Following Complexity’s elimination from the StarLadder Major in Berlin, it was no secret that they were looking to double down on CS:GO following some not so minced words from the organizations founder and CEO Jason Lake.
The reaction from Lake is a stern one as he claimed “I love our players as individuals but these results won’t be tolerated.” While many owners or coaches may have stopped there, Lake explained exactly what he meant.
“If you’re a Tier 1 player looking for a fresh start at the best facility in the world, HMU. I’ll pay your buyout and give you the world’s highest salaries,” he continued. Lake is tired of losing and this tweet shows just how exhausted he is.
This led to months of speculation as Lake traveled the world with the hopes of piecing together a “juggernaut.”
After recently picking up Benjamin “blameF” Bremer and Will “RUSH” Wierzba, VPEsports caught up with Lake to discuss the lineups future, the decisions behind it, and more.
VPEsports: Prior to this interview you stated the roster was still a work in progress. This could be interpreted as meaning the remaining three players from the previous lineup could still be on their way out – is this based on a “trial” kind of deal for them or just whether or not you can find someone else to replace them? Basically are they getting another shot or have you just not found the right person to step in for them yet.
Lake: That’s a good question and as I’ve shared with them, we’re evaluating this on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I don’t want to paint ourselves in a corner by definitively stating we’re going to make another change or stick with the current lineup. Anything is possible. I can say our desire to build a competitive roster is very real and we’re going to field the best combination of players we’re able to field at any given time.
VPEsports: You’ve added blameF and RUSH to the roster with the former being an upcoming star many are congratulating you for while RUSH isn’t being as well received. How did you come to the decision to grab these two players in particular?
Lake: Beginning back in Berlin I assembled an entire team of internal and external consultants to conduct a very extensive study of all potential roster combinations. We relied on both old fashion Counter-Strike sense and a deep set of data analytics while compiling dozens of different options. BlameF and Rush consistently appeared in our research as players capable of taking our roster to the next level of play. Time will be the final judge of these decisions but I have faith in both of these guys and expect big things.
VPEsports: There’s a lot of talk about how expensive CS:GO is in its current state and incredible numbers are being thrown around for what you’re putting into the squad. Why are you so willing to go all in while others such as NRG, Rogue, etc. are electing to step away?
Lake: Complexity loves Counter-Strike and believes in Counter-Strike. Yes, the ecosystem needs to evolve to a more sustainable model for all stakeholders but we’re in it for the long haul. It’s one of the very best esports in history and (God willing) I want to be involved for another 20 years.
VPEsports: When you first posted that tweet and decided it was time to do everything to build a “juggernaut” – did you have any players in mind already? Did you have a vision for what you wanted the team to be or look like outside of just a championship winning team?
Lake: The moment I sent that tweet I had no specific players in mind. I wanted to make some noise and spread the word to ensure pro players knew how serious Complexity is about winning. Roster moves happen quickly after Majors and in this instance I felt the loud, more aggressive path was better than the quiet, conservative one. For me, it was time to draw a line in the sand. I want to win. Everyone at Complexity wants to win. That’s the vision. It’s that simple.
VPEsports: Another rumor that has been bouncing around is a potential North American league – this coincided with Dignitas, 100 Thieves, and others showing interest in returning to the game. Was this tied into your roster decisions at all or was it just time to go all in? How did all these other organizations joining you in the hunt for players change your game plan?
I’m unable to speak specifically about any of the recent league rumors but it’s safe to say the knowledge that multiple top organizations were poised to enter CSGO added some timing urgency to our situation. Complexity has CS in our DNA. We won’t slip quietly into the night because big money wants a piece of the scene. We’re here to stay and we’re to win.