junior on FURIA: "Of course it's destiny that we meet here to make the major"
The most important match for North American Counter-Strike at this event is about to begin and right before it starts, Dafydd Gwynn with Dust2.us was able to have a chat with Paytyn "junior" Johnson. We discussed the match-up against FURIA, what it would take to beat them and what he hopes his legacy will be in the future. This interview gives an insight into the mind of junior, how much he's changed in the last two years and how that will play into this qualifying match.
You're just about to start your 2-0 match against FURIA, your old team, and now beating them is the key to making the Legend's stage. How are you feeling about the match-up?
They are here to play, the way they play, they rush to get the round over as fast as they can. Of course, it's destiny that we meet here to make the major, and I'm really excited to play against them to make the major again.
The team you are playing on right now is a mixture of young NA guys that have all been considered up-and-coming talent, how do you guys mesh knowing you are all-star players in your own right?
On this team, it's really cool that in any game our four star players could pop off which is really good to have. In time hopefully, we become more consistent to get Top 10, and be consistently Top 10.
JT, who is your IGL, how does he use you guys knowing that you are, as you said, all-star players in your own right?
Johnny is the IGL that calls team based not like NAVI who drops guns to s1mple or Vitality who drops guns to ZywOo to just go and win the round. It's more of a team game where we buy nades, we execute and we trade. It's more Counter-Strike rather than solo-based gameplay.
You personally have been under the spotlight a lot, what does that do to your game?
Honestly early on at FURIA that's what got to me because I was really inexperienced and I never knew that before, but now I see all the comments and stuff and I just laugh. It's funny to see on Twitter and reddit and HLTV about all the trolls, it's just funny to see. It does not affect me as much as it did on FURIA.
Would you say it motivates you?
Honestly yeah, seeing the comments shows that these guys have no idea what they are talking about, it's just random HLTV users and hopefully, we can get the Legend's spot and keep everybody quiet.
Speaking of keeping everybody quiet, you had a monster game last night yesterday, does it feel good to shut people like that up?
I don't think it shuts anyone up, people or "fans" will switch up on you really fast here. If you have a bad game or a bad series, they'll say "Wow this guy sucks" or you have a game where you drop a 1.50 rating and they will be like "Wow I knew all along that he was really good." So it doesn't really matter how good you play, but you being consistent is where you get most of your fans from.
You were talking earlier about being a Top 10 team, other than consistency, what would you say is the main thing Complexity need to improve on to get there?
Right now, our biggest problem is we're really good at getting the man advantage or multiple man advantages, where the round is unloseable and then our players have so much confidence that we just keep going to end the round, when instead we could just regroup and make sure we win the round, over trying to aim dual 1v1 to win the round. A lot of the times we play, a 5v3 turns into a 3v3 or a 5v2 turns into a 3v2 and that just spirals out of control.
Well that's how you become a Top 10 team, but how do you beat FURIA today?
We beat FURIA today by shutting down arT. If we don't give him space, then we have to rely on yuurih and KSCERATO not to ace us, and those two players are just incredible; two of the best riflers in the world. If we shut down arT and his aggression, and we can take map control without him killing our whole team, then hopefully we can take them down.
Would you say FURIA is the team you want to beat most at this tournament?
Yes, FURIA is the number one team, the team to beat, they're the favorites for the Legend's spot and to go 4-0, so if we beat them, we're really excited on our chances to take the Legend's spot.
I just want to take you back two years, to IEM Beijing Haidian 2020. If you don't remember, you were in a semifinal versus Liquid. Grim puts up 61 points on their end, and you put up 70 to give Triumph that upset win that nobody saw coming. You've come so far in those 2 years, where do you see yourself in another two years' time?
Two years ago, I had no experience at all. In the most recent two years, I've gained so much LAN experience, I know how to set my config up which I never knew how to do. In two years, my goal is to gain consistency in the game, bringing my A game every match instead of bringing my A game here and there.
What do you really want your legacy to be as a player?
My legacy as a player is to be known as the best NA AWPer like Skadoodle was before oSee came along. So, my battle is with oSee even though we're super-close friends. We always have friendly banter when we play and when we see each other. Like, I put up a 2.00 yesterday, and he put up a 2.06 yesterday, so it's always really fun to battle each other to see who can be better.
Would you say that the friendly competitiveness that you have in the NA scene goes all the way down or just in the top-level of play?
For us, I'd say since we're a high-up NA team, we need to beat these lower-tier teams to establish ourselves. If you get into a server against them, they're going to be a little hesitant because of our names. I knew when I was a little up-and-coming player, and I played against Liquid, I was like "Wow, these are the guys. These are who I want to play with and against." And there's always that fear, "Should I peek this? Should I not?" and we need to establish that in the NA scene as Complexity.
So you want to be "the guys"?
Yeah we wanna be "those guys"
So, you've played up and down the scene - with Triumph and Bad News Bears, and in Brazil with FURIA, and now here with Complexity. What would you say your fondest memories are?
Honestly, my best memories are being in Europe with the Brazilians. They're super fun people to be around, they're awesome guys, all incredible people inside and outside the game. I'd say that, and then the first European trip with Complexity - I'm not going to count Bad News Bears since I was just a stand-in. Being on European soil as a full North American team will always be a memorable moment for me.
In a hypothetical world where you have one last game to play in CS:GO, who would you like to play and beat?
My dream that I haven't reached yet is playing s1mple and on a major LAN grand final. If s1mple continues to keep up his performance, then that would be the greatest, last match that I could have.
And going more general, what would it take for NA to be a more dominant scene?
For NA to be more dominant, we need more fundamental practice. As an NA player, I know how all these NA teams play since I've been playing against them for God knows how long. There was always peeking without flashes, over-extending, so the fundamental part of CS is what NA needs to perfect. All the NA players have really good aim but the game sense and team play needs to be incorporated like it is in Europe.
And how do we get that in NA?
That's tough, but we just need better practice. Everyone has been talking about it because we all know that the practice in NA is horrible, especially when us, Liquid, EG, and FURIA are in Europe for six months at a time. The MDL teams are constantly going against each other so there's no improvement.
Complexity are set to face off against FURIA where the winner will book a spot in the first place decider match. Should junior and co., win said matchup, the squad will be facing off against the winner of Imperial vs MIBR on Thursday at 05:00AM.