In a challenging year for Astralis, device's remarkable performance has earned him a position in the top 20 players list, courtesy of 1xBet.
Top 20 players of 2023: An Overview
Nicolai "device" Reedtz has secured a spot in the top 20 players list for an unprecedented ninth time in his illustrious career. Known as "Mr. Consistent," the Danish player first made his appearance in 2014 and has only missed the list once, in 2022, due to health concerns after his move to Ninjas in Pyjamas.
After rejoining Astralis in late 2022, device showcased his exceptional individual skills throughout 2023, despite the team facing challenges. This achievement places him in an exclusive club of players who have made the list past the age of 28, joining the likes of NEO, f0rest, rain, cadiaN, and huNter-.
Reflecting on his return, device expressed, "Being a part of a club where NEO and f0rest are mentioned is also pretty cool, since they are some of the OGs of CS."twit_1666982596394340352
Device returned to LAN competition with Astralis in January 2023, making a significant impact during the BLAST Premier Spring Groups. Despite a rocky start, the team secured a place in the Spring Final, setting the stage for the rest of the year.
However, Astralis faced setbacks, including missing the IEM Katowice spot. The subsequent months were challenging, marked by disappointments in the ESL Pro League Season 17 group stage and the Paris Major Europe RMR. The team's failure to qualify for the Major for the second consecutive time dealt a blow to their confidence and team spirit.
Despite these challenges, device maintained a high level of performance, particularly at IEM Dallas, where he earned the first of three Exceptionally Valuable Player awards. The deep run showcased his skills, but Astralis faced further struggles, leading to roster changes during the summer break.
The new lineup faced initial challenges but showed promise, highlighted by a strong performance at IEM Cologne, where device earned his second EVP. However, the success was short-lived, and Astralis faced difficulties in subsequent tournaments, including ESL Pro League Season 18.
In China, at the CS Asia Championships, device secured another EVP as Astralis reached the semi-finals. Changes in the Astralis camp became apparent, with the acquisition of stavn and jabbi. The year concluded with mixed results for Astralis, emphasizing the need for additional firepower.
Why device is the 11th best player of 2023?
Despite finishing just outside the top 10, device's exceptional raw output in 2023 deserves recognition. His statistics in various aspects of the game, including fragging, impact, and play against top teams, were outstanding. Notably, device excelled in opening duels, emphasizing a strategic shift in his AWP playstyle.
However, a limited sample size, owing to missed Elite-level events, affected his overall ranking. While his performances at IEM Cologne, IEM Dallas, and CS Asia Championships showcased his legendary peaks, more appearances at major tournaments were necessary to secure a higher position.
Looking ahead to 2024, device is optimistic about Astralis' potential with the addition of stavn and jabbi, aiming to elevate the team's competitiveness and innovation in response to the evolving CS2 landscape.