NIP have announced the shock signing of Nicolai “device” Reedtz on a permanent transfer from Astralis. The four-time Major winner has signed a three-year contract with the Swedish organisation, replacing Tim “nawwk” Jonasson, who has been made available for transfer.
device was one of the original members of Astralis, an organisation created in January 2016. He played a leading role as the team ushered in a new era of dominance between 2018 and 2020, during which they won countless international titles, including three back-to-back Major crowns to add to the ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017 trophy.
device is NIP’s new AWPer
His time with Astralis also helped him carve out his stake as one of the greatest players in Counter-Strike history. He currently has the record for the most MVP medals at 18 (including two from Majors), and he has made every HLTV Top 20 since 2014, featuring in the top five in the last six years.
His departure comes less than two weeks after he said that some changes were to be expected in the Astralis camp after the team’s rough start to the year. It also signals the end of his long association with Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen and Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth, who had been his teammates since 2013.
“Leaving Astralis is tough, to say the least,” device said. “The boys will always be like family to me, but this Covid era has left me thinking a lot; where do I see myself when it all goes back to normal?
“I’ve lived in Sweden for some time now, speaking the language, and I’m really hyped about this young and exciting NIP project. To join one of the most successful organizations, where so many legends have played, inspires me. Just see what LeBron James achieved with the Lakers for instance, and with the Major in Stockholm coming up, bringing that home to Sweden is my number one goal.”
In a statement, Kasper Hvidt, Astralis’ Director of Sports, admitted that losing device poses “a challenge short term” but explained that the organisation wished to grant him his wish to be part of a team closer to his home in Stockholm.
“We could have insisted on keeping Nicolai until his contract expires in December, but when someone who has served the team the way he has, we will do our utmost to find a solution that satisfies both parties,” Mr. Hvidt said.
“The transfer agreement with NiP is such a solution, and while everybody in Astralis is sad to say goodbye to Nicolai, we are also happy that we have been able to accommodate his request in a way that compensates us and leaves us all in a good position going forward.”
device‘s signing comes as a huge boost for NIP, who have struggled to break into the top 10 in the rankings. Signed in January to replace Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg, nawwk has shown flashes of brilliance but has lacked consistency, posting 1.00+ ratings in only 56% of the maps that he played with the team.
“Bringing in device is a huge testament to the work everyone around the club have been doing for the past years,” NIP Chief Gaming Officer Jonas Gundersen said. “We set out on a venture to rekindle the magic that NIP stands for and in this day and age. That means transforming into a modern esports performance unit that can define new standards.
“Attracting and retaining the best talent in the game is at the core of that, and dev1ce is one of the very best in the entire world. We’re here to stay and we are here to win championships. The hard work to fill the ambitions that we have has only just begun.”
device will have a baptism of fire for NIP as he will make his first appearance in Flashpoint 3, the first Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournament of the year. Astralis have announced that Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen will be the team’s fifth player in DreamHack Masters Spring next week.
With device‘s signing, NIP now have:
Fredrik “REZ” Sterner
Nicolas “Plopski” Gonzalez Zamora
Hampus “hampus” Poser
Erik “ztr” Gustafsson
Nicolai “device” Reedtz
Björn “THREAT” Pers (coach)
Frederik “JAEGARN” Andersson (assistant coach)
Tim “nawwk” Jonasson (transfer list)