North sign Kristou, reveal new Talent Development Strategy
North revealed a new long-term Talent Development strategy aiming to develop new players healthily. North Esports intends to build a sustainable Talent Development model, giving some of the biggest Scandinavian talents a healthier path into the professional scene, which includes a partnership agreement with the AGF team. They also signed a contract with Christopher "Kristou" Amanda.
The 18-year-old Danish had already performed for North in April this year, when the team left Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjaerbye. Now he will play for AGF on lease.
"When we initially took Kristou into the team, we based the decision on the raw mechanics and mental aspects of the game, both of which showed high levels for a young player who had yet to play top tier CS. Within 2 weeks of his loan, we recognized the groundwork put in by AGF Esport and initiated a clause in the loan agreement that allowed us to buyout the player permanently at the end of the loan period," says Head of Esports Operations, Graham Pitt.
“As part of the buyout, we negotiated with both Kristou and AGF to secure his return on loan to continue his development as a starting member of their roster, whilst also finishing his final year of education. He will continue to receive full support and coaching from the North staff, and where appropriate will also be brought back for practice sessions to monitor his progress, simultaneously providing members the starting roster time to rest during the season,” Pitt says.
"We will not directly be operating a 6 man roster during this period. A big takeaway from the first half of 2020 was recognising the need to reduce the load on our players. Our new setup with AGF will allow us to develop talent in a way that ensures all players can be playing regularly, ensure a gradual introduction to the professional life for Kristou, and we make sure that all players can recharge during the season," says Graham Pitt.
Partnership with AGF will help North to reduce the load on the players and provide an opportunity to develop young Scandinavian talents. As part of this strategy it is planned to cooperate not only with AGF, but also with other eSports organizations in the region.
This is not North's first experience in establishing an academy club. In April 2017, the organization signed five young Danes, who began playing under the tag North Academy. At different times for this team played players such as Niklas "gade" Gade, Frederick "acoR" Gouldstrand and Johannes "b0RUP" Borup. The project closed on May 4, 2018.