XeqtR's competitive career began as he impressed the Danes in Spirit of Amiga enough to recruit him to play with them in their 2nd placing campaign at the first European CPL. He soon found his way into the elite team of the time, Ninjas in Pyjamas, though he played no major events before the team fractured in MAFIA/Spirit of Amiga and All Star, himself going to the latter with Potti. After leading All Star to a 2nd at CPL Holland XeqtR and the other Ninjas in Pyjamas players reformed the powerhouse and went on an incredible run winning CPLs in London and Berlin. An internal fight within the team, a theme which would prove to repeat throughout Johannessen's career, saw him ousted shortly before the biggest event of the era, CPL Winter 2001. He went to the next best Swedish team, GameOnline, and guided them to a 3rd at the event. Shortly after Ninjas in Pyjamas would bring him back into the fold though a sponsor drought saw the team break up over the coming months.
Before Ninjas in Pyjamas had entirely died XeqtR played as a stand-in for Vesslan's Nordic Division at CPL Cologne in 2002 and contributed heavily to their victory of the event. By the Summer's major CPL event had come around he was back with the HeatoN and Potti tandem from Ninjas in Pyjamas in the newly formed SK Gaming line-up which would go on to win the event. Internal conflicts again arose and the Swedish giants decided with events like the WCG favouring single nationality teams they would be better off releasing XeqtR and fellow Norwegian DarK. XeqtR took his countryman straight to the best Norwegian team available: eoLithic. Joining eoLithic saw him placed in the driving seat, in total control of the tactical aspects of the team. Despite proving themselves the cream of Europe's elite over the rest of 2002 when they arrived at CPL Winter eoL uncharacteristically floundered and finished a disappointing 8th. 2003 saw XeqtR and his Norwegians narrowly lose the finals of Clikarena before being essentially disbanded by the departure of elemeNt to SK Gaming and their sponsor issues.
In stepped Vesslan to offer XeqtR a way out by granting him a spot on the team9 squad that had just beaten him at Clik. The team would win the first ESWC event and then at that Summer's CPL, the biggest ever in terms of prize money, they placed 2nd behind the mighty SK Gaming team. The latter half of 2003 was less successful as team9, now called Adrenaline, decided to relocate to California for the remaining months to practice for the CPL and CXG. XeqtR could not join the team and so arrived shortly before the CPL and the team ended up a disappointing 4th place, to compound matters CXG crashed and burned before it ever got underway.
After a so-so performance at ESWC 2004 Adrenaline descended into inactivity, choosing to sit out their contracts and collect their salaries, so it was that XeqtR disappeared from the competitive radar for the time being. In late 2004 the superstar international team NoA was seeking a 5th player to cement their line-up and they turned to XeqtR, a move which brought them a both a CPL victory and 1st place at the inaugural WEG season. With team-mate element once again choosing to depart for his own reasons XeqtR found himself on another dissolving team. Thanks to the healthy sponsorship structure NoA had in place he decided to make a new team as his ex-team-mates departed. Bringing in a mixture of young talent from the Scandinavian region some minor success never amounted into any major event wins and by 2006 it had come for Johann Johannessen to retire for good.
Impact and legacy
XeqtR's impact was to show that if one had the talent and determination to be amongst the best in the world then it was achievable. Even up to his time in Ninjas in Pyjamas winning CPLs he was still on a poor connection for his national region and yet was still able to perform up to par. On LAN he was quite simply dominating in the early days, at CPL London despite being on a team with stars like Potti and HeatoN a number of spectators could be seen directly behind him watching him work his magic in a high pressure LAN. As Swift would later describe him when he stood in for Nordic CPL Cologne win: "A one-man army". His play during that period was so good even on an individual level he could take a GameOnline team which had placed 3rd in the Scandinavian CPL qualifier and lead them to 3rd at the finals.
The latter half of XeqtR's career saw him impact the other side of the game, the mental component. As leader and tactician of teams like eoLithic and NoA he enforced a strict practice schedule and demanded the kind of perfection from his troops he expected of himself. His success playing in teams with Vesslan no doubt also came from a shared tactical awareness of the game and understanding the level of discipline needed to execute at the highest level.
Since the world has seen the career of element they might be forgiven for thinking Norway has always had truly elite players to go alongside their Swedish cousins but in reality XeqtR was playing in the best Scandinavian teams at a time when had he been anything but amazing they would not have taken the risk, instead taking some home grown talent. That speaks volumes of his ability during that time and so does the number of top players who sought to play alongside him throughout his career. He may not have as many 1st places as Potti and HeatoN but he deserves a similar place at the very head of the CS pantheon.
|2006-02-19||1st||Premier||shgOpen 2006||16 - 12||$15,980|
|2005-03-20||1st||Premier||WEG 2005 S01||2 : 1||$50,000|
|2004-12-19||1st||Premier||2004 CPL Winter||2 : 0||$30,000|
|2003-08-03||2nd||Premier||2003 CPL Summer||8 - 13||$42,000|
|2003-07-13||1st||Premier||ESWC 2003||16 - 7||$35,000|
|2003-04-21||2nd||Premier||ClikArena 2003||7 - 13||$10,856|
|2002-06-24||1st||Premier||2002 CPL Summer||2 : 1||$25,000|
|2002-05-19||1st||Premier||2002 CPL Europe Cologne||13 - 8||$9,205|
|2001-12-09||3rd||Premier||2001 CPL Winter||9 - 13||$15,000|
|2001-09-02||1st||Premier||2001 CPL Europe Berlin||4 : 3||$9,117|
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