device on returning to CS: "I had the thought: do I even want to go in this circuit again?"
The Danish AWPer addressed a range of topics in BLAST's Overtime interview.
Astralis battled their way to Spring Final qualification with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over OG, picking up the final spot on offer in what was the last game of the BLAST Premier Spring Groups.
It wasn't all smooth going for the Danes, as they suffered series defeats to Vitality and Heroic before needing to scrape past OG, but ultimately they ensured Nicolai "device" Reedtz's return to LAN was a successful one.
Fresh from securing a spot in the Spring Final, device sat down with Mohan "launders" Govindasamy and Danny "mahone" Hsieh for the BLAST Overtime interview to address a range of topics, including what he got up to during his break from professional play, his thoughts on the changing CS meta, and how he rates Astralis newcomer Christian "Buzz" Andersen.
First up device addressed a question about his time off, specifically regarding July last year when he was racking up an impressive number of hours playing FACEIT, and whether this signaled a near-return that did not come to fruition.
"No, actually I never tried to put a time on it," he stated. "I worked a lot with a therapist on just in general dealing with stress, it's always been my biggest issue, my body just doesn't handle stress well. I'm trying to learn to better that, I've never really taken time to fix that or try to fix that. For me it was more like… you have that feeling that this is the time, and that is how I feel right now and why I came back." He went on to add "I also had the thought, do I even want to go in this circuit again? Because it's tough, but being here is just giving me all the right emotions and it's really nice. Obviously it's tough and stressful but in a good way, and I feel like I have found a way better life balance now that gives me some peace."
The sniper was also asked about his approach to these FACEIT pugs, and whether he treated them like training. "Honestly, it was mostly troll games," he laughed. "We have this Danish TeamSpeak where all of the other pros sit, and I actually never talked to that many of those people, because on Astralis we didn't play much FACEIT honestly. It was really nice to get to know a lot of the guys from the old Copenhagen Flames, and all of the other top pros."
The conversation eventually turned to device's return to LAN, and the Dane was quick to agree with the idea that the game against OG had been a stiff test for him. "Yeah it was, definitely," he stated when asked if the match had felt like a good stress test. "It was a good stress test on trying to find impact, trying to help the team comms, which is mostly what I try to do when I can't get the good shots in."
The interview then moved to the topic of what has changed in CS since device's break, and specifically what the biggest difference between playing in Ninjas in Pyjamas and Astralis had been. "Oh it's hard, I do think all the teams follow the meta," he responded. "NIP don't play the chaos so much, we knew that when we were going to play against them, they haven't adapted to that or don't want to play that CS." He continued to talk about the current meta, describing it as "playing the chaos" and opining it as "very IGL-based," before going on to describe his thoughts on the current role of the AWPer. "The AWP right now is in a meta where you throw a lot of flashbangs and grenades" the Dane began. "I did that in NIP as well, but also you need to have moves on every map on the T side as well, otherwise you are a dedicated flash-thrower and the gun is too expensive for that."
Later in the interview he was asked about what had changed in CS that he had to catch up on, device focused on the mechanical prowess of the modern professional. "People are getting way better individually," he stated. "I feel like I am mechanically getting better and better, but everyone else is raising the ceiling. I think some people who look worse now haven't gotten worse, I just think that because some people train 10-12 hours a day, everyone is getting better."
To close the Overtime segment, device provided his insight on his new teammate Buzz, and he was full of praise for the 19-year-old. "Honestly he's really good," device said of the youngster. He went on to state that he had "played with him in FACEIT since March last year," and thus knew Buzz's game well. "He has shown glimpses of what he is capable of, but it just takes time to transition into tier-one CS. I do think when you look at the games we played as well, people have been focusing him and trying to abuse him, and I think that plays a part in how the mind works."