dev1ce reveals the real reason behind his break from pro CSGO

By Kenneth Williams


Dec 22, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz is one of the all-time greats in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but even the titans deserve a break.

Ninjas in Pyjamas’ AWPer dev1ce has announced his intention to take a break from competitive play at the start of 2022. Rumors began circulating that NiP was making drastic roster changes or that he would retire, but dev1ce himself has taken to social media to explain the reason behind his decision.

The past two years have been particularly draining on his mental health. dev1ce plans to use the time to recharge his competitive spirit and plans to eventually return to competition. dev1ce’s posts have reignited the esports community discussion on mental health.

dev1ce talks mental health on Twitter

dev1ce posted a social media thread late on December 20 explaining his situation. The Danish player explained his mental health had been severely harmed by the last season of international play. He did not state any particular factors beyond personal issues and professional play. He also expressed that his teammates were negatively affected by the controversy, which motivated him to make a public statement. 

dev1ce’s situation is particularly precarious. He was widely considered the best CSGO player for many years during Astralis’ dominant peak during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. After the team fell off, he made the surprising decision to move to Ninjas in Pyjamas. dev1ce has AWPed for NiP for eight months now with only a single championship at IEM Fall XVI Europe.

With a looming roster shuffle before the 2022 season, there’s a lot to think about and even more than could potentially go wrong. It’s possible that constant travel restrictions since the beginning of 2020 have also affected his wellbeing.

Several esports figures including Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, NiP, and even dev1ce’s old sponsor Astralis came out in support of dev1ce’s decision to take a break. His statement included his intention to remain with NiP for the foreseeable future, though it did not rule out any other potential roster changes. In all likelihood, dev1ce will most likely return to active play sometime in early 2022. 

Is mental health a big deal in esports?

In traditional sports, physical health is an extremely important part of a player’s career. A single injury can result in a full season on the bench. Failure to recover can result in involuntary retirement. There’s a similar dynamic in esports. Prolonged mental problems can permanently affect how a player interacts with the game. It can affect their attitudes towards teamwork and tournaments, which is especially important at the top level.

Unfortunately, dev1ce’s break situation is far from unique. Several figures in the esports and gaming world have publicized their mental health issues. SK Telecom support Lee “Wolf” Jae-wa announced his retirement in 2019, citing mental health as a driving factor. Turner “Tfue” Tenney has taken breaks from his streaming career for similar reasons.

Some esports organizations have taken it upon themselves to provide mental health resources for their players. Evil Geniuses hired popular gaming psychiatrist Alok “Dr K.” Kanojia as a mindset and performance coach for The International 10. Astralis and OG have also hired similar personnel. The effects of esports psychiatrists is hard to discern, but it probably helps in some capacity.


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