device shines in highly-anticipated return debut for Astralis
The legendary AWPer picked up right where he left off and had a vintage performance to power his side to a 2-0 victory over their countrymen of Tricked. The 27-year-old averaged a 1.66 rating and 101 ADR in what was his first appearance in the server since last representing Ninjas in Pyjamas at IEM Winter 2021 a year ago.
The Danish quintet now advance to the online competition's quarter-finals, where they will face off versus the winner of HEET and Into the Breach's matchup. CCT North Europe Series 2 gifts the eventual winner 150 points on the regional leaderboard, with teams who secure a podium finish by the conclusion of all four online cups securing an appearance at the studio finals.
device made his highly-anticipated move back to Astralis at the tail end of October, but fans of the Danish ensemble had to wait for a little over five weeks to see the four-time Major winner back in action as he was absent from the team sheet in Astralis' 3-4th place run through Elisa Masters Espoo in November.
The team explained their decision to participate in CCT North Europe Series 2 in a video on the organisation's YouTube channel. device in particular went on to say that they're using the event as an opportunity to, "win a lot of games to build our confidence and build that attitude that we can beat everyone."
The quintet also turns their attention to the resumption of play in the new year. The squad will be present at both ESL Pro League Seasons 17 and 18 thanks to their status as a partner team in ESL's Louvre Agreement. They will also strive to return the esteemed organisation back to a Major after famously being forced to watch the IEM Rio Major from the sidelines following a disastrous 1-3 showing in the IEM Road to Rio Europe RMR.
device's first map back in an Astralis jersey took place on his team's pick of Mirage. The 27-year-old added 13 kills to his tally to spearhead a 10-5 half in his squad's favour. This five-round buffer started to crumble at the outset of the second half but device, in tandem with Benjamin "blameF" Bremer, stood tall with 32 and 29 frags, respectively, to carry their roster on their backs and eke out a laborious 16-14 win.
device had a slow start on Nuke, with the Dane having to wait until the fifth round to get his first kill on the board and the squad as a whole going 0-4 down. Astralis stabilised, however, winning nine of the ensuing 11 rounds to close out their time on the defense with a three-round cushion. device and company didn't look back once on the offense, overturning Tricked's opening two-round spree with a seven-round streak of their own to easily pick up the win, 16-8.
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|56 - 28||+28||100.8||1.66|
|53 - 34||+19||108.2||1.63|
|35 - 30||+5||68.4||1.07|
|31 - 38||-7||74.2||0.95|
|23 - 30||-7||45.0||0.88|