device: "We've had a good year, but we knew we hadn't done anything any other team hadn't done before"

Astralis became the first team to ever win the Intel Grand Slam in Odense at the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals after defeating Liquid in the best-of-five grand final. We caught up with Nicolai "device" Reedtz to hear his thoughts on achieving such a feat.

We interviewed device after Astralis were handed gold bars with their names and the titles they've won engraved on them to immortalize their Intel Grand Slam victory, which crystallized as the Danes lifted the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals trophy over Liquid.

Astralis became the first team to win the Intel Grand Slam in Odense

The Danish AWPer, who was named MVP of the tournament, talked to about the veto, Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth's clutching abilities early on in Mirage, Astralis being a dominant force in 2018, becoming the first team to win the Intel Grand Slam and doing it in front of their home crowd, and whether the team will be able to keep up this level of play next year.

I would like to start talking about the veto. Twistzz sent out a bait Tweet hinting at breaking your Nuke streak, but then they banned it today. Did you expect that?

Honestly, they've publically stated that they're going to test some new stuff, so yeah... I don't know if we expected it, but we did expect to beat them pretty easily if they did pick it. They haven't really practiced it, I guess. They got a lot of momentum and I think in their minds they thought that we were very surprised. In all honesty, I think they played really well on Train. We didn't really expect that. We didn't get in the rhythm, I as an individual didn't get started at all, so it was a good move for them in hindsight. We couldn't watch any demos because they didn't play it for several months and we were expecting Nuke.

You said that you expected to win Train easily if it went through. What happened?

As I said, I think they gained momentum pretty fast. They did a lot of the same things we do when we play Train, actually, and I guess that in our minds we thought they were going to be very basic and play defaults, but they got money control and played fearlessly, getting a lot of entry-kills. We had a lot of ecos and weren't able to get into the flow... I think they played great and we just didn't get in the zone. There was that 1vs1 with dupreeh, and if he would have won that we could have gotten a lot of momentum and control on the T-side and gone on to control the pace, but nitr0 won it and they were able to win the map.

After that, it was Mirage, which started out with Liquid trying to keep that momentum going, but Xyp9x had three big clutches in a row. How did you guys live that on the inside?

For me, it was actually really rough. I wasn't able to get into the zone at all during the first two maps. It was a feeling I hadn't had for a long time. I was thinking too much about previous rounds or missing a shot, so I joked a bit with it, but it didn't work out that well for me. Just seeing Xyp9x playing really well, and the morale of the team, the communication, it became much better when he won those rounds... I think gla1ve even jokingly said that "if we're in a 2vs4 I'll go out and die so you can win the 1vs4, that's easier for us."

He's so good at playing clutch situations, and he gets into the opponent's head when he's in the 1vs1s. He always seems to be in the head of the opponent and he's just a great guy to have on the team. I don't know how I'd feel if I had to play against him.

After that you really took control. Liquid fought back during some points, but you were in the driver's seat the whole time. Throughout the tournament, as well. You dropped a map here or there, but you were really solid. Were you expecting this outcome?

We came here off of two back-to-back wins at IEM Chicago and the ECS Finals and we also had some pretty decent practice leading up to the event. We were confident, but we knew that there are still some flaws in our map pool and that there are things we can work on regarding utility, which hasn't been our strong point for a while. But yeah, we knew if we just played our game and played defaults, which have been working out for us... like on Inferno we played defaults on all 15 rounds, almost, except the pistol round. I think the way we play defaults, slowly, chokes out the teams and the control they have as CTs. We get into our comfort zone and we know how to do those late-game executes that allow us to win, right? So we're just playing to our strengths, and when we lose it's because we're trying to do stuff that we're not that good at.

We were pretty confident going into the tournament and we had a good chat about the expectations regarding each other and ourselves, and what the Danish crowd gives and how to handle that. At BLAST Pro Series in Copenhagen there were so many outside interferences, I think we found a really good balance on how to reduce that and still enjoy it.

This is a special one, you won the first Intel Grand Slam, and it was at home in front of your crowd. Is there a way you can put into words what it means to you?

It's so hard. I remember just standing on the stage, lifting the trophy, and looking out at the crowd where I had my friends, my girlfriend, my family, everyone was there and sharing this moment with them was just crazy. Then there was the whole crowd atmosphere, which is the best, in all honesty. We've worked very hard to be able to do something like this, that's historical, and it means the world to us. It's why we're here, right? We've had a good year, but we knew we hadn't done anything any other team hadn't done before and this cemented how great of a team we've been. It means the world to us and it's going to take some days to process what really happened this week. Right now I'm just so satisfied, but we do have an event coming up so we had to reflect and process things pretty quickly so we can perform in Lisbon.

To wrap it up after, as you said, you cemented how great of a team you've become this past year, do you think you can keep being the dominant force that can crush their opposition until the Major?

The Major is so far away in esports time that it's kind of hard to say. There could be roster changes, teams will rise and have honeymoon periods... The Major will also be tricky because we're Legends now, and the past two Majors have been won by Challengers because they can get a good warm-up for the event since the Major Qualifier is right before and there are no events leading up to it. There's also our own preparation, and not becoming too satisfied with winning now. Winning back-to-back Majors would be even crazier in my opinion. I think the Majors are the most prestigious events in CS and being a part of the club with fnatic and Luminosity/SK would just be... yeah... it's our goal and it would make me so happy.

Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Denmark Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth
Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Spain elskio 
2018-12-09 22:38
Denmark MinorThread 
2018-12-10 00:58
Dev1ce top 1 2018 hltv. 110%
2018-12-10 06:01
arT | 
Lithuania SiK_ 
cool story bro
2018-12-09 22:38
Tell Again
2018-12-10 07:03
Denmark Fonder 
2018-12-10 08:13
Yeah, +1 But you gotta remember that Esports is now so much more advanced than it used to be, with teams having more resources they can use to win, so this level of dominance with it's context considered is absolutely incredible. I'm not even an Astralis fan and it kinda hurts to say (as a NiP fan, I still like the 2015 Fnatic), but Astralis is probably the best team to ever touch this game :// TLDR - Astralis too stronk, I'm not even an Astralis fan
2018-12-10 11:50
United Arab Emirates p1peb0mb 
In future,a 2020 or 2021 top team will rekt this astralis. Does that mean that team is a greater team than current astralis?No... Its like saying current brazil team will easily beat the brazil team with pele who had won 3 world cups. If current brazil needs to be considered greater than that old brazilian ,then current team should dominate and win more events that the old team. Similarly, if you want 2018-19 astralis to be better than 2014-16 fnatic,2018-19 astralis need to do better against 2018-19 opponents like how fnatic did against their opponents in 2014-16. Level of cs is going up always. but competition does not remain same.Currently the completion is the worst since 2013 but level is the best. You have astralis similar to nip and navi similar to verygames.Then there is a whole lot of other teams who are just average. Fnatic won 19 events from august 2014 to march 2016. Astralis won 9 events from april.they are only halfway yet. If they tie upto fnatic by 2019 end,We can then determine who is greater. Atm fnatic is definitely greater than astralis. Last year this time SK was on similar path to be greater than fnatic. But after 2017 they haven't won a single premier event. So let see how and when astralis end their dominance. Then compare.
2018-12-10 12:05
To be fair.. The events Fnatic won at that time werent as stacked as they are now. Literally every event Astralis attends has THE best teams in it. Back then however fnatic would sometimes attend tournaments that have maybe one other strong team (nv) and that would be about it, making the road to finals incredibly easier if that makes sense
2018-12-10 14:25
United Arab Emirates p1peb0mb all these premier events are biggest than blast that astralis won. those all have many top teams. two of them are as big as blast only small event is
2018-12-12 07:38
Denmark Dy_Arceus 
Tldr sk sucks fnatic ded nip still cool. Astralis is working hard and theyre not rubbing it in peoples faces the community is the ones making a big deal out of it. Astralis just lifting trophies n doin their thing.
2018-12-10 21:40
United Arab Emirates p1peb0mb 
and astralis might be dead in future. does that stain their current legacy? no...
2018-12-10 21:41
+1 with their logic. Astralis current era now is a less competitive then any other team who dominate 4,5,6 years later.
2018-12-12 02:25
China teguP 
2018-12-09 22:39
Finland EdiEz 
Dev1ce mvp
2018-12-09 22:39
Turkey nopaznowin 
respect :(
2018-12-09 22:40
Yeah but stop robbing teammates MVPs you are not even top 5
2018-12-09 22:39
2018-12-09 22:41
He had the best kd of the whole tournament in his team wym?
2018-12-10 07:05
France CriiZiX 
Dumb s1mple fan
2018-12-10 08:42
Denmark Dy_Arceus 
Did you see the kd differences for the tournament ?
2018-12-10 21:41
Brazil NIKOLD 
simple >
2018-12-09 22:39
Astralis wins again ResidentSleeper
2018-12-09 22:40
MSL | 
World Houzzy 
2018-12-09 22:40
United Kingdom h4m 
Swedish brat
2018-12-10 09:02
Xizt | 
Italy HeSY 
Hope the best for astralis Even if I'm not a fan
2018-12-09 22:40
2018-12-09 22:41
Not really When S1mple when he had 1.5 rating and was a HARD carry
2018-12-10 02:28
fnatic cheater before too so yeah
2018-12-09 22:43
Australia t0rrent 
Did they?
2018-12-09 22:50
no way
2018-12-09 23:06
Best team we've had. Ever. By far.
2018-12-09 22:45
Namibia nawledge 
worst year of csgo EVER. fucking boredstralis, not really fun anymore to watch csgo
2018-12-09 22:51
Yeah I agree, but this finals was worth a watch.
2018-12-09 23:07
Namibia nawledge 
final was ok, I've always enjoyed watching cs ever since 2013, but this year it was so fucking boring, it started out great with the faze c9 final then everything got boring as astralis dominated every fucking team randomly. Hope 2019 will be different, this was the WORST csgo year by far of all time
2018-12-09 23:11
Xyp9x | 
Denmark n0ia 
Oh quit your sobbing XD Randomly? lol do you know what the word randomly means? I'd argue that domination by definition is not random..
2018-12-09 23:17
I suppose getting rekt so hard is boring when you are a retard.
2018-12-09 23:31
Namibia nawledge 
yes IT IS boring when they're destroying everyone, that's what I'm saying. I want to see actual good matches, not fucking them destroying every team, their playstyle is boring af. Might be fun for you to see your favorite team doing good but for some people it's not, I really don't like to watch tournaments where 1 team dominates everything. Compare the c9 faze match to all the astralis games, I literally fall asleep to the astralis games and that's not even a fucking joke, they're so fucking boring to watch. Like the major final, what was the score like 16 8 16 5 or something? Worst major ever, I think it was the most dominant final ever if I'm correct, and that's not really exciting, for you it is but not for some people. Do you really think it's exciting to watch a team dominating everything? In 2015 fnatic was dominant, but katowice and cologne was so fucking exciting to watch, finals were great and everything. They didn't crush every team, the teams gave them a good showing and that's why it's exciting, not really fun to watch a team like astralis lol. Whenever there's a tournament coming up and astralis are in it you're like ye another tournament with astralis in it, might aswell watch some shitty movie instead of the tournament because you know astralis are gonna win it. You must admit that faceit london major was the worst major ever and the WORST final ever, even if you're a astralis fan you must admit it. + the only reason why ecovice will get the number 1 spot on the top20 players instead of s1mple is because borestralis won more tournaments, even though s1mple is much better than ecovice. Maybe you like to watch astralis dominating everyone, but just because you like it doesn't mean everyone else likes it bro. I guess you're probably new to the csgo scene.
2018-12-10 10:24
Priceless comment of the year.
2018-12-10 16:49
Namibia nawledge 
that was the point my friend
2018-12-10 16:58
I’m also old enough in the scene to know that if you think that astralis play boring you really have no clue my man. I agree with a lot of the commentators that they play perfect and beautiful csgo and that is not boring my friend. But feel free to go watch a boring movie instead. Nobody really cares. I’m enjoying watching CSGO this year and that is every team not only astralis. And yes s1mple is better than device skill based. Take it easy, nobody is retarded here. But luckily its a teamgame.
2018-12-10 17:03
Namibia nawledge 
they're playing perfect yes, but my point is that you don't really see much action on astralis matches since they destroy everyone lol, maybe you think it's fun to watch that but I don't.
2018-12-10 17:09
So being too good is boring? The fuck is happening? Then maybe other teams should wake the fuck up and start to do some more practice? And really put some work into it like astralis. Then don’t watch it. I also don’t watch NFL because that is boring for me.
2018-12-10 17:24
Then maybe i misunderstood you. You are blaming all other teams for being too bad? Which makes it boring to watch since they get destroyed?
2018-12-10 17:26
Namibia nawledge 
No, I'm not. I'm not saying I hate them because they're good, all I'm saying is that this is the worst csgo year of all time, this major was a complete fucking joke, almost all tournaments have been boring because astralis just dominated everything. I'm not saying they should become bad otherwise it's " boring " but personally I haven't enjoyed watching cs a second this year except the 1st major. They are the best team in the world by far, and they put in shit loads of work but to me they're just boring to watch, no action what so ever. You misunderstood me from the start. Hopefully 2019 will be a better year, but if astralis are performing this well in 2019 I'm gonna quit watching cs lol
2018-12-10 19:32
This is way way to priceless. Nvm, have fun to quit, which i hope you do.
2018-12-10 20:27
Namibia nawledge 
thats the point with hltv bruh, you cant expect someone to actually be serious
2018-12-10 21:57
Yes, it is boring to watch your favorite team get destroyed by the best team in the history of csgo
2018-12-10 00:40
Yea it is boring to watch a team that actually has teamwork
2018-12-10 01:23
Anybody who calls Astralis boring to watch clearly don't understand counter strike on a high enough level to appreciate whats going on.
2018-12-10 01:51
Finland J3bediah 
I think its not that their gameplay is boring. The boring part is that whenever astralis are in a tournament everybody knows that they will win it.
2018-12-10 08:03
zonic | 
Denmark 4stalis 
2018-12-10 08:58
So in the end of the day it really is a BORING era, no matter what people said. There's no competitivity.
2018-12-10 09:16
they didn't win the IEM in Sydney, ESL One in Cologne, Dreamhack Masters in Stockholm or Blast pro in Copenhagen. And they lost three other tournaments in 2018 before their first victory at the Dreamhack Masters in Marseille.
2018-12-10 09:28
Denmark Xipingu 
Boring how? They play the game the way it was meant to be played now lol
2018-12-10 07:51
Nearly all Astralis vs. top teams (FaZe, Liquid, NiP, FNATIC, MiBR, even mouz) was great to watch tbh, especially in finals. The only boring thing is dev1ce's playstyle: it's just simple, he goes and get kills that an average Global ranked MM player can do. He shockes us sometimes thou, but overall watching Astralis is not that bad as I'm refering to their playstyle.
2018-12-10 13:52
It is just simple, yet no one is doing it?
2018-12-10 17:05
Sweden Trkmag 
Top 2 team of all time
2018-12-09 22:54
Kazakhstan abdivassiyev 
2018-12-09 22:55
Nice :)
2018-12-09 23:08
Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0 Astralis 1 Grand Slam SK /M16BR. 0
2018-12-09 23:15
ahahah )v
2018-12-09 23:30
Why so butthurt? Did ex-sk player marked you with a scar from the past or something? Don't worry, the pain will go away someday, i promise you my friend. " I think the Majors are the most prestigious events in CS and being a part of the club with fnatic and --->Luminosity/SK<--- would just be... yeah... it's our goal and it would make me so happy." Dupreeh, 2018.
2018-12-10 08:18
Praise the true Legends from Astralis
2018-12-10 18:09
what? they just did something no one did before
2018-12-09 23:28
ez for GOATvice and ASTRALIGOAT
2018-12-09 23:31
Lithuania KingOfPing 
It should be renamed not MVP but device award :D
2018-12-09 23:32
United Kingdom veiN_ 
Anybody who calls Astralis boring to watch clearly don't understand counter strike on a high enough level to appreciate whats going on.
2018-12-09 23:40
Barcelona has had good results with their boring tactical football for quite a few years, doesn't make it fun to watch though, actually the most boring football team to watch, Astralis is like the Barcelona of CSGO. Just because Astralis plays tactically and well coordinated game, doesn't make it fun to watch. High risk/reward is much more fun to watch for me like for example NIP used to play more often before when they were better, aggressive entry push which is dangerous. Fnatic as well much thanks to jw and even NaVi and VP used to be fun to watch before. NRG for example is pretty fun to watch these days, not very coordinated but that makes it more fun.
2018-12-09 23:54
Denmark Notallama 
Hardly. Pep's Tiki-taka was, and is, some of the most entertaining possession plays there is. It uses the quality of the squad to take advantage of superior short-passing play, and it opens the possibility for flair and tekkers to be shown on man-on-man. If you think that's boring, then you don't know shit about football, or simply didn't watch Barcelona under Guardiola. I agree that it could be a bit boring in Bayern though, but that was mostly due to players like Robben and Ribery.
2018-12-10 01:48
Denmark clutchkongen 
2018-12-10 18:50
Denmark how_much_ 
We are clearly among the few distinguished gentlemen capable of appreciating this level of play. Jokes aside people say they play boring but when teams actually challenge them it produces amazingly exciting series.
2018-12-09 23:56
Appriciating is not same as enjoying. I appriciate how well prepared and synchronized & systematic the teamwork is but it's not particularly fun to watch though. Explosive solo plays is more fun than seeing synchronized utility useage and wise crosshair placement between the guys, they went one step further in trying to make it all systematic so everyone knows how to react in all situations which is what Astralis does one step further than other teams atm and why they are winning (besides clutchmininister which really is a big help for the team in terms of solo play due being mentally strong which wins due players not daring to peak him and becomes small and "cornered" instead)
2018-12-10 00:14
United Kingdom veiN_ 
I disagree completely, if we put it into the same perspective as punch drunk fans that watch MMA put it, when it goes to the ground they can't fundamentally understand the science of what's going on when a guy is throwing none lethal shots to the head to open the guys half guard so he can pass or for instance when Daniel Cormier was on top of Anderson Silva and Silva just kept using lockdown to shut any attacks down, it was beautiful to watch from someone who understands it, the same as watching a dominant GSP which was on the contrary mega intriguing. The same comparison can be drawn here for Astralis, on the surface it looks boring to the average viewer but when you break it down to small increments and fundamentals which you can appreciate the game becomes less boring and more intriguing.
2018-12-10 00:23
Devve goat
2018-12-09 23:49
Dupreeh loved it. His gold bar XD
2018-12-10 00:04
Denmark pistolen 
Astralis to win back to back Majors in 2019, 3 Majors in a row. That must be the goal
2018-12-10 00:39
press "f" to pay respect F
2018-12-10 01:11
2018-12-10 01:29
device: “yeah we’re awesome but i’ll stay humble” glaive: “didnt even have to call”
2018-12-10 04:09
Finland MMAd 
I bet dupreeh is gonna sleep next to that gold.
2018-12-10 06:06
Sweden ThorinEk 
"being a part of the club with fnatic and Luminosity/SK would just be... yeah..." - dev1ce you already have two majors just like SK lineup core
2018-12-10 06:39
He means back to back majors
2018-12-10 08:53
fl0m | 
Denmark GARD91 
He was talking about back-to-back major wins
2018-12-10 08:58
Sweden ThorinEk 
I stand corrected.
2018-12-10 09:59
United States hellboy^ 
katowice hype already
2018-12-10 08:44
2018-12-10 08:48
When people say astralis play boring cs. they are one of the only teams I've seen this year fight back from being like 14-7 down to either win it or atleast take it to overtime and they did it a few times like against mousesports on nuke. Think mouse whete up 13-6 ans astralis won. 16-13 who else does that? Also the match against ldlc for a close excited who's gonna win it game. That was madness. Domination is boring to see. That is why films like Rocky are great you don't know who's gonna win and there is the tension. With astralis being so good it feels like they are gonna win every match easily so there is no tension there. They constantly proving that they can dominate the scene.
2018-12-10 11:34
Spain elskio 
well said
2018-12-10 18:15
2018-12-10 12:40
It is necessary to recognize they are the best, maybe against MIBR the final would have another result, and glaive is the best IGL of the world!
2018-12-10 18:37
twist | 
Sweden Weedish 
OMEGALUL device, how can he knows that HAHAHA LMFAO
2018-12-10 19:02
2018-12-10 21:43
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