Device – Return of the Danish Champion

With Nicolai “Device” Reedtz making his return at the ELEAGUE Boston Major, Astralis are serious contenders to win another ELEAGUE Major.

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(Photo Credit: AJJ74)

Nicolai “Device” Reedtz returns to competitive CS:GO this weekend at the ELEAGUE Boston Major. After being out of action with an illness since November, he is coming back into the Astralis lineup, who is among the favorites to make it far at the Major. 

One of the most interesting aspects about the return of Device is the change of roles on the team. Ever since Rene “Cajunb” Borg left the team in the middle of 2016, Device has moved more towards becoming a primary AWPer. Before this, Device was mainly a rifler who would pick up the AWP on certain occasions. Device will go back to his prior rifle role and instead Peter “Dupreeh” Rasmussen will pick up the AWP, as he did when Device was out with his illness. 

Device has always been a star player for his teams, but 2017 has perhaps been his best year as a player. Earlier on his career he seemed to consistently choke in playoff situations, and while he might not always perform in big finals, you need to look no further than the quarterfinals of the past two majors. Against Natus Vincere at the ELEAGUE Atlanta Major and against SK Gaming at the PGL Krakow Major, Device was outstanding and played a huge part in Astralis advancing onto the next stage. What was impressive about Device in 2017 was that he changed up his role and through studying his opponents he became one of the absolute best AWPers in CS:GO. While not as flashy as Kenny “kennyS” Schrub or Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs, Device was arguably the most efficient AWPer and his consistency throughout the year was one of the key parts in Astralis success. 

Although Astralis had a great start to 2017, winning the ELEAGUE Major and IEM Katowice, they didn’t look like a team on their way up towards the end of the year. If we ignore the events without Device, Astralis only made the final of one event after the player break in August. At the same time they failed to make top four at 3 out of 5 LAN events towards the end of the year. While it’s hard to pin the issue on one specific player underperforming, Astralis looked like a team in need of a change. The announcement of Dupreeh taking over the AWP duties was met with a mixed reaction from the community, but the reality is that Astralis has not been able to win an event since March of last year. You can certainly make the argument that this is not the change that was needed, but the team needed some sort of change. 

Dupreeh looked proficient on the AWP at the events he had to take up the role and he will provide Astralis with a more aggressive, but perhaps less reliable style of AWPing. Something that will allow Astralis to find picks and open up bombsites. Meanwhile, Device gets to go back to his old lurk role where he has succeeded in the past and where he still should be able to provide a consistent fragging presence. While Astralis has to retain some of their tactical style that has made them successful in the past, the unpredictability of the team played a big part in their second place finish at the BLAST Pro Series. Giving Dupreeh more freedom to go for aggressive picks is perhaps what Astralis needs to take them back to the top. If Device comes back to the same form he was in for most of 2017, the ELEAGUE Boston Major is perhaps the best opportunity that Astralis has had to win a tournament in a long time. With one of their main rivals, SK Gaming, having to play with a stand-in, combined with the unpredictability of their own role change, it’s not unlikely that we see Astralis repeat their success from last years ELEAGUE Major. 

Image Credit: StarLadder

How do you feel about dev1ce? Comment below how you feel the Danish superstar will perform at the ELEAGUE Major!