As Ninjas In Pyjamas enter the server for the ESL Pro League today, they will again do so with Love “Phzy” Smidebrand standing in for Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz. Jaxon reached out to NIP, requesting an update on the situation of their star AWPer.

dev1ce hasn’t played a game since securing a playoff spot at IEM Winter late last year. Before the playoffs started, he was pulled from the lineup and replaced by academy player Phzy.

Initially, it seemed like a physical problem kept dev1ce away from the server, but it later became clear that the player was suffering from mental health-related issues.

Ahead of EPL, NIP’s COO Jonas Gundersen shed some light on the situation. “Dev1ce is still out, focusing on his well-being. We’re not putting any time on it because we care deeply about all our players’ and employees’ well-being — that’s how performance is”.

He went on to give a small glimmer of hope for dev1ce’s fans, as he said that “Everything is going in the right direction, and we trust for him to come back into it in a healthy way.”

When he returns is anyone’s guess. But NIP might potentially have to play the upcoming Major cycle without him.

While Josse van Dessel covers a variety of topics ranging from FIFA esports competitions to professional chess matches, his greatest emphasis is on the world of Counter-Strike, where he covers the title's biggest events and its latest roster moves. Josse also covers local market news in his native Netherlands.