One of the best Counter-Strike players in the world dev1ce who signed a three-year contract with Ninjas in Pyjamas earlier today, in his farewell statement to Astralis revealed why he was leaving the Danish organization after having spent more than 5 years with the team. Not only this, the four-time CS:GO Major winner also provided the reason behind joining the Swedish lineup of NIP. The common reason that justified both these decisions taken by dev1ce was the current global health situation, which prevented teams from functioning normally and had started becoming a challenge for the Danish AWPer. Here is what dev1ce had to say about his departure from Astralis and the reason behind joining NIP.
The co-founding member of Astralis’ current CS:GO roster has left the organization after more than 5 years. Talking about his departure dev1ce pointed out that things like living far from the office, not being able to meet his friends, virtual training, and constantly playing from afar had become challenging for him.
“It has become clear, how much I miss having a team and an organization close to me, and for so many reasons the time simply feels right to change things up and find myself in all this,” said dev1ce in a farewell statement to Astralis.
The 25-year-old personally requested the organization for him to be transferred over to Ninjas in Pyjamas, as he wished to “work out of Stockholm and still be able to have a team and organization close to him”.
The global pandemic that has been affecting the world for more than a year now impacted dev1ce’s work-life balance, forcing him to make this decision. He appreciated the fact that Astralis was so understanding and worked things out quickly so that the transfer could take place before Flashpoint Season 3, which is the first European RMR event of 2021.
“I would like to thank Astralis for their understanding and cooperation in all of this; I enter a project I truly believe in, and I am looking forward to finding the stability and good energy of having a more balanced work life. I can’t wait to get started with my new team and teammates!”
Kasper Hvidt - Director of Sports in Astralis also came forward to state a similar reason for dev1ce’s departure stating that,
“For personal reasons he has asked us for the possibility to transfer to an organization closer to his home in Stockholm, and after lengthy talks, it became clear that this is what he felt is best for him. We immediately contacted NiP to see if there was any way we could come to an agreement of a transfer - and here we are.”
Hvidt went on to reveal that they wanted to keep dev1ce until his contract came to an end in December later this year, but the situation was such that they went ahead with the transfer, “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.”
While the CS:GO community was aware of the fact that Astralis was about to make some big changes, no one expected that dev1ce would be the player leaving the organization. The shock news struck them hard, as NIP announced him as their new signing replacing nawwk on their active CS:GO roster.
Talking about why he was so keen on joining the Swedish organization dev1ce went on to say that,
“Leaving Astralis is tough, to say the least. 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.”
Dev1ce wanted to work from Stockholm itself which is the capital of Sweden, also the home of Ninjas in Pyjamas. So the Dane requested Astralis for a transfer and within no time the 2 organizations reached an agreement, this is better for the player’s mental health and will help him achieve a better work-life balance as he wanted to.
“How NIP works with mental health was a huge factor in the decision. Everyone who has followed me through my career knows that I've experienced it all; from choking to winning. It’s true that winning a first tournament can light up the spark, and I’m confident that I can bring a lot of winning culture to this talented roster over time.”
Throwing a comparing, dev1ce gave the example of what LeBron James achieved with the Lakers and has something similar on his mind, “with the Major in Stockholm coming up; to bring that home to Sweden is my number one goal”.
It will definitely be interesting to see how dev1ce goes on to perform with his new Swedish team, all set to debut in the upcoming Flashpoint Season 3. While it remains to be seen if Astralis can find their way back to the top of competitive Counter-Strike with their slightly altered lineup, as Bubzkji replaces dev1ce on the active roster.