In an announcement posted Wednesday morning, Natus Vincere has officially parted ways with their entire Hearthstone division including Sebastian “Xixo” Bentert, Frederik “Hoej” Nielsen, Jung Soo “Surrender” Kim, and BlizzCon 2015 world champion Sebastian “Ostkaka” Engwall.
“It is sad to inform that we’ve decided not to prolong the contracts with our Hearthstone team.” said Eugene “HarisPilton” Zolotarev, the director of esports for Na’Vi. “However, we want to focus our resources and efforts on the top disciplines, basing on the region, where our main fan base is located. Nevertheless, it was very pleasant to work with the guys. We can surely say that the year of our presence in the discipline was successful.”
The four players as a whole have won over $150,000 over the past year, with the bulk of that coming from Ostkaka’s win at Blizzcon.
These are the only four Hearthstone players Na’Vi has ever contracted. While the announcement has stated that the organization wishes to refocus their efforts in esports closer to their fanbase in the CIS, it should be noted that much of the incentive to sign a Hearthstone player is dependant on stream numbers since consistency is fairly hard to achieve in the competitive circuit. While there are absolutely exceptions to this, it remains unclear what factored into the decision to withdraw from Hearthstone altogether in Na’Vi’s case.
Dylan Walker is on Twitter @dyluuxx