Astralis’ effectiveness is seriously hampered by the illness of their star AWPer, Nicolai Reedtz, also known as dev1ce. Astralis is one of the top teams in the world, though not a dominating team like SK Gaming or FaZe. But they are a team that works together with teamwork and strategies to frequently pull in wins against the best teams. And they are never a team to underestimate.
However, as of the moment, Astralis are not a team to overestimate.
If everyone will cast their thoughts back to March earlier this year, dev1ce was diagnosed then with a hiatus hernia. This is a fairly serious condition where there is a rip in the diaphragm, and a section of the stomach is actually pushed up through that tear or rip. It’s a condition that is definitely unpleasant and possibly life-threatening. But most importantly, it’s not a condition to take into a top CS:GO event. This is because the condition is exacerbated by stress, and any pro CS:GO event is stress personified.
What causes the condition, and how long will dev1ce be out of action?
Any number of factors, such as stress and heavy lifting. Of course we know that dev1ce has been carrying the whole Astralis team along, more or less, for years. Does that class as ‘heavy lifting’? Possibly, in his case, yes. As for how long dev1ce will be out of action, that’s hard to tell. The condition requires surgery. Did he have surgery after he was diagnosed in March? There’s no news of him taking that path. That can only mean that he still has the condition, and that can only mean that he needs to take a long rest break, or have the surgery now. If he has the surgery, he could be a long time recovering, and may lose his ‘touch’. If he doesn’t have the surgery, he’s likely to be a very unreliable player for a long time to come.
All this probably means roster changes for Astralis, whether temporary or permanent.
Jacob Winneche, also known as Pimp, and formerly of Team Liquid, will be standing in for dev1ce at the ECS. Astralis are in a good position here, and may be in the Finals of this event, slated for December the fifteenth. However, Pimp will not be standing in for dev1ce when the team competes in the Blast Pro Series. Instead, his slot will be filled with handgun hot-shot Dennis Edman, who was benched by GODSENT.
It’s quite likely that Astralis are trying their hands at a possible replacement here.
While Astralis have a lot of team spirit and brotherhood, sickness and competitive CS:GO don’t really go together. As of now, the team meta can certainly be said to be unstable, and anyone who wants to predict the odds or outcome of a match Astralis takes part in should factor in the potent fact that dev1ce is not playing. If dev1ce isn’t playing, can Astralis be said to be playing? Are the two interchangeable? Only time will answer that question, as Astralis possibly moves into a future without dev1ce.