[Official] Nuguri announces a break from competitive play for the 2022 season

The former top laner for FunPlus Phoenix, Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon, announced a break from the competitive scene.


On Nov 21, an official statement from Nuguri’s representative, Kang Beom-jun of The Play Studios & Spear Gaming was released via Nuguri’s esports agency. According to the statement, Nuguri will not be joining any team and will be taking a break for the time being, and it’s a decision that was made after much discussion with the player and his family.


The reason why Nuguri did not provide his own statement was because he’s mentally tired from working hard for the past five years, as well as from living in a foreign country, in an unfamiliar environment. Furthermore, the statement claims that while Nuguri’s in-game prowess and professionalism is still at the top level, Nuguri’s fatigue level is unable to handle the stress from the stove league itself and the pressure from the competition that shortly follows the stove league. 


The following is the full statement from Nuguri’s representative, translated.

“Hello, my name is Kang Beom-jun, Jang Ha-gwon [Nuguri]’s agent. I write to you today because Nuguri has asked me to write this statement for him.


I know that there are a lot of speculations regarding Nuguri’s move for 2022. First, I want to begin by saying that Nuguri will not be joining any team next year, and will be taking a break from competitive play.


This decision was something that was discussed thoroughly with the player himself, his family, as well as those close to him. Ultimately, it was Nuguri’s decision to take a break, and while this decision will surely disappoint all those interested, I hope to relay the fact that this decision wasn’t an easy decision to make, and was a long and grueling process until the very end.


For the past five years, Nuguri dedicated everything to winning every league/tournament that he ever played in. Last year was the first time that Nuguri lived overseas, and the stress from living in a foreign country amongst other unforeseen issues have mentally exhausted him. This is why Kang Beom-seok, my brother and former head coach in the scene, flew all the way to Iceland during Worlds to take care of Nuguri and help him return to Korea, per his family’s request. I kindly ask for your understanding in the fact that these factors have played a huge part in why he didn’t give a statement himself.


To this day, there’s absolutely no problems regarding Nuguri’s professionalism and his in-game prowess. However, it seems that the stress from the fierce stove league, as well as the pressure from the competition that will shortly follow was too much for him to handle in his current state.


As someone that knows first-hand the value that Nuguri holds as a pro gamer, I would be lying if I wasn’t disappointed with Nuguri’s decision. I want to emphasize that I helped contemplate Nuguri’s next moves, and even assisted in finding the best options for Nuguri. However, Nuguri’s opinion was the most important, so no detailed negotiations with other teams have been conducted.


A lot of teams have shown interest in Nuguri. He officially became FA on the 16th, and went on a vacation with his family on the 17th-18th. Nuguri himself was contemplating a break much before then, and notified us of his decision on the 19th. We immediately proceeded to relay on this decision to all the teams who showed interest.


There have been various speculations that the reason behind our passiveness in our negotiations was to gain advantages in our negotiations. However, Nuguri needed time to make such an important decision, and we respectfully waited until he made that decision, so we hope that everyone will realize that every party needed time. Through this statement, we hope to clear any spiteful speculations surrounding the player.


Once again, I’d like to deeply thank all those who’ve shown support and interest to Nuguri. Right now, what Nuguri needs is time for his body and mind to heal and grow stronger. We hope that everyone will continue to cheer for Nuguri in the future. Thank you."


1/3 of the original statement by Nuguri's representative
2/3 of the original statement by Nuguri's representative
3/3 of the original statement by Nuguri's representative
Short hand-written message from Nuguri that says: "I've decided to go on a break. Thank you, and sorry to the fans who support me."

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