JT on preseason prep: "I watched maybe 100+ demos"
Complexity started IEM Katowice 2023 Play-In with a close loss to BIG, but managed to bounce back with a statement win over Permitta. The final hurdle for the young squad would be ENCE, a team they previously beat at ESL Pro League Season 16.
On the back of amazing shooting performers from Håkon "hallzerk" Fjærli and Michael "Grim" Wince, enabled by Johnny "JT" Theodosiou calling, Complexity qualified for the main stage of IEM Katowice. Dust2.us' own Liam "Slevo" Slevin talked with the IGL about the match-up with ENCE, the preparation for 2023, and what the future can hold for the team.
You guys have qualified for the group stage in one of the last series of the Play-In. Tell me, is there a sigh of relief now that you have qualified?
Yeah definitely a sigh of relief. We have needed some wins lately so beating a team like ENCE even though they are not like a top 5 team or anything, they're a pretty good team. So yeah, beating them and qualifying for the group stage, and giving us even more chances at Katowice is going to be nice for us and for our confidence.
Like you said there, ENCE are still a pretty good team. You guys beat them at Pro League before and have beaten them again now. Stylistically, do you think they are one of the better matchups among the top teams at the moment?
Yeah 100%. I think they run a lot of strats out of spawn so if we prepare properly and see what they are doing then a lot of the time we are able to piece together what is happening on the map. I think they're a really good team and in some of the rounds we got lucky and in some of the rounds they outplayed us a lot so I think it was a good game. Maybe next time they will beat us but we will see.
For you as an IGL and with this being one of the first events of the season. Working with T.c, tell me a bit about the preseason preparation.
Over the December break I was back in South Africa so I couldn't play that much. I was mostly just keeping up with the meta. I watched maybe 100+ demos of other IGLs and AWPers just to see what kind of plays you can make, especially on Anubis. Coming back into the season we have been playing like 12 hours a day as a team, that's not even including individual hours. I think we have been putting in a lot of work and it's showing up on the server so we need to keep it up for as long as we can.
The team kind of struggled to close out maps and it wasn't the best showing from Complexity. From BLAST until Katowice, what were the adjustments you guys made to get through the Play-In here?
Not a lot of adjustments, just putting in a few more prac days. We just checked what we did wrong and checked how we were feeling in those games that we choked. From there we just fixed the mistakes and hope that they don't happen in the next games.
You mentioned the games that you choked. What was that like in terms of the mental reset heading into this tournament after having those close losses?
It was obviously a little annoying, but we were happy that we took NAVI to three maps and we almost qualified to Spring Finals so we knew the work we have been putting in has been worth it. There are just a few things here and there and a few things with our composure and then we will be able to beat some top teams.
We talked to Grim yesterday and he said that if he put his mind to it he can be a top 20 player. What's it like having him as a player to call around with the form he is in at the moment?
At the end of last year I told him "Mike, at the end of next year I think you will be an HLTV top 20 player". As long as we as a team play well, I think he can definitely be a top 20 player. I think he has some of the greatest mechanical skills in the game so as long as I can base some of our tactics around that and make it as easy as possible for him, then I think he is going to shine.
At the moment we aren't sure who you will play. There's Heroic, Outsiders, Liquid, and FaZe. Is there any one of those names that jump out that you would like to have as a match-up?
For me personally I would play whoever but I think for the NA players it's nice to play the Liquid guys since we know them and an NA rivalry is always fun.
Now that you're in the group stage, what are your expectations?
Just to keep up the work. I want to make the playoffs obviously and I think we can definitely make the playoffs if we keep playing well. Yeah, we just have to see from there.
Unfortunately for JT, Complexity and Liquid won't face each other during the group phase, as the teams were drawn in different groups. Complexity's 2023 debut on the Spodek will come against Heroic, tomorrow at 06:30AM