He is undoubtedly one of the most legendary figures within both the CS:GO and entire esports industry, having become one of the most recognizable faces within the game’s most successful side, but all of that has come to a sudden and shocking close with the news that Nicolai “device” Reedtz has completed one of the most jaw-dropping roster transfers in history, joining Ninjas in Pyjamas from Astralis.
The 25-year-old Danish superstar has made an official transfer from Astralis to NiP, penning a three-year deal with the Swedish org for what could be a record-breaking fee. Roster reshuffles are fairly commonplace in the world of CS:GO, however, a deal of this magnitude is rare and the response it has made online is a testament to the status of the parties involved. Here’s everything you need to know about the biggest transfer CS:GO has ever seen.
Who is device?
Quite simply, Nicolai “device” Reedtz is the most successful player the competitive world of Counter-Strike has ever seen.
He joined Astralis in January 2016 after playing in various other Danish organizations such as Team Dignitas and TSM, and has remained ever-present in the side as they rose to become the greatest team ever assembled. Astralis in 2018 are still regarded as one of the most unstoppable forces in esports history, the team became the first in history to win four Major championships (including the latest three in a row), and their role in bringing everything from improved nutrition, in-game substitutions and understanding for elements such as fatigue and the strains of competitive play on a pro’s mentality has helped innovate the whole industry over the years.
As a professional player for Astralis, device will end his tenure with a scarcely believable record; 1076 maps played with a 1.17 rating, 0.78 kills per round, 23 tournament wins (with 12 second-place finishes) and an unmatched 14 MVP awards at tournaments is a set of stats most players can only dream of bagging, and the fact that he has spent every year since 2016 in the HLTV top-five player rankings is a testament to his incredible consistency in the server.
How did we get here?
Astralis might be the most successful side the Counter-Strike series has ever produced, but there had been rumblings about a possible shakeup being on the horizon for the Danes for some time.
It should be said that none of these rumblings ever had device leaving as a possible solution though.
Astralis are a side that had become used to the lights and spectacles that come with big LAN events, so when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the online era was introduced in March 2020, they were always going to be one of the sides hit hardest. However, they were still able to round out the year on top of the world rankings between player breaks and a couple of reshuffles following a win at the IEM Global Challenge in December.
Nevertheless, the frailties that were beginning to show in 2020 have been completely blown apart and exploited over the first months of 2021. After a runners-up finish at the BLAST Premier Global Final, Astralis were knocked out of the BLAST Premier Spring Groups, finished 5th-6th at IEM Katowice 2021 and ESL Pro League Season XIII, with a further knockout from the BLAST Spring Showdown representing a serious fall from grace for a side used to romping to titles. Couple that with the inconsistencies from players such as Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif and Andreas ‘Xpy9x’ Højsleth, as well as the growing sense of frustration and confusion emanating from Lucas ‘Bubzkji’ Andersen’s lack of playing time as a sixth man, and it was clear that Astralis were reaching a breaking point.
In an instant, Ninjas in Pyjamas have found themselves being catapulted from a somewhat second-rate outsider in most CS:GO betting markets to one of the scariest looking rosters active in the game. With an average age of 21.6 years, NiP have worked extremely hard in cultivating some of the Swedish scene’s most promising players. With Device replacing Tim ‘nawwk’ Jonasson, the new level of expectation on this young roster could make or break the Ninjas.
For Astralis, the CS:GO world will hold their breath and wait to see what the org will do to try and replace such a huge figure in their history. Bubzkji is already present in the org and ready to be used, however, the possibility of Astralis looking at talents like Patrick ‘es3tag’ Hansen shouldn’t be ruled out of the equation either.
Device will begin his journey with Ninjas in Pyjamas at the upcoming Regional Major Ranking tournament, Flashpoint Season 3 on May 10th, whilst Astralis will be fielding Bubzkji at DreamHack Masters Spring on April 29th.