One year ago, Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz was the king of Counter-Strike. Today, his once thunderous fan base is now outdone by crickets in the silence of midnight.
Dev1ce is without a doubt an all-time great player in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. He’s one of the best hybrid players to ever exist. He has attained mastery on a plethora of rifles and is an expert on the AWP. To say otherwise is heresy to the king. 2015, an era not too long ago, was the year of Dev1ce. He took five titles in premier level tournaments, constructed deep runs in many others, had a 1.16 HLTV rating, a 1.24 KD ratio, and was considered the best player in the world by many. However, the king has been forgotten.
This year, very little has been spoken about the “Dashing Dane.” No major personality, pundit, or commentator has advocated for his greatness. When investigated, Dev1ce’s statistics indicate a baffling difference between reality and perception.
2016 is almost over, and Dev1ce has no titles to show for it. The king has descended from greatness. His greatest achievement for the year was a bronze placing at the Global Esports Cup Season 1, a tournament with an unfortunately weak set of teams. Yet, unbeknownst to the public, his fragging is hotter than ever. Dev1ce has a 1.17 HLTV rating for the year. Sporting 2390 total kills, the Dane wields a 1.25 KD ratio. The only other players, on a top-15 team, boasting a higher 2016 HLTV rating for the year are Marcelo “coldzera” David, Nikola “NiKo” Kovač, and Henrique “HEN1” Teles. It starts to appear that Dev1ce still sits on his throne; the peasants just stopped worshiping him.
An argument often made against the unwavering statistical monster, Dev1ce, is that his frags are good on paper but he falls apart in clutch situations. They say that his mentality can break down in the late stages of bracket play. They say the king commands his army of skill when there is no pressure, but when ultimate triumph is on the line, he falls from grace.
To that, I say, “you’re half right.” The pressure has affected Dev1ce in some key bracket performances, but the overwhelming body of evidence supports his greatness. Dev1ce’s greatest asset never was his clutch ability. His greatest asset is his ability to grind. Consistency is the name of Dev1ce’s game, and he’s spent two years consistently fragging at the upper echelons of top level Counter-Strike.
Dev1ce is the forgotten king who still sits atop his throne. He is having the quietest superstar performance that Counter-Strike has probably ever seen. An analog could be made to vintage Lebron James, before he had ever won a championship. James, much like Dev1ce, was incredibly skilled and consistently put up numbers. Day after day, the man was a monster on the scoreboard. Fans rallied, and they praised “King James” for his consistent superstar level. Even when his team under-performed around him, he was able to prove his worth through consistent grinding and statistical greatness.
However, when he took his teams to the playoffs, his performances deflated and he was labeled a choker. The parallels are too obvious to not notice. If James had never won a championship, he would still be regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. His body of work and level of play warrants it. If he had choked miserably in every final he ever reached, he would still be one of the most incredible basketball players to ever run up and down the court.
Dev1ce is no different from James. All should hail King Dev1ce. But, for now, I’m joined only by the crickets of midnight. Come with me, let’s pay our respects to the king.
What are your thoughts about Dev1ce’s level of play over the past year? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.