade as a new in-game leader?
First of all, I want to say that I’m really impressed by gade so far, I think he has been doing a really great job. I wouldn’t say he has found his style yet because I believe that is going to take a while, but he has been adapting really well, he’s calm when he’s calling, so that’s really impressive, taking everything into consideration. I played with both gade and JUGi in OpTic and they have really developed a lot experience-wise. JUGi was a bit more passive, but in this team he takes a lot more initiative, and I’m really impressed with that. aizy, I don’t know what to say about him, he’s just really, really good. He’s stable, consistent, he talks a lot, he can second AWP, so that’s really nice. It’s just actually the first time I’m playing with Markus, Kjaerbye.
I’m really impressed by gade so far, I think he has been doing a really great job. I wouldn’t say he has found his style yet because I believe that is going to take a while, but he has been adapting really well, he’s calm when he’s calling.
That is actually a bit surprising, you’ve swapped teams before but never played together…
That’s true, that’s actually the first thing he wrote to me when I joined, that now we finally get to play together, so that was kind of nice. The good thing about Markus is actually his communication and his lurking skills, as well. He’s 21 and he’s really good at reading the game, looking into the small gaps in the game, and that’s something really impressive, that he can do it that well when he’s that young. He’s a special kid.
How much have you been able to get accommodated in this team? For how long have you been playing together so far?
I think we played for about two weeks so far. I think we’re prepared pretty well, we have been practicing a lot. We are trying to go through maps a lot, we’d rather talk about a map than actually play it, we think it’s better to talk and fix things — of course, you want to test things, as well, but I think it’s really important to all be on the same page. I wouldn’t say we are there yet because it’s going to take a while, we’re still a new team, but I’m happy with the progress so far.
How do you view your first tournament in Pro League groups? Did you take it as a good sign that you could contest a team like Astralis and play quite close with fnatic, or did you expect more?
No. To be honest, we are really happy about Pro League. We knew that we were coming into the tournament and our goal was to get to the next stage, we knew that fnatic just won DreamHack and have a huge confidence boost, Astralis, probably the best team in the world. Of course, we want to beat them, but that wasn’t realistic, so we were just happy about beating Aristocracy and getting to the next stage.
I just want to show people and ourselves that there is some potential here. We just beat mousesports, that’s just one step. I think we want to show people that we can be a top contender.
A good start with beating mousesports here thus far, what are the expectations here and the goals?
I don’t know what place we would want to get, I just want to show people and ourselves that there is some potential here. We just beat mousesports, that’s just one step. I think we want to show people that we can be a top contender.
The Danish scene below Astralis has been struggling for a while now, what do you think it’s going to take to get up to that level again?
It’s going to require a lot of practice. I’m quite confident that we will make it because it’s been a long time since I felt — I’ve said this so many times — chemistry like with this team. I feel there is something there, people really enjoy playing together. In other teams, there have always been some problems, you could feel something being like it shouldn’t be. But in this team, it just feels like all five players are on the same page, so I believe it’s going to take a lot of practice, playing more tournaments, definitely.