Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz, the Danish CS:GO player often considered one of the greatest in the sport’s history, looks like he might be making a return to CS:GO esports very soon. The news has come following a report from Jaxon.gg last week, stating he had held talks with several CS:GO teams. He’s been grinding FACEIT almost daily in the meantime.
Dev1ce has been off the grid since December last season and come out with this statement before going on a hiatus:
“My mental health has taken a hammering this year, for both personal reasons and the pressure that comes with playing professional esports.”
Legendary return to the scene?
The news of his reported return seems timely with the CS:GO summer break coming to an end. CS:GO fans will be hoping that his batteries are recharged and he can come into this all fresh with new perspectives. Device at nearly 27 years old (in 10 days) was not prepared for the fame, adoration and scrutiny that someone in the public sphere has to come face to face with on the daily. After nearly four years of dominating the scene, the toll was too heavy for this CS:GO legend to bare, as he pulled out of competition to rest and recuperate.
Device was a key member of the Astralis side that won four Majors and was the MVP for two of those Majors. He is a 19-time MVP and was a top 20 for eight years in a row before taking a break. The Dane has been heralded for his consistency, longevity, versatility and communication beyond his exceptional skill. He never topped the rankings, which is perhaps the only question mark surrounding his greatness but there aren’t many players who can claim to be better than him for the time being. He apparently plays actively over this period in preparation for his return.
Back in April 2021, he signed for Ninjas in Pyjamas. The transfer was reportedly worth $1,000,000. NIP COO, Jonas Gundersen, hailed the transfer at the time as “one of the biggest in the history of esports”. He’s no longer part of NIP and his signature should be highly in demand, after all, he is one of the most decorated players in the history of CS: GO esports.
Now that the news is out, fans will be desperately refreshing their screens for more news on this topic. At the moment, no team seems to be clearly at the top of race for his signature but there’s enough in the noises around him to suggest that he’s almost certain to make a return to CS:GO esports.
We still need to tackle performance stress in esports
Mental health awareness has become increasingly important in every sphere of life and the same applies to those within the esports industry. While we often discuss player burnout and fatigue, not much is done across all esports to address the issue properly.
Device isn’t the first player to be taking a break from the esport. SK Telecom support Lee “Wolf” Jae-wa retired back in 2019 for similar reasons and Turner “Tfue” Tenney has been taking breaks as well. Esports teams are starting to realize that this has become increasingly common over the years and individual teams have taken great measures to combat this.
Evil Geniuses hired popular Alok “Dr K.” Kanojia, who is a psychiatrist, mindset and performance coach for The International 10. Astralis and OG have followed suit. Much hasn’t been revealed about their roles in the team but it’s a step in the right direction. Player welfare can get disregarded in a competitive environment where the smallest of margins matter. There is a lot of pressure on players to perform at a high level constantly because of the demands set on them by themselves and the team which can take a toll over time.
Device, of all people, will be well aware of those demands. The nature of sport can be extremely overwhelming and it’s often forgotten just how young some of the players in the sport are. We hope proper schedules, burnout prevention and some sense become an industry standard soon.