Nick J. October 5, 2020
Update 10/10/20: Minh Le clarified his postion with SCATTERSHOT Ltd. in a quote provided to WIN.gg.
"I once discussed the opportunity to work as a technical adviser for a new FPS esports shooter with Nikolaj [Nyholm]. However, it was a misconception that I thought I could do it while still maintaining my position at Pearl Abyss. The bottom line is that I've been working at Pearl Abyss and will continue to work [there] in the future... I do not plan on continuing to work with Nikolaj Nyholm on the project," Le said.
Documents uncovered by WIN.gg have revealed that Counter-Strike creator Minh "Gooseman" Le and Astralis owner Nikolaj Nyholm founded Scattershot Limited in September, a new company potentially related to a new video game studio effort between the two.
WIN.gg has sourced an official document showing that Nyholm and Le registered a company under the name Scattershot Ltd. on September 25. According to the document, the company was registered under UK business code 62011, a code that covers broad leisure activities and most notably includes computer game design.
The document states that each man owns 50% of Scattershot, and listed its current capital as only 100 GBP. The figure indicates that the pair intend to build out Scattershot in the future, with the September registration serving to reserve the company's name for later use.
Is Astralis working with Counter-Strike's Minh Le on CSGO competitor?
Le is credited with the creation of the original Counter-Strike mod for Half-Life. Le worked for Valve from 2000 to 2006 before leaving the software developer to work on other video games, including Rust and Black Desert Online. He also helmed the development of what Le once called Counter-Strike's successor, Tactical Intervention. The game released in 2013 before shuttering its servers shortly afterward. Le's last mention of any type of game design work came in 2019 when he tweeted about an in-development project Plan 8 by BDO creators Pearl Abyss.
Nyholm was elected as the chairman of Astralis' board of directors in January, replacing former MTG executive Jette Nygaard-Andersen, who had held the post since Astralis Group's formation. The Danish venture capitalist cut his teeth in the Danish technology sector before purchasing Astralis through RFRSH Entertainment. In April 2019, RFRSH split into BLAST Entertainment and the Astralis Group amid public concern over conflicts of interest between Astralis and RFRSH's tournament series, Blast Pro.
Given Le's legendary status in the Counter-Strike community and Nyholm's success with both RFRSH and Astralis, Scattershot could be the first sign that Astralis Group plans to expand into new areas such as esports-ready video games. It's also possible that Nyholm's investment in Scattershot is unrelated to the Astralis Group as the director diversifies his own personal holdings. Either way, the company's registration ties Le directly back to the game he famously created.
Scattershot's official registration application and statement of capital can be found here.