Starcraft II pro player NaNiwa leaves Quantic

Swedish Protoss player leaves fourth team in two years, sources say Dignitas his most likely new home.

Swedish Starcraft II superstar Johan "NaNiwa" Luchessi is once more looking for a new home after being granted release from his contract with his team, Quantic Gaming. The Protoss player's departure from Quantic ends an 8-month rollercoaster which saw NaNiwa controversially removed from the GomTV Global Starcraft II League just days after being signed, and having reached the Quarterfinals in back-to-back events for the highest league, Code S.

NaNiwa (right) with his former Quantic teammate, Sase.

"Johan Lucchesi asked to be released from his contract today," Quantic Gaming CEO Mark Ferraz said in a statement. "Quantic has granted this request effective immediately. While we believe that Johan has thrived in his relationship with our family, we do not believe in holding players who no longer wish to be with us. We are grateful for the time he has spent with us and we are proud of the growth he has shown as a player and as a member of this community."

Quantic was NaNiwa's fourth team in less than two years, having been transferred over by Complexity in December of last year. His time in Complexity saw him earn second place at the Major League Gaming 2011 Championships main event, while at the same time beating repeat GSL champions Jung “Mvp” Jong Hyun and Lim "NesTea" Jae Duk in the MLG Global Invitational. Dignitas was his home before that, where he made his first big splash at a major event by winning MLG Dallas going undefeated. He has also appeared in the rosters of Empire, MeetYourMakers, Serious Gaming, and others during his WarCraft III days. Now, the search begins once again.

"Despite people’s popular belief, I have no ill feelings towards Quantic, nor do they have any ill feelings towards me," NaNiwa told GameSpot. "Usually when people say these words, they don’t mean it, but I believe I’m known as a guy who’s 'no bulls***.' I’m very grateful for the time I had in Quantic, but I felt that I wanted to value my own happiness above not doing anything about it, so I decided to try my luck in other places. Quantic kept everything they promised me and me to them. I sincerely wish them the best!"

One of NaNiwa’s initial draws in signing to Quantic was that of team Captain Kim “Sase” Hammar, a fellow Swedish Protoss player with a Warcraft III pedigree, someone NaNiwa called a very dear friend on his signing day. Sase had been living and training in South Korea, a major factor for NaNiwa who wanted to make the move himself, but he didn’t want to live alone. Sources close to the team and both players say that they had a falling out, which is directly related to NaNiwa’s departure. NaNiwa will not be return to the StarTale team house after returning from his Swedish World Championship Series trip. Quantic, NaNiwa, and Sase declined comment on the matter.

NaNiwa’s track record of bouncing from team to team, and sometimes-abrasive personality has made him a tough fit for teams to sign, including Quantic. One team executive told GameSpot Quantic had attempted to sell NaNiwa for the last 4-5 months. As of this publication, teams Complexity, Team Liquid, Fnatic, SK Gaming, Mousesports, and FXOpen are not bidding. Sources have one of NaNiwa’s former teams, Dignitas, as the most likely candidate, as NaNiwa still has a good relationship with Dignitas Owner Michael O’Dell. Evil Geniuses were looking to make a move themselves prior to his release, but did not come to terms with Quantic. They are said to be completely out of the running now.

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ggregd
ggregd

Judging from the comments and all the generic avatars, Gamespot has been invaded by a pack of e-sports fans who are butthurt because average people dare to ask why it should be taken seriously.

Sardinar
Sardinar

I don't understand this stupid argument of 'SC2 not a sport because it does not require physical finesse.' Whenever I watch other sports I don't care at all how fit all the players are - I care only about which team wins and how they do it . SC2 having the depth to intrigue and surprise with it's players' performances - I see no reason to not call it a sport.

 

Open your minds people...

WoZe
WoZe

Whoa, video game drama? Whatever happened to playing a game for fun? These are grown ass men squabbling over nothing. Very sad.

SpaceboyMcGhee
SpaceboyMcGhee

Great job Slasher, you are a gentleman and a scholar!

wiozan
wiozan

Thanks for the great covarage Slasher keep up the good work!

Triton
Triton

In related news, our IT guy came to our office yesterday and installed a new computer for a new hire that starts here Monday. We talked PC games while he worked. Guess this is stuff we all need to know. (oh -he has been playing Diablo3 - after he gets off work everyday...just like me.)

JamJarNess
JamJarNess

Call it what you want, but NaNiwa, to the SC2 community, is a big fucking deal, and any action he makes or accomplishes will peak the interest of anyone who follows him. To give those wondering a somewhat brief explanation to just why he is so popular, it all relatively stems from the GSL, the GOMTV Global Starcraft II League, widely-regarded as the biggest, most difficult, and most financed tournament/league currently in place for SC2.Traditionally, it's always been Koreans who have been the top dog fighters in Starcraft, whether it's been SC1 or SC2, and the Korean league GSL is no different. Every single winner so far has been a Korean, so to even see a "foreigner" getting through the round of 64, round of 32, round of 16, 8, etc., is a surprising feat. So NaNiwa, making it twice in row to the past two GSL quarterfinals, is now the seeming foreigner gem the community adores, trumping tradition while defeating well-favored players along the way.

 

SC2 has matured in gigantic leaps since its release, with the practice and knowledge of players growing ever higher and the skill-cap ceiling developing ever steeper by the month. On paper, NaNiwa's recent round of 8 placings may not seem so spectacular, but if you consider the fact that players have gotten so much better, that the stakes are now much higher, and that Korean dominance is still running so strong, NaNiwa's accomplishments are something to marvel and respect. To the SC2 community, and to his fans, he is essentially our foreigner hope.

He may disputedly have had a controversial past and perhaps even a somewhat controversial personality and background to unfortunately factor into that, but whatever the case may be, he is a clearly a strong if not one of the strongest foreign player, a GSL contender, and a man with pocketsful of tournaments winnings and placings supporting his back. It'll be interesting to see where a guy such as him goes, to which team that'll pick him up.

Master_2K4
Master_2K4

Team owners? Shady transfers? Falling outs? Egos clashing? I, for the life of me, had no idea starcraft (besides being a major RTS) was also emulating football preseason... PS. - Not critizing the news in itself.. I really just didn't know the depth starcraft went into...

Drugged-Sheep
Drugged-Sheep

Public service announcement: If you're here to comment on how stupid this article is and "why would anyone care?", go away. This article wasn't intended for you.

greek5
greek5

Who gives a crap about this? 99 percent of people don't even know who Starsky and Hutch here even are, and to make it even worse its about him leaving a team. Personally i wouldn't mind if its gaming news or what they have achieved, but one person leaving a team makes news?

GazaAli
GazaAli

Swedish AND Protoss in the same sentence.

Lucca202
Lucca202

People still debate over that match he threw against NesTea? Wow.

 

This is like debating religion: no matter how much people argue, nobody is convincing nobody. But, just to take this off my mind, I personally blame the tournament organization. Really, NaNiwa had had a shitty day, was out of the tournament and was going to walk away without a penny. Having him play a match just for the sake of it was BS.

 

You don't see this happening in other tournaments, because they actually arrange the prize pool and brackets so that every match gives players a chance to move forward and/or improve their prizes. 

 

But again, I know I'm not convincing anyone, I just thought I'd say this. Anyhow, I hope Naniwa finds a team soon. He's a nice guy, and not too bad a player.

 

smithter
smithter

There is more to competitive gaming then getting a 10 kill streak in Modern Warfare 3. Thanks to Gamespot for releasing articles on the professional gaming scene too. I'd much rather read about this then the next big upcoming money sinking single player game :)

PoweRForgeD
PoweRForgeD

The people on this site are retarded. If you are posting on a "gaming website" you're just as much of a fucking nerd as anyone else here, quit trying to act like you aren't. By far the worst forum/site I have ever seen, and thats saying something.

FandomTheory
FandomTheory

Just to reiterate:

 

This is a story about someone who epically trolled an audience of thousands of anonymous people because he thought something they cared about was totally pointless.

 

Those of you saying "Why is this news?!" might be able to relate to this guy.

BeateDrabing
BeateDrabing

God, so funny to see this stuff reported like its some kind of sport. 

Sardinar
Sardinar

 @ggregd Believe me, you're already 100% more polite than the rest of the xenophobic crap this comment section has to offer - if only people did ask questions.

ggregd
ggregd

 @Sardinar

 Look at professional Chess.  They have tournaments and champions but they don't try to call it a sport.  Same thing.

Carpface
Carpface

 @SardinarI'm sorry, but video games really can't be considered sports by DEFINITION (and not by whatever criteria you think of when you're watching a baseball or basketball game), nor does this need to diminish someone's interest in competitive video gaming (a more apt term if you ask me). Games require skill, whereas sports require a more intensively physical component in addition to skill (usually requiring physical CONDITIONING at a competitive level). It's the difference between Pool and Soccer, or between Darts and Basketball. Games like SC2 no doubt require immense amounts of skill at the competitive level, but seriously, what real physical activity/conditioning do you need in order to play it?

FragRaptor
FragRaptor

 @WoZe Says the guy who probably cried when Tebow lost.Sports

Valas_Azuviir
Valas_Azuviir

 @JamJarNess 

 

Based upon the article, and your own comments and some of the other ones in this thread.

 

I think it's fairly safe to say, that he's a good player, heck, he might even be a great player.

 

But he's no team player. And as the folks in the Armed Forces like to say: "There is no I in team."

Drugged-Sheep
Drugged-Sheep

 @greek5 Well 99% of the people won't be clicking a link to an article about it. There's a reason articles have titles. Go back to the articles you care about, and don't post flippant comments on ones that you don't.

roguebot
roguebot

 @PoweRForgeD Go to ESPN.com and read the comments section on any of the articles. THAT is the worst I've ever seen, unless you include Youtube of course which trumps everything in existence

Sardinar
Sardinar

 @BeateDrabing It is a sport, only ignorance would prevent one thing from thinking that it isn't.

smithter
smithter

 @BeateDrabing Funny to see you complaining about something in this manner.Some people in eSports make more then olympians.

omgmetalgear
omgmetalgear

 @BeateDrabing Because these players have genuine passion for the game they play and put in as much practice time as any athlete. But you wouldn't know these things because you never have watched a match or followed a tournament. Ignorance is bliss. 

Sardinar
Sardinar

No problem with that, just wondering why not otherwise. :)

Sardinar
Sardinar

 @Carpface Then there is no point in arguing semantics, each to his own.

 

The 'physical' part of the definition in 'Sports' just seemed so non-essential to me - because in the end what makes Sports - Sports is the depth of the game which is played. If we were vigorously running around and kicking a ball around with no objective - sure we'd get a workout, but no one would be call that a Sport, it has no tangible goal with any sufficient depth to justify training for it. 

 

SC2, on the other hand, is one of the most strategically and tactically deep video game I have ever played - and yet people deny calling it a sport because of some (seemingly) non-essential attribute it fails to fulfill as a video game.

WoZe
WoZe

@Sardinar Haha someone's mad. I'll say what I want, WHEN I want. I'm glad my post has caused your blood to boil though. Seem's like anyone speaking against this pro-gaming nonsense is labelled a troll and told to get lost. Carry on with the love fest.

Drugged-Sheep
Drugged-Sheep

 @cirugo Believe it or not, a lot of gamespot visitors follow esports. I don't understand why its such a big deal, if you don't car about it, don't read it.

greek5
greek5

 @Drugged-Sheep Thanks for your insightful input, i don't know why i didn't think of that myself.

santinegrete
santinegrete

 @Sardinar  @BeateDrabing  I rather call it e-sport.  You won't believe how much people of previous generations (of gamers or no gamers at all) will laugh if you call this just 'sport'. I'm trying to be comprensive though.

SnakeBite27
SnakeBite27

 @Sardinar  I'll agree with you Sardinar, the physicality doesn't really matter to me. But instead of having this argument, why not just stick with eSport? It has become a really popularized term that I think works quite well.

Drugged-Sheep
Drugged-Sheep

 @WoZe  @FragRaptor No one is arguing that professional Starcraft requires physical activity (even though it's a lot more physically taxing than you'd think). Its a STRATEGY game. It's a game of minds. And its a really, REALLY hard game. Professional players dedicate their lives to being competitively viable. Don't talk shit about something you know nothing about.

greek5
greek5

 @blarbz Cool story bro, what are you a fan of these guys? the only trash here is morons like you getting nerd rage when all i stated was my opinion.

blarbz
blarbz

 @greek5 Good, next time you may actually not make a stupid comment filling up the comment section with trash.

blarbz
blarbz

 @chilly-chill Nope, I have no clue about many at all. I can maybe name max 20 athletics.