Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz, the star AWPer for the Ninjas in Pyjamas, will miss the team’s IEM Winter semifinal match against G2 Esports as he heads home with illness, according to an announcement the team’s Twitter on Friday. A polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test showed dev1ce was negative for COVID-19, but he has still been advised by a doctor to “rest and recover.”
Dev1ce will be replaced by Love “phzy” Smidebrant, the AWPer for the Young Ninjas, NiP’s academy team. The Young Ninjas placed third at the WePlay Academy League Season 2. More recent results were less encouraging, with early exits from Elisa Invitational Fall 2021 and Malta Vibes Knockout Series: #4. Phzy boasts a 1.10 rating on HLTV over the past six months.
The substitution has already been approved by the IEM Winter tournament management.
Last minute roster update: @dev1ce has been feeling unwell for the past day and has been advised by the doctor to rest and recover. PCR tests show negative, which is great, but in order to get him the time he needs to recover, we’ll field a substitute in Saturday’s game vs G2.
— Ninjas in Pyjamas CS:GO (@NIPCS) December 10, 2021
The Ninjas in Pyjamas bounced back from a disappointing BLAST Fall Final with a strong showing thus far at IEM Winter. They beat Astralis before Vitality relegated Ninjas in Pyjamas to the lower bracket. A string of wins against OG, Team Liquid and GODSENT saw them advancing to the semifinals.
As of Friday, dev1ce is the third-highest rated player at IEM Winter with a 1.27 rating over 11 maps, behind only Virtus.pro’s Dzhami “Jame” Ali and G2 star Nikola “NiKo” Kovač. Without dev1ce, NiP’s odds of defeating the PGL Major finalists in G2 are significantly lower.
NiP’s semifinal series against G2 will take place at 1:15 p.m. ET on Saturday. There is not yet word on whether dev1ce will return to play in the grand finals on Sunday if NiP manage to advance. IEM Winter is being played from a studio in Stockholm where NiP is based.