dev1ce: “Dealing with the pressure is tough” –

In preparation for DreamHack Masters in Malmö, we sat down with [flag country=”dk”] Nicolai ‘dev1ce‘ Reedtz to talk about semifinals, the pressure he feels and his expectations of playing at an event so close to home.

There’s an iconic scene in the Heartbreak video of you sitting in the back seat, driving home after losing against Natus Vincere at MLG – what went through your mind at that point?

Well obviously I was disappointed, it was a mix of all those feelings coming from the effort we’ve put into this for a long time. Thinking back two years ago and realizing that you still haven’t accomplished getting further into the major, than you did at the second one you attended, was rough. I was sad by the way I performed as an individual because I let the first map get to me, which is something that never should happen on this level. I guess all in all it was because I felt like I let down my team, our supporters and also my self.

What do you think about the “semifinals-choke” that people always bring up? You looked good on the first map against NaVi at MLG, but ultimately lost it and got run over on the 2nd map. What happened there?

Well choking is a wide term, right? I feel like that particular semi final was more or less choke-free. If you take away the rounds from 14-14 – 16-14 at map one, I don’t think its possible to pinpoint choke situations.

We should have won our map, inferno – and they won their map, dust2. Even though this is my general idea we were in a “hole” in the whole second map, we didn’t communicate well, didn’t take initiatives, we got into the “playing not to lose” rather than the “play to win” mentality, which just led to a steamrolling.

You had a long team meeting on the final day in Columbus, what did you talk about?

At the team meeting we spoke about what people felt was the reason we lost, the things we need to change before DH Masters Malmø, scheduled it and just generally had an open debate about what our key issues are. I can’t really disclose the details of this, but it wasn’t really more special than the other times we do this, other than this was after a major.

In the shuttle after the MLG defeat against Na`Vi, dev1ce was crushedIn the shuttle after the MLG defeat against Na`Vi, dev1ce was crushed…

You recently got into a Twitter feud with Thorin, where he urged you to get mental help. You alluded to the fact that you’re already working on that area. Can you explain that a bit further?

I don’t really want to call it a Twitter feud, since I didn’t really get into a feud. I just replied to him with the answer that I have read some books on the sports psychology area. Which are: The Art of Mental Training – A Guide to Performance; The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive and finally a lot of sports biographies, my favorite which is: Andre Agassi: Open. Other than that we are having team sessions with a sports psychologist.

Why do you think it’s such an issue for you. Do you think there’s more pressure on you than your team mates, or is it a selfimposed pressure?

The first step is to realize that there is an issue, right? So that was what took a while for me, to let it sink in that it’s not just going to fix itself by playing and ignoring it.

It varies from person to person how you deal with pressure – I have never really had a lot of pressure on me from my family or friends, not even when I played badminton. I think this is the reason why I have hard times thriving in pressured situations, because I think too much about the consequences of my choices in-game rather than doing “my thing”.

I won’t say that there IS more pressure on me as an individual within the team, but outside of the team, definitely. I mean its fairly reasonable too, the same thing happens in other team-sports, the “star player” or like, the one who gets “set up” the most has to perform, same with Ronaldo, Messi and all the other football geniuses.

Dealing with the pressure from the community is tough, I am not going to lie. It’s awkward in the fashion that whenever you perform to your standards it’s “okay”, but whenever you underperform (even if its five percent) – it gets touched upon instantly. Being able to ignore this is a perk that a lot of professionals have, and something I am improving at.

dev1ce is ready to win DH Masters Malmö. dev1ce is ready to win DH Masters Malmö.

DreamHack Masters is only 30 minutes away from Copenhagen and there are going to hundreds, if not thousands, of Danes in the audience – do you think you can keep your nerve?

Of course I believe that I can keep my nerve, it is never about who is in the audience or who isn’t. It’s something that I fight with within my self. Even though my lovely mom will be there, so I will play with more passion to make her proud.

Looking at the teams, Fnatic have pulled out and Na`Vi are playing with starix instead of GuardiaN – that makes quite a difference for you guys right?

Yeah the current top-4 has been weakened heavily due to getting G2 instead of Fnatic and GuardiaN being replaced temporarily by starix. I feel like this gives us a bigger chance to go out there and show that we still have the potential to win tournaments, we are not just gatekeepers. Even though every team is to be respected, this gives a boost in confidence.

What are your own expectations for the event?

I want to show people that we still have the potential to win – And there is only one way on doing that. I really want to face Luminosity in the final, since cold beat me in that 1 versus 1, I need revenge… haha <3.

And what other team should we look out for? Who do you expect the most of outside of yourselves?

Obviously Luminosity, and then I feel like Liquid and G2 have huge upset potential. Other than that I have a thing for Tempo Storm, they have been strong in practice and have a great mindset

Do you have anything you want to say before we’re letting you go?

Spread positivity, not negativity. Thanks for the support to my lovely fans. <3

Anything you specifically want to say to the Danish fans going to Malmö?

Jeg glæder mig rigtig meget til at se danske flag og Astralis t-shirts i arenaen på lørdag og søndag. Det betyder rigtig meget for os at vi har så stor en fanbase her i landet, og vi glæder os hjernedødt meget til (forhåbentlig) at spille foran jer!