Few North American esports organizations have a history as long and storied as Complexity Gaming. But as of late, that legacy in CSGO has been tarnished and disappointing to put it lightly. The latest move to secure the future of that legacy was made yesterday evening.
The move comes after some abhorrent results that saw Complexity miss out on IEM Chicago, ESL One New York, coupled with a poor showing in Berlin, and most recently, a 2-0 loss to The Quest in the DreamHack Open Atlanta qualifiers. Rory "dephh" Jackson has cut ties with the team and Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan has been benched. The only player remaining from the Berlin Major run is now Owen "oBo" Schlatter.
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I think that both dephh and ShahZaM should land on their feet, they're good enough players to find a new home should they continue to want to play CSGO instead of calling it a career. With Cloud 9 in flux, if Yassine "Subroza" Taoufik doesn't work out, they could perhaps utilize the services of an experienced rifler, something that dephh could perhaps provide once again without the added distraction of IGLing. Cloud 9 sought him out years back, perhaps that interest is still there. Shaz is a tougher sell with his form in high stakes matches as of late, but if he's willing to grind FPL and prove that he's still got it, he could really turn a team like the new Singularity into a potential Minor threat or be the personality and the laugh behind another NA org entering or reentering the CSGO fray. He's a field day for a marketing team.
There is some serious speculation about who might fill the ranks of the roster. It stands to reason that Jason Lake and the Complexity organization would not want to relocate to be an EU based team, given the multi million dollar facility that they've recently opened coupled with the depth of the EU Minor at this juncture. Staying in NA makes sense both logistically and competitively. So one of the two replacements has to be a North American.
If we're going based off of the presumption that it will be the AWPer, the leading candidates should be Matthew "WARDELL" Yu and Josh "jdm64" Marzano. Personally, I think the former is more likely than the latter if Jason Lake is committed to building a team that will challenge for trophies. Another answer could be Henrique "HEN1" Teles, but it is famously hard to buy out contracts from Furia.
In terms of riflers, NA talent is limited but Complexity could look at bringing back Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker, or look to South American talent for the likes of Ignacio "meyern" Meyer from Sharks or Rinaldo "ableJ" Moda. The likelihood of either of those teams parting with their players for a reasonable price is slim to none. But you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelette.
Now for EU AWPers. Assuming the NA player is a rifler it would make more sense to dip into the EU talent pool, and vice versa if the NA player is an AWPer. There are more EU AWPers available, Tomas "oskar" Statsny, Simon "twist" Eliasson, and Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen (who has a NA past) to name a few.
EU riflers are a dime a dozen these days post major shuffle, with the likes of solid entry fraggers like Adam "friberg" Friberg and Issa "ISSAA" Murad on the market, there's definitely options to be had. Just mix and match one of each role player and one of each region.
Waldo's Best Guess
With all of that said though, I think that WARDELL paired with Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke makes the most logical sense. WARDELL is a talented AWPer in need of a new project after Ghost Gaming cut their CSGO division and k0nfig already has a documented past of playing in a mixed EU/NA team from his days in OpTic Gaming (RIP). Pair that with what I would hope to be easy chemistry with his Danish countryman Benjamin "blameF" Bremer and you could have some serious firepower. More importantly, this combination would keep COL in NA and bring some new talent into the lineup to reinvigorate the juggernaut that Jason Lake is hoping to build. And k0nfig sure was happy about something yesterday...
With a favorable ESL Pro League draw looming, Complexity withdrew from ECS Week 5 Qualifiers, likely in hopes of getting things rolling with this new roster in time to capitalize. Time will tell if that was a masterstroke of management, or a hiccup in a longer transition.
Pictures: Complexity Official Website media gallery