Dev1ce opens up about personal struggles during year-long CS:GO hiatus

There was no way he could keep playing with the problems he was facing.

Dev1ce is fully back to playing CS:GO after taking a year away from the esports scene while he was with Ninjas in Pyjamas. His last tournament for the Swedish organization was at IEM Winter in December 2021 and he didn’t play in an event again before December 2022, when he had already rejoined Astralis, the organization he helped win four Majors between 2017 and 2019.

To this day, little information was given on why dev1ce didn’t play for NiP throughout 2022. The CS:GO star told fans in December 2021 that he was dealing with mental health issues due to personal problems and the pressure of competing, and urged the media to respect his privacy during his leave from NiP. It was only yesterday that dev1ce opened up about the struggles that made him step away from NiP’s lineup at the end of 2021 and not compete anymore until December 2022.

“Stuff happened in my personal life that I don’t want to talk too much about, but it really made it so that for me, I was way more isolated than I’ve ever been,” dev1ce said in an interview with the HLTV Confirmed podcast. “As you also said, there were a lot of personal struggles for me that came with that, which was like I couldn’t sleep for many months, started having panic attacks in the middle of the night which is like you can talk about it, but if you experience it you know how shitty it is. It’s really hard to understand if you haven’t tried it. I just kept going because there was the Major in Stockholm [in November 2021], which was a really big deal for us as a team and NiP as an organization, and we were doing pretty well leading up to that tournament.”

After their quarterfinals run at the PGL Stockholm Major in November 2021, NiP and dev1ce barely had any time to rest since they had to prepare for the BLAST Premier Fall Final later that month and for IEM Winter in December. He helped NiP progress to the semifinals of IEM Winter but didn’t return to the server for the semifinals and NiP played with stand-in Love “phzy” Smidebrant instead.

According to dev1ce, he couldn’t keep going anymore as the stress was too much for him to handle and health professionals advised him to take a long break from esports.

“My body just shut down,” dev1ce said. “I used to, and did for a long time, throw up every other day because of the stress, but this was a different pressure. I just think that I couldn’t deal with it anymore, everything around CS was so much chaos that I just had to disconnect and retract myself.”

Related: CS:GO star dev1ce believes Astralis can recapture their former glory

Since leaving NiP and returning to Astralis in October 2022, dev1ce has played in five tournaments for Astralis and most notably led them to win the $50,000 CCT North Europe Series Three in January 2023, finishing as the highest-rated player of the online event.

Dev1ce’s next big challenge will be at ESL Pro League season 17, where he and Astralis could face the likes of Natus Vincere, Team Liquid, ENCE, and Team Spirit in Group D next month.

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