Sometimes it is easy to forget that, despite the thrills of public competition, even the biggest of pro gamers are ultimately human. Competition takes a toll, and when success in those competitions is elusive, that toll is amplified. For Overwatch player Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson of the Toronto Defiant, that toll has become too much, at least for now. After a season in which Nevix was dissatisfied with his own performance, he’s come to the conclusion that he will be taking a break from Overwatch indefinitely.
Previously, Nevix was a part of the San Francisco Shock, and was technically on the team when they secured the 2019 Overwatch League title. Nevix joined the Toronto Defiant following the Canadian team’s recruitment of him for the 2020 season. Unfortunately, that recruitment didn’t pay off, with the Defiant finishing the regular season in fifteenth place and coming in at ninth place, in a tie, during the North American playoffs.
An article from Dot Esports reveals that Nevix was reported to have spent some time considering his career as a whole, especially contextualized by the recent underperformance of his team. The article refers to a message from Nevix in which he explains his reluctance to claim ownership of the success the San Francisco Shock achieved in 2019. Technically, he wasn’t on the starting roster. Ultimately, Nevix says that “When the seasons ended I didn’t want to touch the game, but since tryouts are coming up I should still be practicing. That’s when I realized I would like to take a break.” He confirmed that he would be taking a break in a tweet he released on the 7th of November.
Apparently Nevix isn’t alone in feeling the need for a break. His Toronto Defiant teammate Lane “Surefour” Roberts has also expressed interest in stepping away from Overwatch, at least for the 2021 season. Although, as far as Surefour’s Twitter goes, he’s only said that he’ll “most likely be taking a break,” whereas Nevix has definitively said he will be stepping away from the game.
It is unclear if and when these players will return to Overwatch. But what is clear is that, ultimately, these players need to do what’s right for them. Competition isn’t easy. Taking the time to step away and regroup is as valuable as anything else, which is something that Nevix’s fans clearly understand considering the encouraging messages he’s been receiving via Twitter.
Hang in there, Nevix: we know you’ll do what’s best.