floppy: "We're the #1 NA team and I don't even think it's close"
Complexity, the last full American team as ESL Pro League, starts their campaign tomorrow in a match against 9INE, who have lost steam since the BLAST.tv Paris Major. The Cowboys, who have also underperformed in the recent months, are gearing up for the second big test with new boy Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski who is expected to push this squad to greater heights. While that hasn't happened just yet, there is hope that this opening matchup might give the Americans some hope as they push for the playoffs. Before the game tomorrow.
Dust2.us' Jeffrey "Mnmzzz" Moore spoke with Ricky "floppy" Kemery about the squad, who the top dogs are in North America, and his newly-found German citizenship.
Are you concerned about any rust since your last match against European teams was two months ago?
Yeah, being in NA for a bit, it's obviously different. For the last like two weeks or so, we've actually been bootcamping in Poland. We've been getting a lot of EU practice for Pro League, so we're getting back into the group with things.
What were the team's priorities during the bootcamp in Warsaw?
Well, being in NA for a bit we were just working on our fundamentals, making sure we just weren't messing up the basic stuff and then in Poland just applying that. It's been working out really well. Our scrim performance has been really good against these teams, so pretty proud of the team for how we've been playing recently and hope to bring that to Pro League.
When we talked to JT, he mentioned that practice has been strenuous, but hasn't clicked yet. Why do you think the team was struggling so much back at Cologne?
Good things just take time. We just added EliGE for like a month and then played with him. So it just takes time to really get like 1% of each map per day. It just takes more time than what we had, honestly.
What, if anything, has changed since Cologne?
I think just getting to know each other better definitely helps over time. Just talking about each thing that happens in scrims, making sure we try our best to fix it, and giving new thoughts and ideas for each individual thing. We talk about concepts and stuff that we can apply to each round, regardless of whatever happens in that round. We're making a game plan that we can fall back on and not be confused like, "Oh, we should have done this instead," so we don't have to have those kinds of conversations as much.
Has it been a relief to have hallzerk be able to actually come to NA with the team?
Yeah, it's definitely a sigh of relief to get Hakon's visa finally, you know, just him seeing him in America, It's like where they have him at the COL HQ rather than like Mexico just by himself. It's always just nice to be with your teammate in person. It's really nice.
Your opening match is against 9INE tomorrow, how do you feel about it? Is it a gift for not happing to play a major T1 team?
We're going in against 9INE pretty confident. It's definitely a game that we should be winning. We consider our performance in scrims - like we've been playing really well. It's going to be a pretty good game for us to show how hard we've been working.
We've seen EG and M80 with almost no notable wins. How far ahead of the other NA teams do you think you are?
We're the #1 NA team and I don't even think it's close. I just see these teams play and it's just obvious the mistakes they're making. It comes down to inexperience and nerves and stuff like that, but it's pretty obvious to me and anyone else that's watching these games.
Swisher previously spoke about wanting to take the top spot away from you. Do you think that is realistic?
I mean, it's something you're going to have to say in an interview, right? It's like you're not going to say, "No, we can't beat this team." I mean, whether or not Swisher actually believes it, it is what it is. They're gonna have to put in a lot more work.
Next you have to come back to NA for Showdown and then Sydney for IEM. Do you think the travel schedule is overwhelming?
It's definitely going to be a long trip to Sydney and back. But I mean, flying back and forth to America is pretty normal for us at this point. The the flight to Australia is definitely going to be the long one. Dallas to Sydney direct is like 17 1/2 hours, so it's gonna be a little bit rough to adjust to that. We're just gonna try our best and see what happens.
You finally got German citizenship, why has this been a goal of yours?
Yeah. I mean, since we're in Europe all the time, it was something I wanted to get solely just because of the Schengen days, because you can only be in Europe as an American citizen for 90 out of 180 day period. So, if I ever wanted to live here and play Counter-Strike for longer than that, than I could. That was basically the main reason.
I remember before you said that you wanted to go live in Germany after your CS career, is that still the goal?
Yeah, back then I was probably just losing my mind. But uh, yeah, I mean, anything can happen when you have another passport. You live in Europe or America. So it sort of broadens my horizons, what I can do in the future, even regardless of being a Counter-Strike player, if I want to just move somewhere in Europe. It could be anything, really. It definitely just opens a lot of doors for me.
Now, does that mean you speak German then?
Oh yeah, a little bit. I took some German in school for 4 years, but a lot of it has been lost. I try and speak it as much as I can with my mom, especially cause she's German. I like to remember some of it, but it's hard when you don't have the environment to really practice them all the time.
Does this mean there is ever a situation where you would play for a European team?
Anything can happen. I mean obviously BIG is a good team and if my German is good enough, then maybe I could play with them to play in the roles that are needed if my German is even good enough. So anything can happen.