device spills the beans

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Illustration by ANDYJ. Source: Astralis

Ever since device went on break in 2021, we’ve all had a lot of questions, ones that haven’t been answered apart from a few Jaxon reports or Twitter rumours. But on HLTV Confirmed the man himself finally put a stop to (most of) that speculation.

device shared that he doesn’t regret joining NIP, and that the home Major in Stockholm was the only thing that kept him playing in 2021. After that, his body “just shut down.”

He couldn’t sleep. There were frequent panic attacks. He had suffered with IBS even in the Astralis days, throwing up before matches like the IEM Sydney final in 2018.

He was used to stress, but this time was “a different pressure.” A break was the only option.

A break during which, for the record, he was not paid. Not by NIP, nor the Swedish or Danish governments.

But Counter-Strike was always going to pull him back in. Once it did, and device started playing FACEIT games again, speculation was rife on a possible return.

He even considered making a Danish team with jabbi and HooXi in the summer of 2021 before the two received offers from Heroic and G2.

A return to NIP “wasn’t on the cards,” something he did not expand on. As was the HUNDEN situation, where he promised he “wasn’t following” the scene and instead treats people “as they have treated me.” So yeah — he still has the Astralis PR stuff on lock when he needs it.

But for most of the interview he was very frank, and it’s hard not to believe him when it comes to his break.

The return to Astralis has been vilified by some, but you can see why the opportunity link back up with gla1ve and Xyp9x was so tempting. The Copenhagen office, and blameF’s presence, are cherries on top.

It was the most boring, but also the most logical ending. device did receive international offers, and it’s fun to imagine device in Liquid, or Vitality with ZywOo rifling, or any number of international projects.

But after his struggles, can anyone blame him for returning to the comfort of home?

We certainly won’t. But now he’s chosen a tougher path, to re-boot an Astralis starship that some wouldn’t even use as scrap metal anymore, a sporting spotlight is back on the 19-time MVP.

The time for talking is over. Now, it’s time to win.

March 2, 2023

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