compLexity Gaming has had a rough start to 2017. The team placed third in both the StarLadder i-League StarSeries 3 and the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 American Qualifiers, missing out on qualification to the two biggest tournaments before The Kiev Major.
When asked about the start of the year, Zakari "Zfreek" Freedman does not mince words when describing his team's recent performance, calling it just, "Bad."
Zfreek is the longtime support for compLexity Gaming, having played on the team alongside his brother, Kyle "melonzz" Freedman, since 2014. With the Kiev Major qualifiers looming, Zfreek spoke to theScore esports about coL's performance and their recent roster moves.
compLexity ended 2016 by being eliminated in the first round of The Boston Major playoffs. What did the team do following the tournament?
What are your thoughts on canceL leaving? How was he as a teammate?
He was a great teammate and a great guy, it just became apparent to both sides of the conversation over time that things would not work out in the long term.
Why choose 747 to replace canceL? Was he the first player on your minds or did you try out other players?
747 was the first person we tried out due to members of the team having past experience with him, and liking what he brought during his trial run decided to see how he would do as a long term member.
What does 747 bring to the team?
747 brings a good attitude towards the game and life in general. His gameplay is impactful nearly every game, and even if he makes a mistake it’s normally a mistake made from his expansive pub experience not working out in a more coordinated setting.
You and Kyle have played for coL since 2014. How difficult is it to adjust to new teammates? Has it become any easier?
Adjusting to new teammates never gets easier. Only the new players themselves change, some are easier and some are harder to adjust to.
Do you think North American Dota is more competitive now than it has been in the past?
This question is really up for interpretation. If you leave out teams that should have invites to LANs already (EG,DC) then the scene is just as strong as it has always been. There are the teams expected to finish in the top 3 of any qualifier exclusive to those two (NP,us,Onyx), and then an expansive list of ever changing rosters that will occasionally find a groove and take games or even a qualifier.
How is coL preparing for the Kiev Major qualifiers? Is there anything new or special that you are doing to practice this time around?
Practice has always been exactly what one would expect. Play pubs, watch Dota, talk about Dota, and then practice what you learned in scrims.
With Valve sticking with single-elimination for the Kiev Major, what are your thoughts on the format?
I’ve never minded one way or the other. My only gripe would be that single elimination makes groups only about seeding. It's a lot of Dota to play (and in the case of first seed win) to be in the same position as everyone else.
How have you adjusted to 7.00? Are there any changes that you would make to the current meta?
The competitive meta is in a good place where almost everything is playable, the pub meta on the other hand ... that’s a different story. Something about shrines has made people unwilling to ever “do things.”
Lastly, I noticed that the team went down to a Renaissance Festival recently. What was that experience like? Does the team get to unwind on trips like this regularly?
The ren fair was fun, it has a unique atmosphere where the people manning the stalls will openly insult you when you fail at their obscure and rigged game. That along with shops ranging from glassware with kiln on site to swords that are mock ups of ones from famous stories make it worth the trip. We haven’t had team trips for the purpose of fun very often, but it’s something we’re trying to do more now and in the future.
Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.