Photo via ESL

NiP subs in academy AWPer phzy for sick dev1ce prior to IEM Winter semifinal vs. G2

Another academy player gets called up to the main NiP roster, this time unexpectedly.

Ninjas in Pyjamas made a late CS:GO roster update today, announcing that superstar AWPer Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz is under the weather won’t be competing in the team’s next match. Love “phzy” Smidebrant from the Young Ninjas academy team will make his main roster debut against G2 Esports in the semifinals of IEM Winter.

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The organization confirmed that dev1ce’s PCR test for COVID came back negative but said he still needs time to recover after being advised by a doctor to rest. In steps phzy after some “strong performances” playing with Young Ninjas.

NiP has found a decent amount of success with its temporary academy player promotions, having fielded both Erik “ztr” Gustafsson and Linus “LNZ” Holtäng on the main roster for extended periods of time this year. LNZ even put on some impressive performances in NiP’s playoff run at the PGL Stockholm Major.

With the acquisition of Danish rifler Patrick “es3tag” Hansen, LNZ was moved back to the Young Ninjas roster. The team will now call upon another academy player to step up in a big moment since phzy will take on the AWPing duties against PGL Stockholm grand finalists G2. NiP’s semifinals appearance at IEM Winter is already a massive improvement after a winless showing at the BLAST Fall Finals.

NiP and G2 will face off in a best-of-three on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 12:15pm CT.


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Scott Robertson
VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.