Right when Counter Logic Gaming looked to be the most cohesive unit they’ve been in quite a while, Nientonsoh (Nien for short) announced that he would be stepping down from the CLG roster. In an interview with Travis Gafford of OnGamers, Nien cited several reasons for his departure. Overall, he felt that he was underperforming relative to the other players on his team and that his confidence was lacking. He also mentioned that the community backlash after the recent CLG vs. TSM game was part of the reason he decided to step down. He felt unhappy with his play and the thousands of people trash-talking him were adding to his discouragement as a player. There were also more personal, family-related reasons for his departure, but he elected not to talk about those.
Nien mentioned throughout the interview that he had high hopes for the future and that he would be focusing on bettering himself as a player in order to perhaps join another team in the future. According to the interview, he wasn’t being pressured by any of his teammates or CLG management to step down, but felt that it was necessary for his own sake.
As with anything League of Legends related, thousands of people quickly took to the League of Legends subreddit in order to offer their thoughts on Nien’s decision. The reaction is mixed, at best. Some CLG fans are happy with his choice and looking forward to a new talent joining the team. Others felt that the decision was rushed and unnecessary after one poor performance and that he is a strong player.
Several professional League of Legends players took to Twitter in order to offer Nien some words of encouragement:
Still, others expressed their disagreement with the decision:
What this all means is that the community does have an impact on the decisions of professional players, whether it collectively chooses to acknowledge that or not. It also means that CLG is looking for a new top-laner. Although they are looking specifically for a top-lane player, they are also exploring the possibility of moving Link to the top-lane and finding a new mid-laner if that particular opportunity arises. What are your thoughts on the roster changes and Nien’s decision? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!