JT: "After that first game the pressure is gone now”
Just before Complexity played their 0-1 match against IHC Esports, Ioannis 'Johnny' "JT" Theodosiou spoke with Dust2's Ryan Friend about the team, the expectations, and the struggles of the current roster. With the new team following in the footsteps of the former 'Juggernaut' roster, how can the squad compete against the best in the world while also being one of the most inexperienced?
This is the biggest event of your life, is there any pressure or does it just feel like any other event?
For me, it feels like just another event but there's definitely a small amount of pressure because obviously it's our first Major so some of us are feeling it a little bit. After that first game, the pressure is gone now. It can't be any worse, so we're just going to go into the next games feeling confident now that we've gotten our first game out of the way, even though it was a bad loss. Like everyone says, 16-14 and 16-1, it doesn't really matter, so in the next game we'll just be as confident as we can, all the pressure is off.
It will be a tough road ahead, you are going to face off against IHC who are also 0-1. Is that a much easier match-up, and do you guys feel like you can bounce back and find confidence?
For IHC, we haven't seen much of their games; they're an Asian team and they haven't played many teams in general but for the matchup and the map pool that we are looking at I think it will be a good game for us. We're busy studying them right now and I think we have good counters for what they do, their game style is something that we are kind of used to, so we'll just have to see how the game goes. As long as we are playing like our usual selves then I think we should be able to take the win.
I was talking to floppy earlier and he was saying that the fact that you have stuck together since ATK and have had little roster moves, the consistency of that has been so much more beneficial to grow as a team rather than doing one on one improvements. Do you think this has helped you guys to get to this point?
Yeah definitely staying as a team has helped us a lot. Over the years we've always had similar players; I think, in my opinion, it takes around 6 months to know the actual potential of a team as it's really sorted out and organized at that point. Also, the thing for NA teams is there aren't a lot of options in the first place, you are kind of stuck with the players you have got sometimes, sometimes there are upgrades you can do but if the upgrades aren't that big then there's no real point in my view, I think you are better off just improving as a team and improving as players together and trying to organize yourselves and whatever you have and seeing how far that can go. That's kind of been beneficial for all of us, I mean we have improved a lot together, like when we started playing with floppy back in the day and all my old teammates we weren't as good as we are now. So the improvements have been big and we've been doing that together which is nice.
So obviously you guys said goodbye to oSee after the Extra Salt days, with him going off to Liquid. Since bringing in junior how has that replacement gone now that you've actually had a lot of time together?
Obviously oSee did play much better in the team than junior has been but it's still early days, I'm sure junior can step it up. I think the biggest thing in terms of not just fragging, I think oSee was a big voice in the team, he was like the second leader for me, so with him leaving we are trying to organize whose going to be the second voice, whose going to step it up and help out with the calls and stuff. We are still trying to sort that out. I wouldn't say our communication is the best right now, so trying to figure out how we are going to comm as a team, not only me calling but who's going to fill in the blanks for me and all that kind of stuff.
It's interesting you say that because I spoke with adreN right before Liquid's game and he was saying that as well, that oSee is a very big voice with calling and comming in a way that they didn't even expect. How valuable is that to this team? You said you are still struggling, is that something you are going to focus on not just for this event but going forward as you mesh more?
I think communication is definitely something we need to focus on, especially being decisive and making decisions as a team. Players are able to communicate in their roles and explain what they are going to do and what they want to do but doing it as a team and organizing it as a five-man is a little bit harder and oSee was very good at that. Obviously, I'm good at that but that's my job, so trying to figure out who is going to help with that or if we are going to do it less like a team collective has been a little difficult. All of our inconsistencies come from that, just being unable to organize ourselves in the mid-rounds and when rounds break down. Obviously, at the beginning of the round, it's for me to tell everybody what to do but when the rounds break down and I don't have all the information, I need other people to step up in their own positions to play the round out, I can't make all the decisions so we are trying to figure out who and how we are going to do that.
As the leader of this team, how much pressure are you putting yourself for an event like this; do you feel that it kind of rides or dies on what you do or say?
I think to top it off with all that, I think putting the pressure on myself to make the right calls, since we are struggling with communication and struggling to make the right calls and struggling to plan mid-rounds, it is all on me to make the right call and make sure the team is organized. So when we are not, a lot of it is my fault but it's also the team's fault for us not doing the best job we can when communicating. So there's a lot of pressure on me to make the right calls and I find all of the time that if I don't make the right call we are probably going to lose the round, so we have a lot to work on just in terms of communication and teamwork but I think it's also that we are an inexperienced team, all the players are inexperienced, like we said this is our first Major. Grim's the most experienced on the team, or maybe myself, who knows, but it means we have a lot to work on in terms of communication and experience. We will work on it as a team and see how it goes.
With T.c being so consistent with you, how have you guys both been able to play off one another when you're having those kinds of doubts and concerns under the pressure of making the right decision. How does he help in regards to that?
T.c has always been with me so we know each other pretty well and our relationship is really good. I think he helps me be constructive and actually figure out what the issues are and what we need to work on, and also he helps in the games to remind everyone that it's their job as well to communicate well and it's their job as well to play our own game. That's a big thing for a lot of teams, playing your own game when you get in there because if you're controlling the pace it's way easier for us to win. He tries to remind us of that all the time, that if we just play confident and like we are the favorites there's a good chance that we win. We are close to these teams as long as we play our own game.
What's your mentality at the moment? As you are looking to bounce back are you treating it like every fight is the last one that you are going to have here or are you trying to keep calm and keep yourselves in place?
We are trying to be calm about the game, obviously, we lost the first game and that's whatever, we are going to take that as a learning experience and go into the next game and prepare as we usually do. We've learned from the last game, the game's done and now we can just go into these next games and do the best that we can. We want to get to the next stage, it doesn't matter how we do it. So that's our goal, as long as we trust the process and just keep preparing as well as we can for each game. I am sure we will do it.