Congrats on qualifying for StarLadder and Game Show, how has Lithuania been so far?
Pretty good. The event is really nice, the practice room is good, they’re taking good care of us, there’s been no major issues. They’re giving us a per diem for food, they picked us up at the airport and the rooms are nice… it’s just a really great event so far. It’s like literally, the hotel is in the main square of the city center, it’s really nice. It’s a great city, it just snows and rains and shit.
Coming from Florida that’s got to be a bit of a shock.
Yea, it’s my first experience with winter in quite a while.
You’ve been mainly competing in online or US based tournaments since your HON days, are you looking forward to travelling around Europe for Starladder and Game Show?
Yea, very much so. It’s probably my favorite place. I love the European culture. I love like… there’s a club across our street that’s open from you know, like 10pm to 8am and it doesn’t really get fun until like 1 or 2 and that’s something that doesn’t really exist anywhere with the exception of probably the big three… I mean I’m sure it exists in more places but like New York, LA and Miami are the ones you think of as far as like unending partying. It’s not even so much like partying, it’s just nice that the city is alive at night. You get home, you get to take a nap and you go out at like midnight versus ok guys let’s start pregaming it’s like 7:30 and the sun hasn’t gone down yet.
So you enjoy competing abroad then?
I love it. It’s my favorite thing. It’s actually why I got into gaming in the first place, it was the whole point behind just doing it, quitting school, not going to college, it was just because I’d always wanted to travel and this allowed me to kind of pursue that passion.
What are your goals for coL at Game Show?
I mean, obviously you always try to win. It’s going to be difficult for us because we’re in a situation where we only have four members of our team and Chessie is not available so it kinda sucks to use a ringer but it could be worse.
You played with (the substitute) PingVincek some earlier this year right?
It was when we were still looking for a roster, right after we cut mjw and wayto and we just needed players. He wasn’t really going to be a part of the team, he was like a stopgap because I was trying to make other moves. He was definitely very good, like I liked him a lot it’s just that I have a lot of history with the NiP guys and you know, we now have a team of five HoN players, I’ve known them for over four years now, so it’s really hard for him to compete with that kind of time investment.
Looking ahead beyond Game Show, what are your goals for the next few months with the new roster?
Win TI6 and 7.. and maybe 8.
Well ok, that’s not in the next few months though.
Oh, next few months? It’d be really nice to win a LAN but I don’t think that will be an easy task. I think making it to Shanghai and performing well at that event, at the very least Top 8 would probably be our goal. Mostly just to kinda prove that we belong at the upper echelon of the scene, to break out of that cesspool that is Tier 3 NA Dota.
Any specific plans for getting to Shanghai?
Work really hard, team house and make sure we put in the amount of effort necessary. If you do not work harder than your opposition it’s really hard to be able to beat them and that’s a big part of our plan, just to outwork everybody.
Will you be bringing all the Swedish guys over to the States for that team house?
Yes, we are.
So compLexity will still be an NA team?
I mean, I assume so but you never know.
Is the team house still in the planning stage?
Oh no, we’re living there already. We moved in a couple months ago, we just haven’t bothered with the house tour or anything because one, I just think that it’s pretty dumb and two it’s just not really ready, we still are missing a couple things. It’s a pretty nice place, we are right on the inner coast with ocean access and we are in like a really good location, everyone has their own room, we’ve got like a pool and jacuzzi, it’s the ideal gamer’s paradise in my opinion. Flawless weather too, it’s exactly where I want to live in the world at the moment.
Does seeing Moon and Fly do so well with OG give you extra motivation?
Definitely. I’ve been able to beat Moon 1 vs 1 since back in HoN days and I just consider like… you’ve got Peter (ppd) who’s won a TI and now you have OG who’s won a Major so that’s my biggest rival captain from HoN and then one of my rivals as far as play goes from HoN and I was able to beat them both in HoN so it’s really reassuring, especially now that I’ve got my HoN team back.
I think that it will take us some time, but I definitely think that the current roster we have has no real weakness individually as far as players, as far as individual talents go and I think we can match up well against any team in the world, once we get some more time. At the moment, we’re definitely weak. You just need a lot of games to really hit your stride. I think a team really meshes… I think once you play around 500 games together it’s tough to get much better but you need at least like 100, 200 matches, I’d say 100 matches maybe 250 games including scrims together to really become comfortable. Especially with the meta constantly changing, there’s so many tournaments, so many heroes to learn, it’s easier said than done to get good.
Speaking of 1v1ing Moon, how has your adjustment to the offlane been going?
Oh it’s awesome, love it.
Never go back?
Nah, I don’t think so. I like mid but mid’s like this dumb minigame within Dota that isn’t real, it’s just its own separate part of the game. When I’m in the offlane I’m actually engaged in Dota from the start of the game, really before it even begins. As a captain it’s much easier for me to direct the pace of the game when I’m actually involved in it and specifically when I’m playing heroes that allow me to either play the elusive Mek carrier or the initiator, which is what I think I play best. I’m not really an afk ricer, split pushing kind of guy, that’s never really been my playstyle and as a mid player you’re really forced to do that more than I think was beneficial for our team.
Can you elaborate on the difference between captaining from the midlane and the offlane?
As mid you have to be a lot more focused on your lane. In this meta it’s so hard for you to rotate unless you get a nice rune and you really need to play around your cores and I think that as a captain you need to be a guy who’s able to sort of play around his teammates and direct them vs moving the team with you because inevitably as the mid, when you’re calling shots… I think it was James 2GD who said that captains play about 30% worse and I think that’s somewhat reasonable although I think a lot of captains can do better than that, hopefully including myself. But as a mid player you can’t really afford to play any worse because you’re up against often their best mechanically skilled player. You’re in the most crucial role which is 1v1 so it’s so hard for me to just communicate and make calls when I have to be so focused on what I’m doing in my lane. You just kind of lose track of the game and that’s a habit that sort of continues throughout once you get used to it.
What heroes have you been enjoying playing since the change in lanes?
I mean, I love all the HoN heroes, I love Slardar, Tiny, Clock, Shaker, Dark Seer even though he’s not HoN, Doom… I mean, all the good ones really. I’ve gotten pretty good at Tusk, I mostly prefer the initiators. I think that’s what I do the best and I feel like that’s the role best suited to be a captain because you’re making the call and making the play, so your timing should be about as close to perfect as you can get.
How are you enjoying the 6.85 meta?
I like it a lot. I think it’s very open, you can do a lot of things and I think it’s one of the more balanced metas we’ve had in a long time. It makes for more interesting games and it’s just far more enjoyable as both a player and a spectator in my opinion. I thought 6.83, the one with Sniper/Troll was just awful and I thought 6.84 got pretty boring as well once everyone started running the CDEC. Now I just really like it. I think nearly every hero is viable and it’s just really an incredible thing that Icefrog was able to do, making so many unique heroes with all these ideas mesh into a competitive game where you don’t really… there’s no hero in the game that’s always a first pick, like this hero, if it’s left we’re taking it. There’s always counters to anything you might try to do.
With that said, do you think the promised mid-December patch will make big changes to the meta?
I would assume so, yes. I think it will probably do a lot.
Is there anything specific you hope to see nerfed or buffed?
I think Undying’s going to get nerfed, I think Doom is going to get nerfed. Probably Gyro, maybe Slardar, I think at this point though I’d prefer, and what I actually really do expect, is we’ll see more slight power creeps and buffs versus hard nerfs because at the moment I really think the game is in a pretty good spot. You know, you need a couple tweaks but that’s really it, I think the game’s in a great spot.
Thanks for your time! Good luck with the new team.
This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.
Annabelle "Abelle" Fischer is a writer for theScore eSports with a love for Dota 2, birds and cheese. You can follow her on Twitter.