The current project looks out of options

For Complexity, time is up

Heading into the offseason, there is no doubt it is time to make a change.

The 2022 season has been outright abysmal for Complexity, there is no other way to put it. Their decline in form came following a brief early period of promise and has yet to relent. Heading into the much-needed player break, Complexity look as bad as an acclaimed tier-one roster can get, and it is time for some sweeping changes.

Optimism regarding the team’s prospects stayed high through the first month with Complexity despite them not winning a match, with the thought process being that once the talent gets comfortable in their new home, it would be an easy growing process. That theory rang true after the first month, as the team settled in for ESL Challenger February to earn their first two BO3 victories over ORDER and HEET before being eliminated in the playoffs. After a month of growing pains, the Americans were starting to see progress.

Wins in March against the likes of ATK, Evil Geniuses, and Liquid domestically a month after beating European competition showed the young team was in fact making strides against the world’s top teams in various regions at an early stage of inception.

April was a mostly great month for Complexity, as they ran through the domestic RMR to qualify for the PGL Antwerp Challengers Stage as well as IEM Dallas through their qualifiers. The surging Complexity would end their month with a 0-2 loss to MIBR at the BLAST NA Spring Showdown, sending the collapse of this young roster in motion.

The loss to MIBR marked the start of a historically bad losing streak in competitive CS:GO, with Complexity ending the two-and-half-month stint with a record of 1-13 across BO1s and BO3s, a 7% win rate. Their sole win in that time period came over two months ago in a BO1 against Mongolian lineup IHC, which at the time was ranked No. 52.

That number should come off as alarming because it is. A 7% win rate gives little growth opportunity for the team, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The deeper you go beyond the eye test and their ten-match loss streak, the worse it looks for the destitute lineup.

Complexity closed the season with an uneventful 14-24 match record across both BO1s and BO3s, effectively leaving them stuck in a state of being a “treadmill team”, meaning they’ve been mostly consistent in beating teams they should, but never grow enough to beat the teams they couldn’t the event prior.

The numbers prove that to be true, as the team ended with a 13-5 (72%) record against lower-ranked teams and a laughable 1-18 (5%) against higher-ranked teams, their only win coming against HEET in February.

Now at the player break, Complexity stands alone as the worst-rated team across all recorded competitive CS since January 19th (min. 70 maps) with a team rating of 0.99, worse than the now-defunct Dignitas. With the team at rock bottom and coach Tiaan "T.c." Coertzen stating that there is a good chance for changes, there is not much left to salvage.

A significant attraction the old Extra Salt core carried before they moved to Complexity was their overwhelming talent. Acclaimed star rifler Ricky "floppy" Kemery took a nose dive in form. His 1.19 rating with Extra Salt is miles ahead of the level he is performing at in this lineup, and rarely have we seen the same style of the game-changing impact that got him to the dance.

Riflers Justin "FaNg" Coakley and Michael "Grim" Wince are also showing difficulty taking the next steps in growth after offering their own pitches of promise before joining the Complexity project. FaNg was with Extra Salt for the entirety of the lineup's tenure, showing massive amounts of potential as a star player with the team, even stating at the end of last year he was aiming to be one of the best in the world.

After his 2021 campaign with a 1.12 rating, he looked to be a key piece of the project. So far, the transition to tier-one has proved too much for the 20-year-old, as he's fallen to an unimpressive 0.97 rating with Complexity and has shrunk in impact. As for Grim, he's been unable to deliver the level of play he offered as a part of Triumph. It was assumed his tenure with Liquid would help him find comfort quicker on his second attempt at tier-one play, but that has not been the case.

Beyond the stunning talent, the trio had the evolved arsenal of tricks from their aggressive in-game leader, Johnny “JT” Theodosiou. His tenure with Extra Salt as the team's leader was rather impressive. With JT at the helm, the team won over 80% of their maps and had a 55%+ win rate on six maps, all while he performed at a 1.06 rating on average.

The jump to Complexity has not hit anyone harder than JT, and it shows. Going from an 80%+ map win rate at Extra Salt to sub-40% at Complexity, alongside the rating drop of 1.06 to 0.89 suggests the transition was a massive detriment to his individual impact as well as the team's success, and his stock as a leader has waned.

Switching an IGL can prove to be risky, but the current Complexity does not have much else to lose and unless there is internal confidence in JT that goes beyond the server results, it is a great place to start as an IGL replacement offers a lot of chance for change.

As it stands, Complexity is limited to domestic options. The most obvious choice in the Americas would have to be former Complexity leader Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz. Besides his wealth of experience, the veteran leader previously enjoyed a stint with Complexity, famously overperforming with a 1.15 rating to carry his team to the top eight at the FACEIT Major 2018.

If Complexity wanted to go another route, recently departed Strife leader Bobby “stamina” Eitrem helped take the darling project to new heights before seeking new opportunities. Although he lacks a lot of LAN experience, he already has a win under his belt after two Fragadelphia victories since December. He presents a strong argument for the promise of new leaders in our region.

No IGL in America has proven their worth as a talent builder quite like Bad News Bears IGL Alan “Shakezullah” Hardeman, a player that has helped grow various notable talents in our scene over the last few years. No matter the situation, Shake has proven his ability to rebuild teams and find new talent even when it seems he is out of options. His uncanny dedication to building rosters is something Complexity could certainly use and is something to consider in a rebuilding setting.

Lastly, there is a strong candidate available if they wanted to import an IGL. Aaron “AZR” Ward is a leader that often goes overlooked for his successes with Renegades, making playoffs at a Major twice and even hitting the semifinals at StarLadder Berlin 2019. It has been nearly two months since the Aussie announced his free agency, and would be a good fit as a leader for the young team.

No player in the region has received more attention during the season, for better or worse, than AWPer Paytyn “junior” Johnson. His 0.85 impact and 0.98 rating over the year as primary AWP are not nearly enough to suffice the demanding role he fills for the team. For many of the best teams in the game, your scope is your savior. Without the AWP offering primary or secondary impact on a consistent basis, it is tough to win games in the current climate. That rang true for Complexity, as junior finished matches with a 1+ rating only 51% of the time, and sticks out as a major reason for the team’s struggles.

Although it rings true that the team is severely lacking in AWP impact, it is also true that the pool for competent AWPers in the region is much thinner than riflers and IGLs. If the organization remains adamant about staying as American as it can, there are two notable young talents in Keller “SLIGHT” Nillan of Strife and Adam “WolfY” Andersson who currently resides on ECSTATIC’s bench.

WolfY's experience as a caller comes most recently comes from the European side of CS, something that should always remain an attraction for North American players. While calling for ECSTATIC/Lyngby Vikings, the team won over 60% of their maps played and won four separate online events including Pinnacle Fall Series 3 last year notably over Extra Salt.

As the AWPer he performed as well, posting a 1.09 rating with a 1.17 K/D in those seven months. WolfY’s experience as calling alongside using the AWP makes him even more interesting as a prospect, as his theoretical acquisition could alleviate both of the aforementioned positional concerns.

One thing that will always allow for optimism regarding a Complexity rebuild is the size of the organization. Since they are a financial powerhouse, they do have many more options inside the market than other America-based orgs that would be in the same situation. If they wanted to find more fleshed-out talent that cost more, they can get it done, which opens the door for many variables ahead of the break.

With another opportunity for Complexity to make roster moves, it begs the question if they will try to call on the services of the currently benched Justin “jks” Savage. They have been unable to find him a home, and could be an attractive marketing piece for incoming talent, should they decide to move away from building another “project” and opt to make a team more capable of winning now. No matter what Complexity decides, any decision to move away from the lineup should be a step in the right direction. The worst thing they can do this player break is nothing.

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#1(With 0 replies)
July 14, 2022 03:44AM
its times up if they dont make the major
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