The King in the North
Johan "NaNiwa" Lucchesi, colloquially referred to as "NaNi", is a professional Protoss player from Sweden who is currently teamless. He was inactive in StarCraft II for several months after IEM Season VIII - World Championship in March 2014, but in 2015, he returned, and qualified for 2015 WCS Season 1. During this period of inactivity, he played Heroes of the Storm for Fnatic in an exhibition tournament at BlizzCon.
A former Warcraft III player, NaNiwa switched to StarCraft II during the beta and made a name for himself in weekly online cups. While NaNiwa's achievements have led him to become one of the most successful foreign players in the scene, his behavior has also led him to become a figure of controversy.
NaNiwa was the first player to reach 4,000 points on the Battle.net ladder. He followed up that achievement with a victory at MLG Dallas 2011, ending that event with a record of 26 individual game wins, with his only two defeats occurring at the Grand Finals against KiWiKaKi. He continued with two second place finishes in the first half of 2011 at TSL 3 against ThorZaIN and HomeStory Cup III against HuK.
At the end of 2011 he competed at MLG Providence 2011, where he won the MLG Global Invitational by defeating the three-time GSL champions Mvp and NesTea. At the main event itself, he placed second, losing in the Grand Finals to Leenock.
In 2012, he received a seed to the GSL Code S Season 2, the most prestigious tournament at this time, in which he finished in the round of eight after beating players like Puzzle, Genius, and Virus. He was knocked out by the eventual champion Mvp. On July 30, it was announced that NaNiwa asked to be released from his contract and thus left Quantic Gaming.
NaNiwa faced a lot of personal problems during his Warcraft III career. Because of this NaNiwa, self admittedly, conducted himself poorly and was frequently forced to switch teams. These problems seemed to follow him into his StarCraft II career. NaNiwa continued to cause controversy and often switching teams before finally arriving on Team Dignitas in January 2011.
Since then NaNiwa seems to have been able to put his troubles behind him. He has established himself as one of the strongest players outside Korea, having consistent results in tournaments. He has become known for his serious and determined attitude toward the game, always vowing to improve and never being content with second place.
On 20 September 2011, after NaNiwa had been living and practicing in Korea for about 8 weeks, Dignitas announced that they would not extend NaNiwa's contract when it expired at the end of the month. The following day compLexity announced they had signed NaNiwa, and that he would reside in the MvP team house in Korea.
NaNiwa has proven himself to be one of the best StarCraft II players in the world. We have spent the past couple weeks in long discussions with him and we're confident his amazing dedication and work ethic will reap great rewards in the future. We're very excited to have him join our organization.Jason Lake, CEO of compLexity Gaming ()
We approached Quantic Gaming and were pleased to find that they were interested in purchasing the contract rights to Naniwa. He is an amazing talent but we have come to discover that he does not share the core values of compLexity and felt it was best for both parties to part ways. We wish him the very best in his gaming career. We will be seeking another top contender to fill his spot in the near future.Jason Lake, CEO of compLexity Gaming ()
We’ve make a commitment to invest in StarCraft II, in order to deliver the most memorable and engaging experiences for both fans and partners. We expect our ‘Power-Protoss-Duo’ to deliver at the highest and most entertaining level. I warmly welcome Johan to the team.Mark Ferraz, CEO of Quantic Gaming ()
I know I might get criticized by fans and haters for switching teams, but what Quantic had to offer was simply better and much more similar to what my visions are for my career. With Quantic I will have the opportunity to live with SaSe and that will for sure help me a lot. He’s not just a good player but a very dear friend of mine and it will be fun and interesting to play in the same team as him. I was not a good fit in Complexity because I was all alone in Korea, and they had no plans to send any more of their players here for a long time. I may come off as a cold person in interviews and with the way I act in general, but I get lonely quite easily. Living with other people who speak English and being around StarTale (who embraced me with open arms when I first came to Korea) is an exciting prospect for me. If my time within Quantic goes as well as I think it will, then you can bet I won’t be moving teams again. Thanks to all my fans! Continue to support me in the future please!Johan "NaNiwa" Lucchesi ()
In the months prior to the TSL3 Qualifier, NaNiwa was known as a strong one-base player and dangerous cheeser, but NaNiwa changed his style and proved he was able to play a straight-up game during his TL Open #9 run. NaNiwa sees his strength as "just being able to read my opponents and acting on what I see. I think my strength is my decision making." He is also known for his solid mechanics.
More recently, NaNiwa's playstyle has become increasingly timing-focused, relying on meticulously planned and orchestrated builds that abuse timings when his opponent is at their weakest.
In the beta NaNiwa quickly made a name for himself in the StarCraft community as the first player to win three straight ZOTAC Cups. NaNiwa also qualified for the Go4SC2 April finals by winning two straight Go4SC2 Wednesday Cups, also being to first player to achieve that.
- NaNi's statement:
"I am very excited about joining a team that has such a long history in the scene and is also very known for treating their players well. I hope with my whole heart that this will be my final stop. I will strive to do my best for my fans, in terms of playing well and in terms of being on my best behavior."
However this arrangement lasted only two months, as NaNiwa would again switch teams with the release of Wings of Liberty.
Wings of Liberty
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NaNiwa joined up with Meet Your Makers clan, along with the Italian Terran player ClouD. He experienced his first success of the launch by winning Go4SC2 ESL Cup #25, while still playing for Serious Gaming. This not only granted him the prize money, but also qualified him for the IEM Season V - Global Challenge Cologne, the first major live StarCraft event in Europe.
In August 2010, NaNiwa qualified for the 17th season of the German ESL Pro Series (EPS), which will feature Starcraft II for the first time. In order to compete, NaNiwa had to move to Germany for the time of the league. MyM announced that their players will be housed in MYM's pro gaming home at Leipzig. During his time in Germany, he lived with ClouD.
On 27 of October ESL announced NaNiwa was no longer part of the ESL Pro Series Germany Season 17 due to too many penalty points. Before being banned, NaNiwa was in third place behind GoOdy and DeMusliM. According to the official statement, NaNiwa was missing professionalism as he showed up late to the ESL TV Matches and did not upload replays among other things. Due to EPS 17 rulebook, NaNiwa was no longer allowed to compete in the ESL Pro Series season 17 and all of his matches would be nullified. In addition, he would also be banned from the upcoming EPS, season 18. NaNiwa was also declined participation in the IEM European Championships, also organized by ESL.
Upon the announcement several Team Liquid members recounted personal episodes in which NaNiwa behaved improperly. He was not without supporters however. DeMusliM and others attributed some of the penalty points to problems in the ESL administration. These included overly strict rules, lack of international translations of the rulebook and poor help from admins. Others pointed out that the German EPS is not an international league and that accordingly, the responsibility to translate the rules lay with NaNiwa. Some also questioned why his team, MyM, didn't step in to sort out NaNiwa's troubles before he aggregated the penalty points needed for a ban.
On October 29, as a direct consequence of NaNiwa's inability to continue his participation in the EPS, MyM announced their decision to release NaNiwa from their StarCraft II squad.
After being released by MyM, NaNiwa moved back to Sweden. His tarnished reputation made it hard for him to find a new team immediately and subsequently went off the radar for almost a month. He showed signs of activity in late November of that year, placing second in the 32nd Zotac Cup. On November 24, Power Gaming announced NaNiwa as their new player. On the same day he managed to win his qualifier group at DreamHack Winter 2010 but was later unable to make it out of the group stage.
NaNiwa's affiliation with Power Gaming was short lived as only four days later the Russian Team Empire announced him as their latest addition. The circumstances around the matter is somewhat cloudy: According to Alexander "StrangeR" Solomonov (head manager of Empire StarCraft II) PwG announced NaNiwa as their player even though he himself hadn't signed a contract. PwG on the other hand, asserted they had signed and exchanged contracts with NaNiwa. They supposedly instead upheld a verbal agreement citing the ability of NaNiwa to "seriously consider" an offer in case another team would approach him. NaNiwa made a short statement of his own:
I am pleased to join Empire Gaming, after discussing it for a long time with Stranger I am very excited to give this a shot, I am sure I will be satisfied in this clan and I will give my 100% to perform as good as possible to represent Empire gaming!Johan "NaNiwa" Lucchesi ()
On its last playday we had to disqualify the first StarCraft II participant of our European Championship. Johan 'NaNiwa' Lucchesi accumulated too many penalty points before he was able to play his second match. He rescheduled two of his matches much too late for three times. This caused 12 minor penalties and 2 major for Empire.Nani. Therefore he is disqualified from Intel Extreme Masters Season 5. All of his matches, given penalty points and wildcards used by his opponents have been nullified.Official ESL statement ()
Signs of Recovery
In early December NaNiwa managed to qualify for Black Dragon League. From this point on NaNiwa's play became more consistent, with several cup victories in December 2010. He got off to a great start in 2011, which involved being the first player to reach 4000 points on Battle.net, qualifying for TSL 3 by winning TeamSpeak TL Open 9 and taking 2nd at the HomeStory Cup II. Due to his continued success he was able to land a contract with team Dignitas on January 20. In his sign-on statement, NaNiwa thanked Empire for giving him a chance during a dark time of his career and said he would never forget that they took him in when no other team would. However, he found joining a team with more stability and great practice partners to be a necessary step in his development as a player. NaNiwa kept his pace up in the spring of 2011, posting a 8-1 after nine rounds of Black Dragon League and even ranking number one on GosuGamers ranking list on a few occasions. He swept his Ro64 group at the SteelSeries StarCraft II Challenge in Assembly Winter 2011 and although going out in the Ro16, his only match loss came to the eventual winner, Ret.
Rise To Fame
In the beginning of April Nani attended his first MLG event, Dallas. Even though he would be playing through the open bracket many predicted him to get in to the top 3. And sure enough, he went on to crush his way through the open bracket, not dropping a single game. Then sweeping the pool, again without dropping a game, against Agh, Tyler, Machine and Drewbie which meant he got into the Winner's Bracket of the Championship bracket. Where he first 2-0:ed KiWiKaKi and then 2-0'd SeleCT. Thus getting to the finals with a record of 24 games won and 0 lost. He faced KiWiKaKi in the finals with a 2-0 advantage, going on to win it with the final score of 4-2. When asked on stage how it felt to have accomplished this, NaNiwa famously replied, "Well, it's ok. My goal is to win the big final of the MLG (MLG Providence). Not this one, but I'll win this one too." 
NaNiwa expressed a desire to move to Korea to further improve his game, stating that if "I can get there and get a chance at code A or code S I'll take it". To achieve that goal he took part in The Road to Korea, a Swedish qualification tournament for the GSL code A. He made the finals, but was beaten by SaSe.
NaNiwa was one of the 32 players to play in the TSL3. In the first round he powered through three close games against Ret, and dismantled GoOdy in the round of 16. He barely eked out a 3-2 victory against CrunCher in the round of 8, and cleanly defeated HasuObs 4-1 in the round of 4 to land himself into the finals. In the finals he showed early promise before getting rallied 3-4 against fellow Swede ThorZaIN.
After TSL3, Naniwa traveled to MLG Columbus. He would perform well in the group stages and gained a seat in the upper championship bracket. There, he was defeated 2-0 by LosirA and eventually lost the lower bracket semifinals to MC with a score of 0-2 as well, finishing 6th overall. MLG had the right to grant three Code A spots to top competitors at Columbus. NaNiwa accepted that offer and would participate in the GSL August. At MLG Anaheim NaNiwa finished in 8th place after being knocked out 2-0 by MMA. Although this finish was lower than his previous two MLGs, NaNiwa was among the top two foreigners at the tournament (the other being HuK), with South Koreans dominating the top 6 spots. Nonetheless NaNiwa expressed his disappointment with his result and with the results of the foreigners generally for being shut out.
NaNiwa's debut in Korea would be in GSL August where he was placed into Code A via the GSL-MLG Exchange Program. On August 11, 2011, he was knocked out in the first round by Check with a score of 0 - 2. However, the next day, NaNiwa managed to take his first win in Korea, defeating Genius in a GSTL ace match for F.United (which Dignitas was partnering in) against MVP after feinting a 3-Stalker rush before adding two Gateways, making forward pylons and overwhelming Genius' main base. Despite being eliminated in the first round of Code A, NaNiwa would be automatically re-seeded in Code A for GSL October due to his 8th place finish at MLG Anaheim via the MLG - GSL exchange program. NaNiwa was once again knocked out in the round of 32 in GSL October, this time being 2-0'd by Lucky.
In the Code A of the 2011 GSL November tournament he lost 0-2 in the Round of 48. His opponent was once again Lucky. After his defeat he posted a tweet stating he would practice twice as hard as before.
Having placed second in MLG Providence to Leenock (who is already in Code S), NaNiwa was guaranteed a Code S seed for the following season. Due to NaNiwa's highly controversial decision to Probe rush NesTea in their Blizzard Cup match on December 12, 2011, GOM officially revoked Naniwa's Code S spot as punishment for his unprofessional behavior. This has continued to cause great controversy for the Swedish player.
NaNiwa attended MLG Raleigh 2011 he was placed in Pool A with a final score of 3-2, winning his games against iNcontroL, HuK, and TriMaster but losing to the recent SlayerS addition CoCa and Terran player Rain. NaNiwa's championship run was cut short by teammate SjoW -- as a result, his final placing would be 12th, a modest result compared to his previous MLG showings.
NaNiwa played in Blizzcon 2011 since he qualified via the 2011 European Battle.net Invitational. As one of the two Protoss in the tournament, he defeated MajOr in the first round, and then followed that by defeating Sen 0-2. He later got matched up against NesTea, and managed to take one game off of him, but ended up losing 1-2. In the lower bracket, NaNiwa would face off against DIMAGA whom he would beat 2-0, and then get matched up with Sen again. This time however, Sen would take the win with a 2-1.
NaNiwa was invited to participate to 2011 MLG Global European Invitational. After losing to SaSe 2-0, he managed to win the qualifier by beating HayprO, Jinro, Ret and SaSe in the loser's bracket and then proceeded to beat White-Ra in the grand finals. In the main tournament, 2011 MLG Global Invitational, played at MLG Providence with players like Mvp, NesTea, and IdrA, all of them considered amongst the best in the world at the time. At the tournament he beat Mvp 2-1 in the semifinals and then NesTea 2-1 in the finals to take home the tournament.
Due to previous high ranking finishes during the 2011 season even after not attending to MLG Orlando 2011, NaNiwa was qualified to the Championship Bracket. His first game was a rematch of MLG Global Invitational, which took place the day before, against NesTea. NaNiwa managed to defeat him 2-1 again, advancing to the next round against HuK. He beat him 2-1, qualifying to the Winners' Bracket Finals against his team mate DongRaeGu. He took the victory 2-0 and so was the first finalist. In the Loser's Bracket Finals, Leenock defeated DongRaeGu, securing to NaNiwa the first code s seed awarded to a foreigner due to the GSL-MLG Exchange Program, although it was later revealed as a miscommunication by GSL the slot no longer existed due to a change in the GSL format. NaNiwa then lost in the finals 4-1 against Leenock, finishing 2nd overall.
Dreamhack Winter 2011
NaNiwa was one of the first players invited to participate to DreamHack Winter 2011. He was seeded in group I in Group Stage #1 and finished first in his group, beating Happy 2-0, Beastyqt 2-0 and Ciara 2-1. He qualified for group B in Group Stage #2 where he finished second, losing to ClouD 1-2, but winning against Sheth 2-1 and Stephano 2-0, placing him against his team mate DongRaeGu in the Playoff round of 16. DongRaeGu took his revenge on MLG Providence 2011 and defeated NaNiwa 1-2, ending his tournament run. He profited of being in Sweden to take some time off with his family for about 2 weeks in the time after Providence and DreamHack.
Main article: NaNiwa's Blizzard Cup Controversy.
Due to placing second at MLG Providence 2011, NaNiwa was invited to participate in the Blizzard Cup. He was seeded in group B. NaNiwa went 0-3 after losing close games against MMA, Leenock, and Polt. He had to face NesTea who was 0-3 too. Because of his rivalry with NesTea, many people were anticipating the game. But NaNiwa thought the game was meaningless since both of them were already eliminated and decided to probe rush. This caused some huge controversy with many different opinions on NaNiwa professionalism and on GOMTV for broadcasting games with no influence for the rest of the tournament. NaNiwa then apologized, saying:" I first thought that the match against NesTea was meaningless, but now I realize that it really did mean a lot, and that there’s no such thing as a “meaningless game” in eSports". GOMTV decided to "remove NaNiWa from the top of the list of considered players" for seeds for GSL January 2012 code S. He had to re-qualify to participate in GSL January code A. In an interview on the show Live On Three after the tournament he said that he probably would have quit StarCraft II if Quantic hadn't supported him as they did.
NaNiwa was one of the four players who represented Korea at IEM Season VI Kiev. He was seeded in Group A along with Strelok, White-Ra and TitaN. He first played against Strelok. During the games, he reported lag issues. After losing 1-2, he was announced to have forfeit the rest of the tournament due to technical issues, only to be announced to still being in the tournament a few minutes later. His next opponents were TitaN and White-Ra. He beat both of them 2-0, taking the first place of Group A. He faced Zenio in the quarterfinals but was eliminated 1-3, finishing in top 8 overall.
As runner-up of MLG Providence 2011, he was invited to the MLG Winter Arena 2012. As the second seeded player, his first opponent was Grubby who qualified through the European Qualifier. NaNiwa defeated Grubby 2-1 and went on to face MarineKing in the second round. MarineKing beat NaNiwa 2-0, sending him down to the losers bracket round 2. After taking down Sheth 2-1, he advanced to play against NesTea, a much anticipated match after the Blizzard Cup Controversy and the current Rivalry between the two. However, NaNiwa repeated his MLG Providence 2011 performance and defeated NesTea 2-1 in a close series packed with great plays from both players. His next opponent would be Leenock, also a rematch of the MLG Providence Grand Finals. NaNiwa took his revenge and won 2-1 over Leenock in a close series. In the next round the GSL Code S season 1 2012 finalist DongRaeGu waited, his fourth Zerg opponent in a row and toughest yet. He lost 0-2 and thus ended 7th/8th overall claiming $900 and also a seed directly into Pool Play at the first MLG Championship of 2012, the MLG Winter Championship.
At MLG Winter Championship, he was seeded into Pool B. The first day, he lost 0-2 to DongRaeGu and 1-2 to HayprO and defeated DeMusliM 2-0. He had a better performance the second day, beating JYP and Ostojiy both 2-0, taking the second place of his group. His first opponent in the Championship Bracket was MC. He took the victory 2-0 and faced HuK, the last remaining foreigner along with him. He lost 0-2 with a close last game, having one stalker against two zealots and a probe. He again ended 7th/8th overall, taking $2,250 home and getting a seed for 2012 MLG Spring Arena 1. However, he decided to go to 2012 DreamHack Open Stockholm.
2012 DreamHack Open Stockholm
Instead of participating in the MLG Spring Arena 1 NaNiwa and fellow swede SaSe flew home to Sweden for the DreamHack Open Stockholm. NaNiwa went through Group Stage #1 and #2 only losing 2 games, both to against the South Korean Zerg HyuN in Group Stage #2. In Group Stage #3, he repeated his Code S performance by defeating Genius 2-1. It looked like he would reach the Playoffs but he then lost to Nerchio and sLivko, both 0-2, eliminating him and putting him 0-6 against notable Zergs at this tournament. In an interview with RAKAKA.se, he explained that because he didn't have any Zerg opponents in Code S, he had only practiced against Protoss and Terran in the last month and almost not a single PvZ.
Return to Korea
NaNiwa received a Code S seed for 2012 GSL Season 2 along with Polt, where he was placed in group G together with Puzzle, Ryung and Mvp. NaNiwa would only drop a single game, the first one against Puzzle, and finished first in his group.
In the Round of 16 NaNiwa was picked first by 2012 GSL Season 1 finalist Genius and placed in Group A together with SuperNova and Virus. Although considered a hard group NaNiwa would continue his winning streak from the Ro32 and defeat Genius 2-0 in his first match and then Virus 2-0 in his second match, once again finishing first in his group and advancing to the Ro8. In the Ro8 NaNiwa lost to Mvp 3-1.
In 2012 GSL Season 3 NaNiwa would face off against Creator and TheStC in the Ro32, beating both of them 2-0 after losing 2-1 against Creator. In the Ro16 he would again lose his first match 2-1, this time against Genius, but beat both him and KeeN afterwards. In the Ro8, Naniwa would face DongRaeGu falling 1 game short and losing 2-3, nonetheless, keeping his Code S spot for next season.
The season after, 2012 GSL Season 4, NaNiwa was placed into Group F, where he would start out against Heart, losing by a score of 1-2, and then meet Sniper in the loser's match, where he went on to lose 0-2 and drop to the first round of Code A. In Code A he would be matched against Mini, whom he lost to by a score of 0-2, causing him to fall down to Code B, and effectively ending his GSL run.
World Championship Series
2012 WCS Sweden Nationals
On July 28, 2012, NaNiwa participated in the World Championship Series 2012 Sweden. NaNiwa defeated StarNaN and SortOf, in order to advance in to the fourth round to face ThorZaIN. He fell to the losers' bracket after losing to ThorZaIN by a score of 0-2. In the losers' bracket, NaNiwa was able to grab one more victory against MorroW before losing to SortOf by a score of 0-2 and ended up taking fourth place.
Heart of the Swarm
Before his first HotS tournament appearance, NaNiwa revealed that he had joined "The Alliance", a new Swedish-centric team run by Evil Geniuses management and featuring him and DotA 2 rising star team No Tidehunter (the same team that would go on to win The International III for Alliance - Loda, Akke, AdmiralBulldog, EGM and S4).
DreamHack Open Stockholm 2013
NaNiwa's first HotS premier tournament appearance would be in 2013 DreamHack Open/Stockholm He would make a great run through the final bracket, defeating TLO, SortOf, and Jaedong. His run would be stopped by Leenock 3-2 and would have to take 2nd place.
MLG Spring Championship 2013
NaNiwa participated in the MLG Spring Championship 2013 where he reached the semifinals. He started with sweeping his open bracket with an 8-0 score with a notable win over HuK. In the winners round 5, he faced Polt and lost by a score of 0-2. He was therefore knocked down to loser's round 7, in which he faced TheStC and took a 2-0 victory. He then played Jaedong and beat him 2-0, and therefore advanced to the next round where he faced Dear. He beat Dear 2-,0 and advanced to the semifinals where he faced Polt once more. He took the first game, but lost the next two and with MLG's extended series, he was knocked out with a score of 1-4 to Polt.
IEM New York
Naniwa played in IEM Season VIII - New York, where he defeated Hack in the group stage 2-1 before losing 0-2 to HerO. After Hack beat qxc in the losers' match to contend for the tiebreaker, NaNiwa beat him again with another 2-1 victory. In the final stage, he beat San and Hyun before losing 2-4 to Life in the finals. His second place finish guaranteed him a spot in Katowice.
WCS Global Finals 2013
NaNiwa was 16th in the WCS standings at the end of 2013, tied with Revival. Prior to the tournament he played Revival in a Best-of-5 series, winning 3-0 and receiving the 16th and final seed into the 2013 WCS Global Finals as the only foreign player participating. He was eliminated by Soulkey in the Round of 16, losing 1-3.
IEM Katowice and Hiatus
On March 12, NaNiwa announced that he would be taking an "indefinite break from StarCraft", citing lack of motivation and the slow response time of Blizzard as the primary factors in his decision.
He was still, however, slated to play in the IEM World Championship in Katowice. NaNiwa's first game was against Polt and quickly turned controversial; after Polt quickly scouted NaNiwa's proxy gateway and responded appropriately, NaNiwa typed "so fun to play without soundproofing", believing Polt to have been incited to check due to the cheering of the audience, before GG'ing out of the game. After a long break, it was announced that NaNiwa had decided to forfeit the tournament, leaving the stage amid boos from the crowd, and leaving Polt to advance to the Round of 8 after playing only one game.
On July 17, NaNiwa released a blog statement explaining his side of the story in regards to the IEM World Championship events and his future plan with StarCraft, specifically stating he will most likely not come back for Legacy of the Void. However, he re-entered the community by running a community stream with SaSe for DreamHack Summer and won praise for it, and Fnatic revealed that he will be part of their Heroes of the Storm team at BlizzCon 2014 alongside SaSe, Shushei, Ace of Spades and Lamia.
- One of the few players who is left-handed and plays that way.
- First player to get to 4000 ranking points.
- Played Undead in WC3.
- His favorite food is sushi.
- Can read German perfectly but cannot speak it very well.
- Plays Protoss due to watching Brood War games of JangBi, Stork and Bisu. He was then inspired by the Psionic Storm ability.
- His current highest tournament game win streak is 26-2, when he won MLG Dallas 2011, not dropping a single game until the final.
- Earned the nickname "The Dragonslayer" after beating both NesTea and Mvp at the MLG Global Invitational.
- He was named "The King in The North" after reaching Ro8 in 2012 GSL Season 2 Code S, when fans began repeating "The King in The North" in the LR thread and on Reddit. It may be a reference to Robb Stark of George R.R. Martin's Song Of Ice And Fire series, as Game Of Thrones was becoming a hit show on HBO at the same time as the tournament.
- Has the term "Naniwalk" coined after him for his somewhat ungraceful victory walks on stage at MLG Providence.
- First foreigner to win a Code S seed at an MLG (later to be axed due to changes in GSL format).
- First player to be a back to back HomeStory Cup finalist.
- Only non-Korean player to qualify for the 2013 WCS Global Finals.
|In Premier tournaments|
|2013-10-13||2nd||IEM Season VIII - New York||2 : 4||Life||$4,000|
|2013-06-30||3 - 4th||2013 MLG Spring Championship||1 : 4||Polt||$3,000|
|2013-04-27||2nd||2013 DreamHack Open: Stockholm||2 : 3||Leenock||$5,325.18|
|2011-11-20||2nd||2011 MLG Pro Circuit Championship Providence||1 : 4||Leenock||$25,000|
|2011-10-22||4th||BlizzCon 2011 StarCraft II Invitational||1 : 2||Sen||$0|
|2011-05-15||2nd||PokerStrategy.com TSL3||3 : 4||ThorZaIN||$7,000|
|2011-04-03||1st||2011 MLG Pro Circuit Dallas||4 : 2||KiWiKaKi||$5,000|
|In Major tournaments|
|2015-05-16||3 - 4th||E-Sport SM 2015 - Finals||2 : 3||Zanster||$1,205|
|2013-12-14||1st||Svenska E-sportcupen 2013 Grand Finals Göteborg||3 : 1||Bischu||$20,000|
|2013-12-09||2nd||Fragbite Masters||0 : 3||StarDust||$6,200|
|2013-06-18||1st||E-Sport SM 2012-2013||3 : 1||ThorZaIN||$11,632.75|
|2011-11-20||1st||MLG Global Invitational Finals||2 : 1||NesTea||$3,000|
|2011-08-07||2nd||European Battle.net Invitational||0 : 2||Ret||$5,000|
|2011-06-26||2nd||HomeStory Cup III||2 : 4||HuK||$1,417.03|
|2011-06-12||1st||Black Dragon League||3 : 1||Socke||$3,000|
|2011-04-17||1st||Gadget Show Live Invitational||2 : 0||Socke||$3,300|
|2011-01-16||2nd||HomeStory Cup II||1 : 4||White-Ra||$1,002.92|
|In Minor and Monthly tournaments|
|2013-12-21||1st||Bitcoin Starcraft - Scarlett vs Naniwa for 14BTC||4 : 2||Scarlett||$7,134.31|
|2013-04-02||1st||Svenska E-sportcupen 2013 Norrköping||3 : 0||MorroW||$4,624.18|
|2011-11-10||1st||2011 MLG European Invitational||4 : 1||White-Ra||$2,000|
|2010-10-02||1st||SK Gaming - Champions Trophy #1||3 : 1||MorroW||$250|
|Complete Results in any Tournament|
|In Premier tournaments|
|2011-03-20||2nd||GosuCoaching Premiere League Season 1||2 : 3||$333.33|
|In Major tournaments|
|2015-07-11||3rd||FEST Lyon 2015||3 : 1||$557.80|
|2011-06-17||3rd||Evil Geniuses Master's Cup Series V||2 : 3||$222.22|
|Complete Results in any Tournament|
During MLG Providence, a rivalry formed between NaNiwa and NesTea. NesTea had previously defeated NaNiwa 2-1 in the BlizzCon 2011 StarCraft II Invitational, but NaNiwa returned the favor, defeating NesTea 2-1 when they met again during the 2011 MLG Global Invitational final. In an interview after that game, NaNiwa commented about a seemingly quick drone pull NesTea made during their 3rd game: "I thought that he would do some smart shit, [...], I thought he was that genius but apparently he's just an idiot. What he did made no sense.". When NesTea heard of these comments he was reportedly very angry and ready to "destroy NaNiwa". Later, when they met in the Championship Winners' Bracket Quarter Final, they both played aggressively, including a 3rd game cannon rush. NaNiwa won the match 2-1, and cameras showed a clearly angry NesTea along with NaNiwa thumbs-downing his opponent as he left his player booth. In twitter posts and a later interview, NaNiwa stated that he was "caught up in the moment" and "didn't mean any disrespect". He also stated: "He showed he is a very smart player, obviously, since he won 3 GSLs. He can't be stupid."
When NaNiwa went back to Korea to participate in the Blizzard Cup, mentioning his rivalry a few times in various interviews, saying "I hope NesTea can stop being angry". On the second day of the tournament, when NaNiwa and NesTea were scheduled to play, both players were down 0-3 in their group before playing each other. Since they were both already be out of the tournament, NaNiwa decided to a-move his probes to Nestea's base, where he quickly lost them to the drones. This sparked heavy controversy about NaNiwa's professionalism. In addition to this intense amount of drama, NaNiwa's actions caused GOM to revoke his Code S invite for the upcoming season, instead granting it to Sen.
The next time the two played each other was at the MLG 2012 Winter Arena, in the losers bracket. NesTea took the first game but NaNiwa came back and won the second game, after holding off some early pool aggression. In the final game NaNiwa successfully read that NesTea would open very economically, and so proxied two gateways, both built on only 9 supply, close to NesTea's base. The Zerg player could not do much against this heavy aggression and NaNiwa had once again knocked NesTea out of a MLG tournament.
After Stephano decided to retire and left the - pretty much undisputed - title of Best Foreigner free to claim, two players emerged to contend for it: the Swedish veteran NaNiwa and Canadian favorite Scarlett. While - surprisingly - they managed to avoid each other throughout the year, they traded blows in terms of results with Scarlett beating arguably stronger Korean players throughout the year, while NaNiwa making more deep runs in top tier tournaments, qualifying for the 2013 WCS Global Finals and finishing the year with two silvers (IEM Season VIII - New York and 2013 DreamHack Open: Stockholm) to Scarlett's one (ASUS ROG NorthCon 2013).
In interviews with ESL, Scarlett has alluded to this ongoing contest. She told ReDeYe after beating Bomber to win a quarterfinal berth at IEM Season VIII - Singapore that she had to outdo NaNiwa's performance at DreamHack Winter, which was going on simultaneously (which she did), but also later said during an ESL feature on her that she considers herself the second best foreigner behind NaNiwa because he has better results so far.
Round 1 - IGN ProLeague Season 5 - Winners' 2nd Round - Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, NV, USA - November 29th-December 2nd, 2012
The two met once before in Wings of Liberty in the IPL 5 winners' second round, where Scarlett prevailed 2-1. She also had the better placing in the tournament, placing in the top 24 while NaNiwa was unable to place in the top 32.
Round 2 - Bitcoin Starcraft Show Match (Online) - December 21st, 2013
On 16th December, it was announced that a special Best of 7 show match would take place with a prize pool of 12 bitcoins (~10,000 USD at the time of the announcement) on 21st December. The main caster and coordinator of the event was TotalBiscuit, who was joined by IdrA. . NaNiwa prevailed after the first two maps were split and ribbed her in a post-match tweet when he said that he felt that Scarlett had played greedy and called it "a waste of what could have been" but also said that he guessed that her greed was a part of her success.
NaNiwa has had an ongoing rivalry with Leenock, as the two have met each other in the grand finals of a couple tournaments. The first time this happened was during the finals of MLG Providence 2011, where Leenock advanced through the losers bracket to face NaNiwa in a best-of-7 match. NaNiwa, looking to claim his third MLG title, was defeated convincingly by Leenock in a 4-1 sweep however.
NaNiwa met Leenock once again 2 years later, in the finals of 2013 DreamHack Stockholm. NaNiwa already went beyond expectations after upsetting Jaedong in the semifinals, and he looked primed to take his first DreamHack Open against Leenock, in a best-of-5 series. Unfortunately for NaNiwa, he would be denied yet another first-place finish by Leenock this time falling 3-2 to the Korean Zerg player.
|MLG Pro Circuit Champion|
|MLG 2010 Dallas
|MLG 2011 Dallas
3 April 2011 – 6 June 2011
|MLG 2011 Columbus|
|MLG Global Invitational Champion|
|2011 MLG Global Invitational
20 November 2011 – Present
- 2014-10-22 | Heroes is not deep enough to be an eSport yet by readmore
- 2014-03-15 | 'Reflections' with NaNiwa by Thorin of OnGamers
- 2013-12-20 | NaNiwa is the winner of Svecup by Marie Näsström of Alliance
- 2013-10-07 | Smalltalk with NaNiwa by Marie Näsström of Alliance
- 2013-07-06 | NaNiwa in Korea: talks Dreamhack Summer, MLG, Korean practice, Polt handshake and beating Jaedong by Thorin of aceresport.com
- 2013-06-29 | NaNiwa talks the misconception of a rivalry with HuK at MLG by Slasher of Gamespot.com at 2013 MLG Spring Championship
- 2013-06-19 | NaNiwa 'Grilled'. by Thorin of Team Acer
- 2012-12-02 | NaNiwa Talks future plans, Zerg balance,& more. by Slasher of GameSpot.com at IGN ProLeague Season 5
- 2012-11-29 | Interview with NaNiwa - IPL5 Day One by HotBid of TL.net at IGN ProLeague Season 5
- 2012-08-01 | Real Talk with NaNiwa by itmeJP
- 2012-06-14 | GSL Code S Season 3 Ro32 Group B Winners by This Is Game
- 2012-05-17 | Interview with Team Liquid by Waxangel of TL.net
- 2012-05-15 | NaNiwa answers Swedish community questions by fragbite.se
- 2012-05-14 | Naniwa, Catching Up After GSL by Cyber Sports Network
- 2011-11-20 | Interview after beating Nestea to advance to the Final 4 of the Winner's Bracket at MLG Providence 2011 by AskJoshy of compLexity Gaming at MLG Providence 2011
- 2011-11-18 | Interview by AskJoshy Interview after winning 2011 MLG Global Invitational by AskJoshy of compLexity Gaming
- 2011-11-18 | compLexity Naniwa Interview - MLG Providence 2011 by compLexity Gaming at MLG Providence 2011
- 2011-10-02 | Interview by Drewbie (In Korea!) by Drewbie of compLexity Gaming
- 2011-09-20 | Naniwa Post Nestea Interview - MLG Providence 2011 by Complexity Gaming at MLG Providence 2011
- 2011-07-13 | Swedish Interview: Hässleholms minst kända världsstjärna by norraskane.se
- 2011-05-14 | TSL3 Pre-Finals Interview by Heyoka of TL.net
- 2010-05-21 | Joining vT Gaming and Starcraft 2 French Interview by EsportsFrance
Matches & VODs
Notable Beta Matches
- vs. DIMAGA(Z) Zotac Cup #10 Finals game 1/4
- vs. DIMAGA(Z) Zotac Cup #10 Finals game 2/4
- vs. DIMAGA(Z) Zotac Cup #10 Finals game 3/4
- vs. DIMAGA(Z) Zotac Cup #10 Finals game 4/4
First Person View Match VODS
- NaNiwa - Road to Blizzcon #15
- NaNiwa - The Paradox Protoss
- The Toil of Foreign SC2's King beyond the Wall
- EU Battle Net profile and Ranking page for his European server account.
- KR Battle Net profile and Ranking page for his Korean server account.
- Fnatic (9 October 2014). "We're excited to announce our #Blizzcon2014 roster for the @BlizzHeroes Exhibition Tournament". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- ChickenLips (5 January 2011). "MeatyOwlLegs first player to 4000 points!". Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Brent Ruiz (30 July 2012). "NaNiwa granted release from Quantic Gaming". Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Mionix (7 August 2012). "Mionix sponsors Swedish StarCraft II Johan 'NaNiwa' Lucchesi". Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Jaclyn Lo (28 August 2007). "Warcraft 3: fnatic releases Naniwa from WC3 roster". Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Marek "MepH" Walkowiak (20 September 2011). "NaNiwa and Team Dignitas part ways". Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- compLexity Gaming (21 September 2011). "compLexity Adds NaNiwa". Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Tom McCarthy (8 December 2011). "NaNiwa joins Quantic Gaming". Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- TSL Qualifier #2 Recap
- NaNi and RotterdaM joins Serious Gaming
- NaNi joins with MyM
- Interview - NaNiwa in The Way I Play
- NaNiwa's ESL Kick - Original statement
- NaNiwa's ESL disqualification - English translation
- NaNiwa's ESL Kick - English summary
- Team Liquid thread - NaNiwa kicked out of EPS Germany
- MyM waves goodbye to NaNiwa
- Power Gaming SC2 Adds NaNiwa
- NaNiwa teams up with Empire
- Empire sc2 welcome NaNiwa!
- Power Gaming Releases NaNiwa
- NaNiwa removed from European Championship
- NaNiwa joins the gang!
- MrBitter's coverage of MLG Dallas
- NaNiwa's MLG Dallas on stage interview
- NaNiwa interview translated from Rakaka
- NaNiwa and ThorZaIN are going to Korea
- 08-06-11 NaNiwa interview
- 2011 MLG Pro Circuit/Raleigh#Pools
- 2011 MLG Pro Circuit/Raleigh#Final_Top_32_Rankings.5B6.5D
- MLG statement on Providence Code S slot
- DreamHack Winter 2011 - First Selected Players
- Live on Three episode 98, 12/14/2011: Starts at 41:34
- NaNiwa forfeits IEM Season VI Kiev
- NaNiwa didn't forfeit IEM Season VI Kiev
- https://tl.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=331510 NaNiwa Interview whith RAKAKA at DreamHack, Translated.
- "NaNiwa to take an indefinite break from StarCraft". TL.net. 2014-03-12. Retrieved 2014-03-15.
- "NaNiwa forfeits mid-series at IEM Katowice". TL.net. 2014-03-14. Retrieved 2014-03-15.
- "Summary". TL.net. 2014-07-17. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
- Artosis video showing NaNiwa's play
- sc2ranks link for MeatyOwlLegs which NaNiwa "smurfed" on.
- MLG Providence .gifs
- NaNiwa interviewed after winning MLG Global Invitational
- NesTea says he's ready to destroy NaNiwa
- NaNiwa Post Nestea Interview - MLG Providence 2011
- Blizzard Cup Media Day Interviews
- NaNiwa tells NesTea to relax at Blizzard cup
- NaNiwa Interview - Blizzard Cup Group B
- ThisIsGame's Reaction to NaNiwa and the Blizzard Cup
- What do you think of NaNiwa vs Nestea?
- GOMTV Announcement regarding NaNiWa.