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Opinion

The show match that never was

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

With ELEAGUE announcing a $250,000 exhibition match between Virtus.Pro and Astralis, I was reminded of a show match that never was.

In the middle of 2012, StarCraft 2 players Naniwa and Stephano were in strong form. Stephano was in the strongest form of his career and Naniwa was still a very strong player (I think his peak strengths were in 2011 and 2013). Regardless, Naniwa was still a top foreigner in the world and in early 2012 was a top 5 Protoss player. Stephano tried to needle Naniwa by saying Naniwa was avoiding the showmatch, so Naniwa upped it to $5,000. Here is a succinct summary of what happened back then.

It would have been a great show match as Stephano was the most beloved foreigner in SC2. Naniwa was by far the most controversial: A player who exhibited the greatest virtues of what the community wanted from their SC2 players, someone who worked hard and thought winning was all that mattered. He took it to the extreme and his manner and personality were so outside the norm that he could only provoke love or hate from anyone who had interacted with him.

Unfortunately it never happened. Too bad. It could have gone down as one of the most memorable show matches in SC2 history.

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