JKS: The Final Piece Of The Complexity Juggernaut
Since it was announced on September 22 that Owen "oBo" Schlatter would be stepping down from the roster due to personal reasons, it looked as if the momentum that Complexity had gathered would soon come to a halt. However, after the recent announcement about the acquisition of Australian superstar rifler Justin "JKS" Savage from 100 Thieves, can the Complexity hype train get back on track?
Beginning of the juggernaut
After the somewhat comical tweets from COL owner Jason Lake following his team's disappointing finish at the Starladder Berlin 2019 Major, he promised his fans a juggernaut roster and whilst some fans were sceptical, after the announcements of the roster with a few superstar names, many eyebrows were raised. Young NA prodigy oBo was joined by Kristian "k0nfig" Winenecke, Valentin "poizon" Vasilev, Benjamin "blameF" Bremer, and William "RUSH" Wierzba. This brought together a mix of young up and coming superstars combined with Major winning experience, which on paper seemed to be a recipe for success. Although, this success definitely didn’t come straight away for the international roster.
After falling flat at the European minor, it seemed like the roster was doomed to fail - for a roster with such high expectations to not make it to the major was a disaster. However, this online failure was quickly followed up by what was seen as a massive upset at the Blast Premier Spring Series 2020, where Complexity pulled off two best-of-three wins over number one ranked Astralis, and number six ranked Vitality.
This was the first sign of life for the roster, which was then followed up with during the online era of Counter-Strike by winning multiple Home Sweet Home cups. Whilst these events were mainly filled with tier two teams, it was a chance for the team to refine their skills and get some well-needed practice heading into the major online events that were to follow.
Reaching the top of the CS mountain
After gaining momentum from these tier two tournament wins, expectations were quickly rising for the roster heading into the regionalised Blast Premier Spring finals and for the first time since the roster was formed they finally lived up to the promise and won a tier-one event. Achieving a team rating of 1.12 on Hltv.org, Complexity showed the firepower that was demanded by fans, led by fragging IGL blameF, who himself achieved a staggering 1.27 rating at the same time as leading his team to victory.
oBo leaves the team
Since reaching the high heights of fifth in the world, it looked as if Jason Lake’s dreams of building the juggernaut had finally been realised; however, this all seemed to crumble when the shock departure of oBo was announced. In a Twitlonger, oBo confirmed that because of the lifestyle of living away from his family for prolonged periods of time in Europe, especially during the COVID era with travelling restrictions, he felt that it would be better for him to play on an NA team closer to his family. Overall, the community seemed to think this would be the beginning of a sharp downfall for Complexity, and this looked like it may be the case after a few poor performances using stand-ins.
Picking up JKS
Losing their up and coming superstar could’ve been seen as the end of the hype for Complexity, with the lack of tier one talent seemingly available, it appeared that it may be a long wait until the team would become relevant again. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth when on October 23, Complexity confirmed the signing of JKS from 100 Thieves. This announcement was met by a wave of praise for the organisation as it would appear that they may not only have found a suitable replacement but in some peoples eyes improved the roster with the signing.
Throughout his career, JKS has always been seen as a highly talented player being held back by the region he was playing in. However, during 2019, it seemed that his fortunes had finally changed as the Renegades lineup that he was apart of reached the top eight of two majors, achieving major status before the team was acquired by tier-one NA organisation, 100 Thieves. He finished the year strongly helping the team achieve a second-place finish at IEM Beijing and being ranked 15th on Hltv’s top 20 players of the year.
Unfortunately, for the most part, this team success would not continue for 100 Thieves, as they were very much a team that suffered from the online era of Counter-Strike. Whilst JKS individually was still performing to a high level, the success of the team seemingly disappeared. The continued downfall of the team all came to a screeching halt when 100 Thieves announced once again they were leaving the scene. This left JKS looking for a new team, and as fate would have it, the juggernaut were still looking for a fifth player, and for what seemed to be a match made in heaven, JKS quickly snapped up the offer and joined the team in their European bubble.
For now, the roster is yet to have time to prove themselves. However, given time, they could very well become the juggernaut that Jason Lake desires.
Images via Metabro | HLTV