compLexity Gaming sponsors Team Fire.
After an endless win-streak, Team Fire gets sponsored by one of the biggest names in the American gaming industry: compLexity Gaming.
2006. DotA was starting to develop itself as a massive, competitive game in America. Superb players like Merlini, Inde_ed, Fear, DOGkaiser, Yoshi, JollyJoker and p0c were in the scene fighting. The teams were taking the game seriously but the organizations were still resilient to join the scene; they were waiting for someone to take the first step. But there were no strong sponsors in the field. Yet. Not until coL sponsored "PluG", the team led by Fear at that moment.
Not a major part of the communtiy remembers how coL housed the team that dominated the scene and how much it meant for DotA in America. coL became the pioneer of his era as their players changed the idea of how to play the game at a competitive level. Both Fear and Ezy reached a "legend" status with their flawless perfomances. In the end, coL's sponsorship motivated organizations like EG and Pandemic to jump into the scene and develop the game.
They shut-down their squad after lots of problems with their roster in 2007, were silent ever since and left nothing behind except their legacy. But EZ Style's approach looking for their sponsorship last December (which wasn't successful) managed get coL's eyes in the game, and decided to host the "MOBA Weekly" show, where renown persons from Dota 2, LoL and HoN interact with each other giving their opinions about the games. Tobi, syndereN and MrBlue participated in the show and voiced their thoughts.
Five years passed since coL's disbandment but they were now searching for a team. Team Fire was the logical choice for Jason Lake (coL's founder and current CEO). They showed an amazing perseverance, flawless teamwork and a relentless will to win. Winning Infused Cup, the most competitive online tournament to date, seems to be just the beginning for them: coL are in DRB's playoffs and already defeated aL in their The Premier League debut. The Americans received more than a few sponsorship offers but remained focused, waiting for the right organization. We all can guess the end of the story.
But why would we guess if we can know the facts?! Chappy, now compLexity's Dota 2 manager, sat down with us and told us how did this happen while ixmike88 tell us what this means for him and his teammates.
I must begin with my congratulations guys, you are now wearing a legendary tag in DotA. Are you feeling any extra pressures now that you will compared with the old coL team and you have to fight for an organization?
ixmike88: It's a big confidence and morale booster for not just myself, but everybody in the team to know we are supported by a team as prestigious as compLexity.
Chappy: Thank you! There's always going to be a little added pressure when you're representing such a prestigous name as Complexity, but we have no doubt in our ability to proudly represent coL and NADota.
Did compLexity contact you before other organizations or you guys just wait for the biggest offer?
ixmike88: We contacted compLexity before they contacted us because we are aware of their presence in other games and the gaming industry in general, and we were eager to represent them. We took our time with our decision because there is no major LANs coming up so there was no rush for a sponsor.-
Chappy: The six of us agreed early on that we were in no rush whatsoever to find a sponsor. I live in Seattle, we're a North American squad, so even if we didn't find a suitable sponsor by the International we were ok. This allowed us to engage in negotiations with many organizations without feeling pressured to choose one before we were perfectly certain of our choice. This long process allowed for my skype to eventually be passed to Lake, and his to mine, and we hooked up that way. We were literally about 1 or 2 days away from signing with another organization but the fact was that this organization was having to make room for me specifically as they had plenty of staff to do my job, where as I fit in perfectly with the coL management. In the end we could not be more satisfied with our choice!
People associate sponsored teams with LAN tournaments. There are not a lot them for Dota 2 at the moment besides The International 2 but DreamHack and OSPL/StarLeague are most likely to held a LAN event. How far is coL going to send you? Seattle not far away from your teammates but North America isn't precisely close to Sweden and Eastern Europe.
Chappy: Complexity will send us to the LAN's we need to attend, this includes Sweden and Eastern Europe.
Please tell me what does this mean for you personally.
ixmike88: It's a big confidence and morale booster for not just myself, but everybody in the team to know we are supported by a team as prestigious as compLexity. With their support we are able to attend many lans that we would normally never have a chance to go to, along with being able to meet the necessary requirements to stream games on Dota 2.-
Chappy: For me it's more than just 'cool' to join Complexity. I've been an advocate and fan of eSports since CS 1.6. I graduated high school the same year coL was founded, 2003, I remember the early days of PC eSports, the early teams, the early casters and streaming pioneers like Team Sportscast Network (TsN), back when streaming was brand new and expensive as hell!
The magic of eSports has not faded at all for me, it's only gotten stronger, and throughout it all there are literally only a handful of eSports organizations that have stood the test of time and embedded themselves in the history of eSports. In North America that list grows even smaller and virtually requires a big and successful origin in CS 1.6. The list is even smaller when you filter out NA teams that had successful DotA careers. Complexity is most definitely one of those teams, one of the pillars of eSports, and it's a dream come true to be a part of their legacy and to help that legacy grow.
The community is aware of every single roster change from the top20 teams of the scene. However, if you ask them who's the manager of the top5 teams of the scene, they will most likely don't have a clue about it. Can you explain us what's the role of a manager and his impact on a team?
Chappy: Certainly. The sole purpose of my existance as a manager, and any team manager I suspect, is to help my players succeed. The easiest way to do that is to simplify their eSport lives as much as possible so they can focus on training and performing. Pre-Complexity that included fielding the barrage of sponsor offers, a full time job in itself. Pre and present Complexity sees me keeping a calendar and a schedule for our matches/interviews/appointments/etc. I schedule matches with tournament/league admins, which also requires that I know I keep files on the players with all their detailed contact informations.
In most things I am the point of contact to simplify the relationship between the team and coL. I'll be handling travel and hotel accomodations as well as accompanying the team and helping them get settled for LAN's. I help the team theorycraft and encourage strategy discussions to stay on top (or ahead) of the metagame. I pretty much do whatever is necessary to help us succeed. There's a good chance the team bootcamp's at my condo for the International, since I live in Seattle, so you could probably add cooking and cleaning to my manager responsibilities as well. *laughs*
It's extremely rare to see a player switch their role for good. This is your case Mike: you transitioned from a semi-carry to a core support. How hard is this transition? Why did you switch? Can you give us some advice about how to play a support in the highest level?
ixmike88: I switched because even though I am most comfortable with semi-carry, we already had a player for that role when I joined the team (HANNAH_MONTANA). The transition wasn't too difficult because in competitive play you're required to have at least a general knowledge of every role, however I still make a ton of noob mistakes. My best advice to any new support player is to constantly focus on enemy movement and your own positioning.-
You guys won 20 match-ups out of 21. Which was the hardest game so far and why?
ixmike88: The best of 3 against Dignitas in the Infused Cup was very difficult. They are very good at being aggressive in the early game and knew our play style pretty well, fortunately we were able to capitalize on their mistakes and pull through with a victory.
Please tell us the role and importance of your teammates in the compLexity.
ixmike88: TC is typically our solo mid player, his laning abilities; map awareness; and patience make him a very stable and reliable player. Jeyo is our hard carry player, he can always make a lot with a little amount of support, and his calmness under pressure makes him a very good teammate. HANNAH_MONTANA is our sidelane/utilty player, he is very dedicated to his role and very attentive in ganks and skirmishes, which means that he is very reliable in team fights. FLUFFNSTUFF is usually the semi-support role and captain, he makes most of the picking and in-game decisions; he is very decisive with knowing what he wants to do in game and has stable performances to go with it, something that's very hard to do when you're trying to watch all 10 players at once. I am ixmike88, I typically play the hard support role, I am a noob but I try to help out.
There are Dota 2 tournaments everywhere, each one of them with a different system. Which is the best one in your opinion?
ixmike88: I most prefer the one or two day type of tournaments, such as SECS, Infused Cup, or DotaBrawl. Tournaments such as The Defense and Premier League can be hard to follow and eventually lose interest when it is spread out over such a large amount of time. The one day tournaments usually run smooth because there can be no such thing as scheduling conflicts, while there is often rescheduling or postponed games, etc. with tournaments such as The Defense. I also think that the one day tournaments are much easier on the players, as you only have to set aside one to two days to complete it, and not your next four weekends.
Something spectacular about your team is their vast arsenal of strategies. Pushing, defending, hardcore gaking, it doesn't matter: you guys adapt to it and defeat your opponents. Is this only FLUFFNSTUFF's job or the entire team contributes to develop the strategies?
ixmike88: FLUFFNSTUFF and I always talk about new ideas and strategies then share our conclusions with the rest of the team when we practice. In scrims and matches, everybody contributes to the picking phase, but FLUFFNSTUFF makes most of the in-game tactics and decisions.
Let's speak about the specific strategy that made you famous in the first qualifier of DRB. Where did it come from? Leoric and Omniknight were almost never picked in Dota 2 but Fire defeated several top teams with it, even involving some weird items like Force Staff in Skeleton King.
ixmike88: It wasn't something that was really theorycrafted, just small adaptations made in picks as we played. FLUFFNSTUFF loves his chen and it all started there. Omniknight and Rhasta have great synergy with Chen, Venge is a very strong hero at every stage in the game, and can help pushes with Vengeance Aura. Force Staff Skeleton King is FLUFF's idea that everybody was originally skeptical about, but it is a very strong ganking and initiation tool due to his low cooldown stun and reincarnation
Is there a team that influences your or your team's gameplay? Do you have some sort of "role-model" in the scene?
ixmike88: There is no one in particular, though FLUFF has stated how he's always admired Puppey's Chen. We often refer back to Chinese Dota 1 replays for guidance and ideas, but the two games are very different right now so we are often left to come up with our own thoughts and ideas.
There are great teams out there that played for two years together and attended several LANs as a team. However, you guys seem to have a better teamplay and coordination than them. What's your secret? The North American brotherhood?
ixmike88: I think attitude is the most important thing. Everyone is really dedicated, ego and complacency do not get in the way of improving. An important factor to good team work is having a leader. Everybody can contribute to decisions but at the end of the day there should only be one voice for final decisions and your team has to trust that person's decisions over your own, otherwise there will always be conflict.
Congratulations once again and thank you for your time. We are now in shoutout time!
ixmike88: Shoutout to our sponsors Creative, PNY, ORIGIN, QPAD and compLexity. I would also like to thank our friends, fans and supporters.
Chappy: Thanks to our family, friends and fans. Without dedicated fans eSports cannot grow, we appreciate your support.
compLexity's Gaming Dota 2 line-up is the following:
You can find Jason Lake's statement in their official announcement (link below). GosuGamers wishes coL, currently ranked number one on our raking, good luck and a successful cooperation with his brand new team.
compLexity Gaming - Official announcement