This Week in the ITC: Interview with World’s Number One Player Nick Nanavati

Hello, fellow Warhammer 40k fans! SaltyJohn from TFG Radio, and one of the Las Vegas Open Head Judges, here to bring you a wrap up of this week in the ITC.

The ITC is nearing its finale. The LVO is 4 weeks away and the top players are getting ready. This week let’s take a quick look at the top 10 and then jump right into what you’re all here for. My interview with the number one 40k player in the world, Nick Nanavati!

With the ITC Season coming to a close, can you give me a rundown on how you feel the ITC is going as a whole and where you would like to see it go in the future?

Nick: It’s going great! 40k event participation is at an all-time high, and that’s awesome. But with anything, there is always room for improvement. The formula for ITC points needs work in my opinion. It doesn’t scale well with the larger events. As an example, going 4-2 and finishing ~100th at LVO this year assuming 800 players would lead to about the same points as my 3rd place finish at NOVA open where I went 7-1. I think the scaling linearly for the size of the event could use a lot of work, as it almost makes the rest of the “season” feel pointless when compared to LVO.

How do you feel overall about your ITC season? Clearly, you had some great successes, probably some setbacks too.

Nick: I feel great, going into LVO with the top spot was my goal. Now I’m the master of my own destiny!

What do you think was your greatest accomplishment this season? Greatest failure?

Nick: From an event-based standpoint I was part of Team America, and we won the gold at ETC this year. That’s the pinnacle of 40k in my mind. There is no higher honor one can achieve than representing your own country on the international scale and coming home with the gold and the title of “World Champion”. Aside from that, I launched my business as a professional 40k player this year and I’ve seen tremendous success and growth. Needless to say, I’m proud of that for an abundance of reasons, but I’m most proud of the community for being so positive and supporting of it.

Aside from that, I don’t think I’ve had many failures this year. Failure is a pretty negative word, I’d much rather think of it as not fully explored opportunities. I think I could have put even more of my time into my business and help the community grow even more!

Are you planning to attend the Las Vegas Open?

Nick: Yes

If you’re planning to attend, how do you prepare for the largest Warhammer 40k tournament in the world? Is it different than preparing for a regular Major or GT? Explain.

Nick: Lots and lots of time spent thinking about the game, playing the game, and practicing. There are no shortcuts for this one.

What do you like, or anticipate liking if you’ve never been, most about the Las Vegas Open?

Nick: I’ve been there! I definitely look forward to the social aspect the most. Being surrounded by thousands of people you have some common ground with and tons of friends in the Vegas setting is pretty amazing.

Do you know what you will be running for the Las Vegas Open yet? If so, or if not, how do you think Chapter Approved is going to shake up your choices and the overall meta of the LVO?

Nick: Definitely running Orks at this point. No idea on the list yet. CA didn’t change too much for me, but this is going to be an amazingly interesting LVO with the huge variety in what’s viable.

You’ve spent the last year trying to become a Professional 40k player, what has that experience been like?

Nick: Rewarding and challenging are the two words that come to mind. Starting your own business is a daunting venture no matter the industry, and it’s always accompanied by unwanted feelings of fear and doubt, along with some ludicrous hours. It was the community’s amazing positive response and support to my endeavor which really motivated me to continue and turn my dream into a reality by becoming the first professional 40k player. I’ve loved to see the industry grow and accept the idea of professionalism in 40k, and I’m excited to see other company’s fully embracing the prospect. It’s my goal that in a few years competitive with 40k will become commonplace within the competitive gaming industry/e-sport industry as a whole and I love that I’m part of the driving force for that shift.

You’ve been on multiple streams, some of them the most watched Twitch streams and YouTube replays of all time in competitive 40k, what do you think about live streamed games and Competitive 40k?

Nick: I think live streaming is fantastic! I love to see the game growing and using the internet and streaming to facilitate that growth is the way to go. Moving forward I’d love to see quality commentary going on for streams as well. 40k is a game with lots of logistical issues preventing it from being streamable, most notably the downtime in time spent thinking and physically moving or rolling dice. With good commentary, I believe that can be overcome, and even people who don’t know how to play 40k can learn to enjoy watching it. If they can find a way to make live chess interesting to stream I’m sure it can be done with 40k!

You recently participated in the Best of Faction 48 hour charity live stream, can you tell us a little about what that was like and why you participated?

Nick: Absolutely! It was a gaming marathon. I legitimately played 27 hours of 40k out of a 48 hour time period. At times it was enjoyable, because I love playing 40k and hanging out win friends, and at others, the alarm was going off at 5 am because it was time to play 40k. Ultimately I did it for two reasons. First and foremost, the proceeds were going to charity, and I wanted to do my part to help. We raised over $6000 for Childs Play by playing 40k! And second, Colin Sherman and the Best in Faction team have done an amazing job supporting and promoting me over at Nights of the Game Table, and I wanted to return the favor. Thanks to the connections Colin has made he was able to get us onto the front page of Twitch for the whole weekend and we were able to reach over 500,000 viewers and 5000 live at any point through the weekend. It was unreal, and I’m so happy to have been part of something that I think can really become something truly monumental for our hobby.

Huge shout out to Nick Nanavati who is really busy taking the time to talk to me about 40k, the ITC, and the LVO! Hopefully, we will get a chance to see Nick playing live on stream at the LVO again this year, making his run for LVO and ITC Champion.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About SaltyJohn

John has been playing Warhammer 40k since the 3rd edition box set with Space Marines, Dark Eldar, and weird green palm trees were in the set. He is currently a 40k Head Judge for the Las Vegas Open, the largest 40k tournament in the world. An avid board gamer, a huge fan of video games, and a guest spot on Geek and Sundry as a "Historian" during an episode of "Game the Game" round out his geek credentials. You can catch "Salty" John on TFG Radio's Twitch Show, and Podcast, as well as find him streaming video games on Twitch on the TFG Radio Twitch page from time to time.

3 Responses to “This Week in the ITC: Interview with World’s Number One Player Nick Nanavati”

  1. Commander_Sune January 11, 2019 6:53 am #

    Nick’s not only a great champion, but also seems to be a really nice guy. It’s a tremendeous job all of you guys that write articles, make videos and podcast do for the community and as a way to attract new players. Thanks!

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn January 11, 2019 8:18 am #

      I agree, he is a good guy along with being a great player. Makes him a fantastic ambassador for the game and the competitive scene in particular.

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 11, 2019 8:59 am #

      He is very nice and funny. Gets up to some crazy shenanigans at times, but they’re largely harmless. I’m happy to see him making a run at pro 40k and making it work!

      Glad you enjoy the content, Commander Sune!

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