Prior to their BLAST Opening Match against Astralis, CompLexitys RUSH spoke with GGRecon.
During the BLAST Premier media day, CompLexitys RUSH spoke with GGRecon to discuss everything about the team, the latter end of his Cloud9 career and more!
We’ve got with us RUSH from Complexity. Once upon a time the slayer of Astralis and now he is hoping to do it again. RUSH how does it feel? You’re going up against the best team in the world tomorrow. What are your thoughts going into it?
Slayer of Astralis? I like it. I’ve definitely beat them in the past a few times. It’s going to be harder here because we’re a fresh team and we have to get the chemistry done, but we’ve had a lot of time to practice. We’ve had like 3 months to practice. We had a bootcamp in Europe for a month, and we’ve been here for a week practising hard. They don’t have a good read on how we play but we have a pretty solid read on how they play, even though they are very variable in how they play, but we’ve been able to watch them for a long time now. So, I think we have the upper hand in the sense that we’re the heavy underdog and they’re favorite to win it.
RUSH this isn’t your first time playing under a European game leader though. How does it feel like playing underneath blameF, who’s of course probably coming in with some of that Danish style, compared to playing underneath someone like Golden when you were in Cloud9?
It’s very different because Golden is more of like I’ll say fnatic style. He relies on the individuals to make their own decisions in mid round situations and like play off eachother, very reactive, while Blame is more intricate. He definitely makes a lot of set strategies, a lot of set plays and just more structured overall, which I’ve always said in the past that I kind of prefer that. So, I feel really comfortable playing under his leadership, and he puts a lot of hard work in, like day in day out, always watching demos after practice, watching our games back and coming back the next day and saying we f*cked up here, we did this wrong, and everyday something new to go over. It’s not like we go for practice like ‘what do we do today’, there is always stuff to do. So, I think that helps a lot. They’re two different styles, I liked playing under Golden, I like playing under Ben but definitely feel like, more comfortable under Ben just because it’s a style that more suits me, and I think it’s good.
So you mentioned that he’s bringing a very comparatively structured style to the team with its set pieces. How much input do you generally have within the games and within the strategy going into it?
I definitely think that I talk probably the second most out of everyone just because I’m the most experienced on the team, so I give input like what people should do mid rounds, what they did wrong. If people need to remember something I help them remember something because I pretty much have no problem remembering the strats, because there’s a lot of them but someone like Owen for example, oBo, I think can need some help sometimes because I want them to focus on their game than they do other stuff so I just tell them that ‘hey you’ve got to do this’ then they just have to focus on their crosshair and just kill people you know.
Well, that just gives you guys a very unique mix of North America and of Europe and Blame’s not really been around Europe for that long either. He’s one of the players who some people are saying might be one of the rookies to watch out for in this coming year as well, and for good reason of course, but the question then comes in that how does NA/EU mixture work out for you guys, because so far we’ve seen varying degrees of success, unfortunately some lack thereof in the recent minor qualifiers and what not as well. How does it work out for you?
I think the minor qualifiers are kind of like some undue pressure on us just because there are matches that we have to win and should win opposed to these matches where you’re kind of like the underdogs, in BLAST, but I think in general the biggest difference when you mix these EU and NA is the language barrier, I think. It’s definitely gotten a lot better since the start. I think in the start there were definitely some things where people couldn’t understand each other, people were talking too much or too little, so I think over time we’re getting better. It’s only getting better and better each day, and I think that’s become not the biggest problem anymore. The biggest problem could be more like teamwork and making sure all of us aren’t going for individual plays instead we’re playing for the team more. I think that’s more of a bigger problem than language barrier, which used to be a big problem for us.
Well, specifically not just the language barrier, another thing that gives you a lot of pressure on the team is that Jason Lake, the owner of CompLexity, has a significant bid in going for being the very best teams in the world. So that’s a lot of pressure to be putting on your shoulder. Especially, when he’s been so clear in the past that if a team’s not performing for any elongated period of time, he’s fine with tweeting out something radical and saying, “Listen, I’m gonna make another meme but I mean it.” Is that a lot of pressure on your shoulders as an individual player?
I think it could be but I think we as a team have realised that, that’s not gonna be something that will affect us. We do realise that we have to perform within the next year. I think that’s plenty of time for any team to give them a good shot. If a team doesn’t make results or show improvement in a year then yeah it probably shouldn't make changes. So, I don’t think there’s any undue pressure. I think that’s a given for any team. Having the CEO say it won’t make any difference. I think Jason just wants results and we are gonna do our best to give it to them in the next year. We will see what happens, and that there’s no pressure for me or from me.
Well, I have to ask you about your time in Cloud9 now which is, obviously there were ups and downs and you had some historic moments and whatnot but one thing very recently when Cloud9’s second most recent roster ended up disbanding came through, they were saying that a lot of atmosphere in the team lent itself to not practising even with the new players potentially because the GenG conversations that were going on and everything. Was that ever something you felt back when you were still in Cloud9, in the sense that the motivation to practice really just went out of the room because of all the consistent cycling that was there. We did see a slight drop in your form as well. Do you think that was all there?
I think maybe in the last iteration with cajunb and vice, I think that we didn’t necessarily give up on the team but we were kinda thrown into it. Kind of forced to play with that roster. We kinda actually like me, Tim and Mike (Golden). I think we kinda wanted to go our ways at certain points. But Cloud9 kinda wanted us to make a team because they absolutely needed team in Counter Strike that always had one. We are like we will make it work or do our best. We weren’t like fully into it, maybe. We definitely gave it our all in practice but in the back of our minds we didn’t think that wasn’t gonna work then. And then it didn't work.
I think trying to force the team together from the org point of view won't work ever and in general for any team. I think that we never gave it the best shot. I think they made a little bit bigger buyouts for us to make like a better team like compLexity’s doing right now so I think maybe we will have a better shot to have a long term team in that instead of having like picking up players for smaller buyouts to see if it works out. And oh it doesn't work out, pick another player up. Doesn’t work out. Instead of just going for the big one, I think that would have been the best play.
Final question. You guys have got a very difficult group ahead of you coming through. You’ve got Na'Vi, Vitality, Astralis. All three of whom star players are ranked one, two, and three from 2019 HLTV rankings as well. Going into it, honestly from the communities perspective, if you guys managed to win a best of three against any of them, that’s a pretty solid showing. Who do you think is most susceptible to be taken down by compLexity?
If I had to say one, it’d definitely be Na'Vi. I’m not saying that because I think they are a weak team by any means but they are a fresh off a change. They just made a change with Perfecto replacing GuardiaN. I think that they haven't had much time to practice with him, I’m sure. So, I think they are gonna be the weakest here. And I’m sure they’ll think that as well because they haven't had much time to play with them. And also I heard an interview which said they are switching roles like mid game which is kinda interesting to see. I have never seen that before. So I think that they are still figuring out how are they wanna play so I think they’ll be the ‘easiest opponent’ I guess. Definitely not easy, because they have got some insane players like electronic and s1mple. But, I think they are vulnerable right now.
Main image via ESL.