Following Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz’s shock move to Ninjas in Pyjamas, the Danish star recently sat down with Swedish outlet expressen.se to talk all things Ninjas, his future, and his move from Astralis. If you’d like to catch the entire thing we’ve link both parts here, with the interview the work of Sebastian Parkkila and well worth a read if, like dev1ce, you already happen to have perfect Swedish.
How much money is dev1ce making?
The interview begins with dev1ce coming off the back of a long recording session, presumably of promo material for NiP, and the player himself talking about the settling-in period “...where you get to know each other and become comfortable in a way so that you can give and take criticism as well”. Before long though, the topic turns to money after a move that allegedly cost NiP at least $1m.
Expressen mentions that during dev1ce’s career, he has already made over SEK 15M in prize money alone, which is over $1.8M. According to Esportsearnings.com, he is the third highest-winning CS:GO player of all time behind former Astralis teammates Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen and Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth. While dev1ce did not want to comment on his exact salary, he did give a fascinating quote on the way money has come into the game over the years, and the level it has reached in 2021 for certain high-profile individuals.
“I started playing for free a long time ago and got my first salary around 2014. So it has gone from a few thousand bucks to several hundred thousand kronor in salary. I think the highest salary is maybe 45,000 dollars a month for a player, and that's no matter how much. It still sounds a bit absurd at times, but that's the level that esports has reached and I'm super happy to have been a part of that whole process.”
While dev1ce naturally didn’t want to talk numbers specifically, he did say he has at least gained a degree of financial security for his retirement, which it sounds like he is already thinking about planning.
“...I have also earned enough money to live on it. But you never want to stop working. For my part, I have not nailed anything, but people have probably started planning for it. Right now, however, I focus only on the game”. This seems to confirm the move to NiP is at least slated to be his last in CSGO, which would make sense for a player with literally nothing left to prove.
On moving to Sweden and NiP
On a less positive note, he did take some time to talk about the practical reasons for his move from Denmark to Sweden, and the struggle of adjusting to fame in his home country. There can be few places presently where esports stars are so revered, at least not since the heyday of Korean Starcraft, but dev1ce’s experience might be a look into the future for the esports stars just coming into their own, as the scene becomes more mainstream every year.
“I would actually say that I am almost never recognized in Sweden or Stockholm. It was also one of the reasons why I thought it was super nice to live in Sweden when I played in Astralis. It has probably not been the part of this life that I think has been the most fun, you like to have a private life and such”.
There is plenty more for you to find in the article, including dev1ce speculating that we could soon see pro-players aged 40 at the top level and speaking about transitioning from team to team as an elite AWPer, and we recommend you give it a translate (or a read if you’re a Swede of course). There is no doubt this is arguably the biggest transfer in modern CSGO history, and dev1ce himself has shown his resilience and star quality time and again.
As for Astralis, they seem most affected at this point in time, and comparisons with Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye's departure only work if you ignore the massive difference in contribution between him and dev1ce. If dev1ce is able to drag the Ninjas up to the very top of the CSGO pile through his level alone, it’s will be the greatest achievement of a career strewn with miraculous moments and legendary plays, and at that point, nobody would ever be able to dispute his GOAT status.