NIP struggles without Dev1ce – Can they get good again before Katowice?

NIP fans were left concerned that Dev1ce has been ill and missed the Blast World Finals and potentially head into the holiday period without official matches played. Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz is obviously the star of the team and has been propping them up since joining.

He has not put up the same numbers he did when he was at the height of his game. Though his previous stats were so good that his form is still great. He has held a 1.2 HLTV Rating over the past three months and has clearly held his own.

Dev1ce, BLAST Premier Fall Final

Phzy was not enough

The reason this is such a blow for the already limping NIP is the fact that they were and will be playing with a substitute for the remainder of the season (if any more matches are played). Love ‘phzy’ Smidebrant had some large shoes to fill and little time to do it. Though he has been playing professionally since 2018, he has never had a shot on a  big team before.

Being thrown into the fire with barely any time to practice rarely works. It is easy to see that NIP are absolutely up the creek without a paddle here. Though they came across a few lucky Bo3 wins, it is unlikely they make it anywhere close to competing with the elite teams. Both matches against G2 in the opening round, and Astralis in the Lower Bracket were lacking that little ‘oompf’ that Dev1ce brings to the table. In all honesty, the ‘subbed out’ roster came close to besting Astralis, which is more a reflection of how bad Astralis still is, then how well NiP performed.

NiP may struggle at the start of 2022

Though they are ranked #5 in the world, it is unlikely they win without Dev1ce. Since their T side continues to be horrendous, their stronger side, CT, will struggle immensely without their anchor. This is not phzy’s fault, he is simply outgunned by these top tier teams. Dev1ce’s game sense and understanding of the AWP role in tier 1 is almost unparalleled. Hopefully phzy gets another shot later on, since hes proven that he can handle his own to some extent.

The season is largely over for NiP, unless some minor tournament happens out of the blue, the next time we see them is at IEM Katowice. Considering Dev1ce missed out on both IEM Winter and BLAST World Final, he will be heading into IEM Katowice with a sizeable downtime.

Hopefully, a deep run in Katowice will give the roster time to get back to old form. If they make an early exit, we may seem them struggle at the ESL Pro League as well.