NIP are interested in signing Jack ‘Jackinho’ Ström Mattsson to their CS:GO team on a short-term deal as star player Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz is still on medical leave, sources have told Dexerto and 1pv.fr.
Dev1ce’s health status has been a hot topic in the Counter-Strike scene over the last month after he missed NIP’s IEM Winter playoff match against G2 and the entirety of BLAST World Final as he recovered from an unspecified illness.
On December 20, Dexerto and 1pv.fr reported that dev1ce had expressed an interest in leaving NIP to move back to his previous team of Astralis, with whom he won numerous international titles, including four Major trophies, between 2016 and 2021.
Shortly afterward, dev1ce posted a series of tweets to comment on the reports and his situation. He described the stories as “nonsense” and noted that he was taking time off to protect his mental health, which had taken “a hammering” that year.
No timetable for dev1ce’s return has been provided, and sources have told Dexerto that he could be out of action for at least several more months. NIP’s first event of 2022 will be the BLAST Premier Spring Groups, where academy player Love ‘phzy’ Smidebrant will stand in for the Danish AWPer as the tournament’s roster lock is already in effect.
Sources said that NIP are currently thinking about signing a player to replace dev1ce for the foreseeable future, and have identified Jackinho as a potential solution. The 22-year-old left Fnatic in November after a ten-month period with the British organization, who replaced him with Owen ‘smooya’ Butterfield.
Jackinho is currently playing for NIP’s academy team, Young Ninjas, in Malta Vibes Knockout Series 5 as a replacement for phzy. If the signing goes through, he could make his first appearance for NIP in IEM Katowice Play-In on February 15.
Helping my friends in Young ninjas in 10 minutes vs Sangal. Will be fun to play some games after a few months 😁💫
— Jackinho (@Jackinhocs) January 20, 2022
Contacted by Dexerto, Anton Fagerhem, Head of Communications & PR at NIP, confirmed that dev1ce will miss the opening tournament of the season. “Nicolai is still recuperating and we want him to take his time to get back at full speed,” he said. “Phzy will step in for BLAST — again showing the strengths of having a good academy roster.
“Jack is filling in for phzy while he’s subbing for dev1ce — meaning that he will play with Young Ninjas for Malta Vibes.”