Praise for Jason Lake and his compLexity organisation is often forthcoming from older heads in the esports scene, but to many it’s hard to grasp exactly when one of the true NA veterans is so respected. Talk of time in the game and commitment is one thing, but the commitment is to doing the right thing, and today we have a concrete example of coL doing just that for one of their players.
Following their run in London last year, where compLexity exceeded all expectations at the FACEIT Major, a couple of their players dropped off the level we’d seen on the biggest stage, and eventually the org was forced into changes. Out went Brad ‘ANDROID’ Fodor and Jaccob ‘yay’ Whiteaker, to be replaced by Jordan ‘n0thing’ Gilbert and Ricardo ‘Rickeh’ Mulholland, with the two benched players being sat for the time being, rather than transferred or released.
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Today it was revealed, by RushBMedia, that yay will be playing with MDL team MASSIVEimpact, where he’ll join Marian 'tyfoon' Lesnic, Collin 'wrath' McSweegan, Sebastian 'seb' Bucki and Shawn 'witmer' Taylor for the foreseeable future. The thread on Reddit saw yay himself comment, and expand a little bit about how this had come about, and what coL have done to enable the move.
I'm still under contract for coL, however management has permitted to let me play with a team without an organization. I want to continue to practice, have a schedule, and improve while on the bench. FPL as many know is not very productive for practice sake, and completely different from actual team play.
I'm good friends with Witmer and co, and since Riko had a job opening he couldn't refuse- I agreed to play during the season. Also really wanna thank complexity for permitting me to do this. Most organizations won't even let players play for non-org teams, and keep them on hold.
As yay rightly pointed out, many teams like to hold on to their benched players until they can get what they see as a ‘fair’ price for them, and fans can think of many such examples. Admittedly, coL aren’t allowing their player to go to a direct rival in the way G2 were impeached to sell NBK and apEX to other top EU sides, but the move will certainly help the player, and won’t hurt his value either if he is able to dominate the lower-ranked MDL players.
There has to be a consideration where businesses do protect their best interests, of course, but these are the moves that make players remember the org fondly when they leave, and speak well of the group when others ask about it. That makes it not just a friendly decision, but an intelligent one, and speaks to a growing sense of joined-up thinking around the coL group in 2019. Their moves post-Katowice should be fascinating, too, so watch that space.
Image credit: FACEIT