So, what has NaNiwa been up to lately? We talked to him about traveling, DreamHack Bucharest and having some time off in Sweden.
Marie Näsström: Last time we talked you were still competing in WCS EU. We know how that went already but there is one thing I noticed on your Twitter. You actually forgot your mousepad in Korea but the StarCraft community responded and tried to help you find a new one in Cologne?
Johan “NaNiwa” Lucchesi: Indeed they did! But unfortunately the community was not able to help. But in the end Shawn from ESL helped me a lot by fixing a replacement pad. Not the same model but a hardpad, so I am very grateful for his help!
While we are talking about things read on Twitter, it seems to me that Germany is not one of your favorite of places to travel to?
Unfortunately I have had some bad experiences here that I can’t help thinking of whenever I go here. My favorite events have always been in Sweden! Not only because it’s my home and the home crowd, but Swedish people tend to cheer for their favorite player regardless of nationality. Unlike when you go to America and they only cheer for the US players. I still remember when Team Liquids Snute got booed at in the RedBull Battlegrounds, and he is like the nicest guy ever.
Last time we also talked about your choice not to go to Assembly Summer 2013, and later you decided not to go to DreamHack Bucharest?
Yeah, I felt a sudden lack of motivation to practice. I’m the kind of guy who wants to feel ready mentally and practice wise before I play at an event, even if I sometimes think its better to just “jump in there” regardless of shape because in the end you realize that nobody is ever really ready. Just do the best you can each time. But then again, I’m not a “youngster” to the game anymore. I have played full time for three years now so of course I have highs and lows in motivation.
You finally had the time to go back home to Sweden for a while this summer. How is it, coming back after all the traveling and staying in Korea?
To be honest it is really nice! I can finally have a normal routine with going to the gym and eating healthy as well as seeing my friends. But I also miss the tournaments. I think I took it for granted last year with how many events that were compared to this year. I have had to question just how much it is worth to be a fulltime pro player.
You had some plans before going home like watching Despicable me 2, how was that? And have you done anything else fun that you wish to share?
Bischu and I were too lazy to go see the movie. But we have been chilling and playing some games, I even tried out some Dota again.
Are you still in Sweden?
For a little while longer, yes.
You recently said you were going to start streaming again? How’s that going?
I actually streamed for about 40 hours! I’m very proud of myself. But I will have to get used to it before I can judge if it is fun or not.
(If you don’t have it already, here is the link to NaNiwa’s channel: NaNiwa via Twitch!)
You are currently participating in the Fragbite Masters tournament, where you qualified to the RO8 recently. Tell us a little more about that?
Right now is kind of a resurgence period for me, were I feel like I’m getting back my motivation. Unfortunately I don’t think I can play 100% yet, but I’m getting there. This is great way to stay busy and have something to practice for.
It seems you have had a busy schedule this summer! You also qualified for the Intel Extreme Masters in New York, are you looking forward to that?
Yeah, I miss events so I tried to go to as many as I could! New York is really nice, I have been there two or three times and only have good memories from those trips.
At the beginning of the summer you started a blog (In Swedish) in cooperation with one of the Swedish TV networks which probably made a lot of your Swedish fans real happy. But your blog post from 20th of September might worry a lot of your fans? As you said yourself it sounds a bit like a goodbye? Perhaps you have something to say to soothe the minds of all the worried “FaNiwas” out there?
Honestly I am having a lot of thought about my future at the moment. Do I want to keep on gaming or is it time to pick up studying again? I mean, I still love gaming a lot (!) but unfortunately I can’t live this fairytale forever. The number of tournaments is decreasing, so if you don’t make it to BlizzCon or every ECS EY offline – or pretty much has nothing to play for. I’m not a person who really cares that much about the money in the end, but I do care for the competition! If there are not tournaments to compete in there is really no point for me to play. But I will at least wait or next year, so I have time to come to terms with a decision. I don’t feel I am done with StarCraft at all and it would be sad ending my career like this, so I’ll try not to. I hope you guys will help keep me motivated by cheering for me! And I’ll try my best not to insult your favorite casters! ;D
Written by Marie Näsström