With PGL Major Stockholm fast approaching, Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz has played down the fact that Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev is about to equal his medal haul. “You have to give it to him, he’s the best player in the world right now,” the NIP star said.
S1mple has managed to elevate his game to another level in 2021 and already has five MVP medals to his name this year — three more than any other player.
He is now just two medals away from tying dev1ce’s record of 18 MVP honors, which could happen in October at PGL Major Stockholm, provided that the Ukrainian is also named the best player of IEM Fall CIS.
There is mutual respect between the two players, inside and outside of the game. In his documentary, ‘s1mple formula’, the NAVI player said that he sees dev1ce as the GOAT because of his incredible consistency and collective achievements.
And dev1ce has now said that he is not worried that s1mple is catching up with him. He stressed that his focus is on winning tournaments, not individual awards while labeling the Ukrainian the “best individual player” in the game.
“Individual accolades are just that,” he told Dexerto. “They’re cool and part of the game, but I honestly don’t care too much about them.
“For me, s1mple is the best individual. I think he will probably get there at one point or another because he’s also younger than me. It’s cool for him, he is a nice guy and his success is well deserved.
“For me, it’s more about looking at which tournaments we can win rather than which tournaments I can get an MVP again from. It’s the second priority in some way.
“Kudos to him, you have to give it to him. He is the best player in the world right now, in my opinion.”
Lack of silverware
Dev1ce joined NIP in April with the ambition of taking the team to the next level after winning almost all there is to win during his five-year stint with Astralis, including four Majors. His impact is such that he was even compared with soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.
But five months on, NIP are yet to win a title with the Danish superstar. They have only been to one final, in Flashpoint 3, and their last two tournaments, IEM Cologne and ESL Pro League Season 14, ended in disappointment.
Dev1ce has acknowledged the expectations surrounding the team are high, but he insisted that the focus is on achieving sustainable long-term success.
“We definitely have some pressure to go far in tournaments,” he said. “We’ve done quite alright in most of our tournaments. We’re still not quite on the same level as NAVI and Gambit, who have been dominating everything, pretty much.
“We were not good enough in Pro League and Cologne but, other than that, I’d say we’ve had pretty good runs at most tournaments.
“It’s a process you’ve got to stick to, instead of just being ‘We’ve got to win now,’ because then you get blinded by the urge to win. You don’t work on the things you have to work on, you’re just trying to make quick fixes.”
In the aftermath of NIP’s elimination from ESL Pro League Season 14 in the quarter-finals, dev1ce vented his frustration over his recent performances and described the tournament as being the “worst” of his career.
GG @OGcsgo and gl in the semis
Worst tournament of my career, a lot of shit going on and i just gotta fucking get better…. 26 y/o noob out, sorry for letting you down
— Nicolai Reedtz (@dev1ce) September 9, 2021
The Danish AWPer has now explained that his head was not in the right place during the event due to issues “outside of the game”.
“I started out the tournament well, everything was going great, but as soon as I didn’t find the level that I wanted, I didn’t have a way to switch off, get away from CS and think about other stuff,” he explained.
“I was just overthinking and I made it too hard for myself. It’s not I’m having a really bad time in scrims, I still think I’m playing at the level I was at a few years ago.
“I get too eager sometimes, overpeeking, not playing the percentages, stuff like that. I think it was the worst tournament that I’ve played. I’ve just got to learn from that, move on and do better next time.”
Dev1ce is averaging a 1.08 HLTV rating for NIP, which is a far cry from the sort of numbers he used to put up while playing for Astralis.
Questioned about this drop, dev1ce argued that he is not going through a slump in form. He explained that getting acclimated with a new team normally takes up to a year in traditional sports and that his Astralis numbers were somewhat boosted because of how dominant the team used to be.
“Transitions pretty much take a year in traditional sports,” he said. “I don’t know how long they normally take in CS, it’s the first time for me. I’m not too stressed, trying to find my level. I’m doing good enough in practice, I’d say, playing at the same level I’ve always played.
“When you take a look at the numbers, it’s natural that they go down a bit, though not as much as they did in the last tournament. But in general, when you don’t win all games in a tournament you won’t have silly stats as it sometimes happens when you keep on winning and winning.
“I don’t need to have a good game for us to win, which is more or less what happened on Astralis. We want to find out how to use all the pieces of the puzzle as best as we can.”