dev1ce on his IGL style, the Premier League football manager he’s most like and the ‘weird’ qualification changes for Shanghai Major | Blast Premier Spring Final Interview

In this special series of articles, Esports News UK’s coverage of the Blast Spring Final 2024 is in collaboration with the betting partner GGBET UK | Photo by Jonathon Yau

Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz has affirmed that he has “all the freedom” to lead Astralis as he pleases, as the Dane looks to build on four consecutive semi-final exits.

The four-time major winner took over as in-game leader in late February and quickly worked with coach Casper ‘ruggah’ Due to rebuild the team’s tactics.

Since then, Astralis have reached and been eliminated in the semi-finals in four events – IEM Chengdu, ESL Pro League Season 15, CCT Global Finals and Yalla Compass 2024.

As the historic Danish organisation look to win their first trophy under new leadership, dev1ce told Esports News UK that the roster has bought into his new tactics.

dev1ce said:

“I have all the freedom I want. I think everyone is tapping into what I say. Nobody has ever said no, which is crazy good.”

dev1ce, Astralis

“They have a lot of trust in me, my teammates. When we started, we threw everything in the bin and starting looking at the map, the philosophies, and not just strategies.

“[We] looked at ways that we want to manipulate the map, and what kinds of duels and opportunites that we can create across the map, and the solutions we have to what opponents throw at you.”

The two-time major MVP has not played a LAN in London since 2019 at the ECS Series Season Seven Finals.

When asked who his leadership skills are most similiar to in the world of football, dev1ce struggled to name a manager, but eventually settled on Tottenham Hotspur boss Ange Postecoglou.

dev1ce said: “I think that the Tottenham manager [Postecoglou] also really takes a lot of chances and plays aggressively.

“I think we do the same and you really have to learn to play that style, to create the right situations.

“I don’t really compare [CS to football], I think it’s such a different game, but if I had to do a comparison, it would have to be this guy.”

Some changes have been made to the Shanghai Major, where open qualifiers in Europe and North America are being scrapped.

“I think it’s a little bit weird,” dev1ce said. “I think Valve is maybe trying to open up the circuit by removing the partnership teams, but then close the circuit by not having open qualifiers.

“I honestly don’t know what they’re trying to do, I think it doesn’t connect too well. It’s not good, I’d say, but maybe it won’t hurt us, but it’ll hurt teams living out of qualifiers.”

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