Nicolai “device” Reedtz has always been a key piece in the Astralis puzzle. Although only 21 years of age, device has been able to consistently put up world class numbers ever since he entered the scene with the Copenhagen Wolves in 2013. Although device has been able to perform among the world’s best for several years, he often receives little to no attention due to his steady game play, complementing rather than stealing the limelight from his teammates.
At the beginning of device’s career, he was a monster in online tournament environments and the early stages of LANs, but often failed to convert the solid group play into top finishes due, regularly chocking under pressure. Despite almost carrying his team through the preliminary stages of tournaments, Reedtz would follow an all-too-familiar pattern when it counted.
This chronic ailment was diagnosed as ‘LAN jitters’ at the time, but later it became clear that this repeated pattern was a result of consistently choking at the final hurdle. These problems plagued device all throughout his time with Copenhagen Wolves and Team Dignitas, failing to convert any strong performances in big LAN events to top finishes.
The rise of the Danes coincided with the transfer of sponsorship from Dignitas to TSM, seemingly freeing device from his shackles. It quickly became clear that device was one of, if not the main reason for TSM’s success due to his newfound ability to stay relevant, deep into tournaments. It was around this time that there were a number of discussions held around whether or not device could be considered the best player in the world.
Over the coming months, Team SoloMid would grow into a world class team, competing with the likes of Fnatic for tournament wins. All through this rise of the Danes, device’s play was being rightfully noticed and applauded. This period of strength for the TSM squad was the first period of time in which device was considered a world class player, despite having strong performances bar his choking problem for months beforehand.
The TSM squad looked unstoppable for the majority of 2015, but ultimately fell off towards the end of the year. Despite fielding the same roster that provided the brand with their seven LAN wins of 2015, TSM fell into a significant slump – device however, had not fallen from grace.
His stats stand to this day as some of the best in the world: not once dipping below a 1.00 rating for the entirety of 2016 and not below a 0.9 since his Team Dignitas days. Despite these impressive figures, his play is often overlooked because of his low risk high, reward type play style, which allows him to get a kill or two each round, without putting himself in a great deal of danger.
In recent weeks, device has reminded the world why he was renowned for his consistency. In each of his last five tournaments, the ‘worst’ performance was 30 more kills than deaths at IEM Oakland. The added star power he is able to bring to the Astralis lineup is invaluable, reflected in the team’s recent tournament placings, with Astralis having a spike in form coinciding with device’s.
With the chronic choking seemingly cured, in spite of a recent roster change shaking up the team’s leadership, Astralis look onward and upwards going into the new year and the ELeague major in January.