Speculation's running rampant about the imminent launch of OG's CS:GO project off the back of North's announcement that they've transferred longstanding player valde to an "unnamed team". The 24-year-old Dane has been on the bench since October, and departs after spending more than two years with the org.
It's been rumored since the end of the Berlin Major that OG would enter the Counter-Strike space with a team spearheaded by two players who were unexpectedly removed from their respective top-tier sides: Aleksib from ENCE and NBK- from Vitality were treated as lock-ins from the start, but various contractual disputes and other complications meant that this project has not yet come to light.
Today, it seems like a major move has been made on the matter as North has finally sold valde after benching him in October. The Danish player has been on HLTV's top 20 list last year and was widely expected to be a part of the org's resurgence. However, results and performances remained mediocre, which means he departs the side with four tournament wins, all in the DreamHack circuit: Montreal, Tours and Valencia from the Open events and a shock win in Stockholm's Masters outing where they beat out Astralis in two separate best-of-three matches and completed a comeback against mousesports after losing a map 0-16.
Based on the official communiques, the split seems amicable. The org's official site posted an excerpt of valde's Twitlonger post, which we'll reproduce in full below:
As some of you might already know, the time has come for me to try something new and go down a different path in my career. I could feel within myself that it is the right decision and it's always with mixed feelings leaving something behind, that has been a huge part of your life for more than two years now. I got to play 35 tournaments and lift 4 trophies during my time in North, and all of them played a role in creating some of the most memorable moments I have in my life.
I've been disappointed in myself not doing better over the last months in North but I've learned so much about who I want to be as a player and I look forward to 2020 as the year where I will take the next steps on my journey towards being a better and more complete player.
People always write this in statements but I really want you guys to know that I mean it, when I say thank you to all of you who showed their support towards us, no matter how we did as a team or no matter how good or bad I did as an individual. I hope you will follow me on this new journey and keep writing messages, ask questions and so on. It really means a lot. I will most likely do my first ever AMA soon to answer some of you guys' questions and to just be in touch.
Last but not least, I want to thank all the people who has been a part of North and my life during my time there. It's been unforgettable and I wish you guys the best moving forwards.
Of course, there's no official confirmation of the player's destination at the time of writing, but OG's recently made Dota history by winning back-to-back TI events, and they've also recently launched a secondary Dota 2 roster under the name OG Seed.
Photo credit: HLTV