Nitr0 is learning to balance a pro esports career with being a new father to his child Maverick.

As you grow older, more responsibilities enter your everyday life. When we are kids, our primary focuses are simple and revolve around our passions and dreams. Over time, this begins to change as more worries and different life obligations begin to surround these initial goals. For 100 Thieves’ Nicholas “Nitr0″ Cannella, finding a balance between new life obligations and maintaining his place in esports is a challenge he has dealt with in his career. 

Yet, through it all, Nitr0 continues to be a prime example that having a balanced lifestyle is a motivation in itself. 

Nitr0 alongside teammate Hiko.

Constant Travel on Liquid for Nitr0

Nitr0 spent nearly five years as the leader of Team Liquid’s CS:GO team. In this time, he helped the North American squad reach new heights, creating a dynasty, reaching 2nd at IEM Cologne 2016, and ultimately winning the Intel Grand Slam. Yet, through all this success, Nitr0 struggled with the everyday lifestyle of being away from home.

“It was very difficult always being away from the US.” Nitr0 shared. “You get homesick very often and miss your family a lot.”

In CS:GO, there is no league that keeps people in one place consistently. While the LCS is predominantly based in Los Angeles at the LCS Studio, there is no such area in CS:GO. Instead, the lifestyle for a CS:GO player is built around constant travel and if you are a top team, you are going to an event nearly every other week.

Leaving for VALORANT

With the Coronavirus pandemic turning CS:GO primarily into a European based game, Nitr0 was faced with a tough decision to leave Liquid in August 2020.

“Leaving Liquid was really hard because it was my identity for 6 years.” Nitr0 shares. “That consistency in an inconsistent career path was so nice. It was hard to let that all go.”

No longer a part of Liquid, Nitr0 set out for a new path with VALORANT, one that would allow him to find balance with esports.

Before retiring, Nitr0 was the in-game leader and who many viewed as the face of Team Liquid’s CS:GO lineup.

“I really didn’t really know what I wanted to do or what I was capable of doing. Yet, I saw VALORANT as an opportunity to have a lighter calendar for travel.” Nitr0 states.

Unlike CS:GO, VALORANT has a North American scene that keeps teams competing within their region for extended periods of time. This break from traveling back and forth from Europe allows a lifestyle where he does not need to miss out on important life events pertaining to his new-born son.

“In his early ages, he changes so much so it is nice being able to just stay home with him.”

Returning to LAN for First Time in VALORANT

After spending some time away from constant travel, Nitr0 made his way to VCT Masters Berlin with 100 Thieves where they made it to the semifinals before losing to Envy 2-0. Back home for a brief amount of time and enjoying time with his son, he is hoping that VCT Masters Berlin will not be the final LAN event he attends in 2021. And while the temptation of spending more time with his son makes the esports lifestyle difficult, Nitr0 now has a deeper drive to compete.

Maverick is Nitr0’s new-born son and a driving factor behind his motivation to win. Photo via Nitr0’s twitter.

“I can be gone for two weeks and he can begin doing stuff on his belly. I miss moments like this whenever I am away for an event. At the same time, it really forces me to not waste this moment because what I do is all for him now.”

Nitro on missing big moments so he can be with his team at events.

Nitr0 will be looking to qualify for the VCT Champions with 100 Thieves through the Last Chance Qualifier.

No longer just focused on esports, Nitr0 is learning to balance two of his biggest passions in life, esports and family. But now these two worlds are coming together to create one joint goal of giving it his all with 100 Thieves to build a great life for his son.

100 Thieves will now look to capitalize on this motivation as they look to make a deep run at VCT Champions alongside Envy and Sentinels. However, if they want to get to VCT Champions, they will need to first win the qualifier. With Nitr0 stepping in as the new IGL for 100 Thieves, the seasoned veteran is now looking to take the team to new heights as he looks to build a future for his son.

Sage Datuin - Writer of the Month: June

Sage Datuin

Writer of the Month: June | Twitter: @sagedatuin

Sage been following esports since high school and has remained a massive fan ever since. When he's not working he likes to work out, knit and overthink things..