Group B - Naniwa Interview
Going into their much awaited match at the Blizzard Cup, both Naniwa and Nestea had gone 0-3 in their group and were effectively eliminated from the tournament. With no prize money or tournament implications on the line, Naniwa opted to rush Nestea with his starting probes, an attack Nestea was able to defend easily for a one minute, twenty four second victory.
After the game, both the Korean and International communities exploded. Fans and ESPORTS insiders alike were split on what to make of the situation. Some criticized Naniwa for being unprofessional, and robbing the fans of a match they deserved to see. Others defended Naniwa's actions, saying that it was fully in his rights to give up a meaningless game.
We approached Naniwa for his thoughts on the situation a few hours after the game:
Screencap from GomTV
TeamLiquid: What was going through your head before the match with Nestea?
Naniwa: I was extremely disappointed about my performance and I felt I let every foreigner down very hard with how I played, I prepared a lot for every map and I barely lost and every game was very close
Why did you probe rush in the final game? Let us know your reasons.
My mindset was broken after the game against MMA, I left my booth and just thought about all that happened for 30 minutes before it was my turn to play again, I thought there is nothing at stake since neither me or Nestea can advance, and I know that unless I have something to play for I can't perform my best. I just felt like it wouldn't satisfy the fans at all with playing half hearted.
Do you think players owe fans a minimum level of effort each game? Do you believe paying GSL viewers deserve to watch a full match?
As I said, with nothing at stake people can't show their best games, I dont think it would satisfy people who bought GSL viewership to see the best games in the world . And they clearly wouldn't have gotten their expectations met.
Considering the very negative responses from Korean teams, players, and media, do you regret what you did? Would you have done it differently if you could do it again?
If I could do it again i would just 4 gate and then people wouldnt have complained, this is no different from what Stephano did against Cloud at Dreamhack [Note: After going 0-2 and being eliminated from his group, Stephano went for two very early pool builds against Cloud. Stephano's match against Cloud had ranking implications for other players in his group], People are just hating because it's me who did it.
Do you have any words to say to your team, fans, and Koreans?
I am very sorry for upsetting people like this, I did what I did because of reasons I explained, I dont have anything more to say to fans or my team, what I said should explain it. Koreans need to stop making such a big deal out of everything , it's going ridiculously far to say that I dont deserve to be called a progamer and such for this kind of thing.
For more, consider reading the following:
Translated Korean Twitter Reactions
General Discussion Thread on TeamLiquid
ThisIsGame Editorial - Translation