Ever since Lazarus (ex-SetToDestroyX) disbanded, there has been a gap in the European Critical Ops scene.
Not so long ago, a new team called UpNorth formed, and it features four players that used to represent StDx in the past!
On top of that, they’ve also been able to place high in the recent cups.
This caught our attention and intrigued us to ask them a couple of questions.
In the interview, we talk with their team manager - xrnavkha.
Please tell us the players in your team and the respective roles of each player.
The players in our team are as follows;
Exo - IGL
G2 - Rifler
Primza - Entry
Overload - Support
DeadBear - Support
ExZ - AWP
Turret - Entry
We also had Roomz in the team but due to hardware issues he is no longer able to pursue competitive in the team.
Can you explain us briefly how this team was formed?
The team was formed following S2 Gaming leaving Critical Ops.
There were a lot of players who still wanted to pursue a competitive aspect of the game but did not have a place to go to.
So we came together, found the remaining pieces of the puzzle and formed UpNorth.
The main ideology when creating the team was quite simple - to win.
The team does feature several players from SetToDestroyX, such as EXO, Overload, Primza, and Deadbear.
Would you say this is a good thing considering most of the players played together and already have some sort of chemistry?
I'd say the prior experience these people have is a huge positive when moving forward.
The fact that these players are not wasting any time in having to build up chemistry and instead of working on developing strategies and improving as a team gives us a head start in the awkward scene that is Europe at the moment.
Also, a plus for us is the fact that based off of the negative experiences in StDx, UpNorth has a sort of idea of exactly what not to do to.
We've seen your team first take part in the fourth ESL cup, where you didn't have such a strong showing, losing to team immortals with the 9-13 scoreline.
Can you tell us more about this match and what lead to your defeat?
I wouldn't consider that tournament our first showing as a team.
We had only existed for about a day at that time and as a result was still getting used to being in a team with each other.
Any team had a fair enough chance of beating us, as we were just getting a feel of the game together in a competitive environment.
The result wasn't something to write home about, but it wasn't a sign of things to come either.
During the last week's cup, you were able to perform way better, beating the likes of Kings Uprising and Exclusive along the way.
Did you expect to be beating those teams considering you've just recently formed?
We absolutely did.
The objective going into cup #2 was to win it.
We weren't playing to get a feel of it anymore.
We approached every game we played with the same mindset, knowing we had the capabilities to be able to beat any team in the cup if we played to our full potential.
Against EXCL this was apparent as we played a very strong CT hold, dropping only one round.
In the Grand Finals, you faced the current best European team Dynasty.
Unfortunately, you were not able to beat them, losing with a 0:2 scoreline.
Would you say Dynasty is still too strong of a team for you to beat or do you think you can potentially do it in the near future?
The Grand Finals simply didn't go according to the plan.
We approached the game tired, and we were choking easy round wins going into the game.
The score (9-13 and 8-13) doesn't betray the impression of particularly close games but the games truly were a lot closer than they seemed.
Unfortunately, some players didn't really show up and while that let us down now, we know that in the future we have the capability to close games like this out.
So to answer the question, we absolutely believe in our capability to beat any team on the European scene right now.
Generally, if you had to rate your team in the current ranking, which place would that be?
I can't really rank the teams on Europe right now since there hasn't really been any major tournament to separate these newly formed teams from one another, but if I had to make a choice I would definitely say we are in the top 3 European teams.
Do you have any set goals for the upcoming period, or do you just want to play and see how it goes?
The goals for the following months don't need much detail, they are quite simple.
As mentioned before; our only real goal is to win.
Anything you want to say to your fans?
We see plenty of experience in team UpNorth.
With proper guidance and a serious practice regime, they might become one of the finest teams in Europe.
Regardless, we’re looking forward to seeing what they can do in the future and we wish them the best of luck.
What do you think UpNorth can do?
Let us know down in the comments below.