posted by Malystryx.GDS,
Complexity at the MDL in China last month (Image from MarsTV's Facebook)
Simon 'Handsken' Haag is Complexity's new support player, joining the NA team in the Winter transfer window along with Rasmus 'Chessie' Blomdin and Linus 'Limmp' Blomdin. His former team was the extremely popular Ninjas in Pyjamas* who unfortunately decided to part ways in the midst of the Frankfurt Major.
However, Handsken has moved on to greener pastures and Complexity were the second team to qualify for the Shanghai Major via the NA Regional Qualifiers. They recently won Canada Cup and qualified for the DotaPit Season 4 LAN Finals in March.
We caught up with Handsken to chat about the team's preparation and the $10,000 house, not to mention how he feels about Complexity's recent results.
Handsken while in NiP (Source)
The Shanghai Majors is extremely close now. What has the team been up to in the lead-up to the Major. Are you on an extremely strict schedule?
CoL.Handsken: We've had a lot of qualifier games etc that we have to play basically ever since we got to the house.
We practice as much as we can, but in reasonable terms, if we find good competition to play on US east servers, we'd play more with the team, if we are unable to find solid opponents we'd focus more on playing pubs and doing stuff individually, while focusing on theoretical parts of the game, like replay review, stuff in that sort of area.
You said you do stuff individually, how can you make sure you are spending your time efficiently? How to make the pubs and games you play on your own more valuable? Isn't it easy to become too casual?
CoL.Handsken: Yeah, thats a good point. Basically, if you want to make sure to get the most out of your individual practice, lets make a scenario. So if you're going to learn how to play a certain hero, you could watch replays of a proficient player for that specific hero, and then try it out yourself read up on stats etc.
Or if you were to play Visage for example, you could watch some of Ilya 'Lil' Ilyuk's stuff, to see what he does. Also, let's say you had a day where solid scrim partners aren't available, you could play your pub games during the time you would play the scrims, and with the same kind of mindset, if that makes sense.
So are these goals that you yourself decide you should improve. For example a certain hero. or does your captain say "hey Handsken, learn this hero. You got 2 days"?
CoL.Handsken: Most of the time its through discussion within the whole team, not necessarily the captain making the call. Although sometimes that could be the case, or it could just be that you feel like you should add a certain hero to your own arsenal (basically through your own will).
Handsken, Limmp and Swindle at home in the team house (Image provided by Complexity)
SO during this time are you all living in the "$10,000 house"? Can you tell us about it, sounds epic to be honest.
CoL.Handsken: Haha yeah dude, the house is amazing. It's a house located in Fort Lauderdale, South Florida(about 30 minutes away from Miami). It's a luxurious house honestly. We've got a hot tub, a swimming pool, big ass projector, everyone has their own bedroom, and there's plenty of space outside of that, and the weather is so much better than Sweden.
Do you have any household staff?
CoL.Handsken: So we have a chef living with us, apart from that we have our manager Beef nearby, but those are the only ones that are permanently residing, I guess you could say. other than that, we have a pool-guy and cleaning ladies come over to look after the house every once in a while, you know we're gamers (laughs).
I would struggle to concentrate with so much entertainment nearby. During the qualifiers for the Major I've heard your manager Beef took you bowling. is that true?
CoL.Handsken: Yeah that is true, we actually ended up going bowling on the same day that we qualified I believe. I wouldn't say its that hard to still commit to gaming a lot, after all, it's what everyone wants. If anything, it helps if we lose games to have things to do around or nearby, or if we do well, we're not never far from finding a place where we can enjoy ourselves. (smiles)
Former Alliance player Rasmus 'Chessie' Blomdin is also part of the new CoL
Yes, sounds like you got it made for yourself! Regarding Complexity's results you recently won Canada Cup and you're still in the ESL One Manila qualifirs. But before this you went to MDL and Starladder. Chessie commented after the MDL event "Always sucks losing but we exceeded everyones expectations including our own" even though you went out of the tournament early. Would you see those event(s) as a success?
Complexity's GSL group for the Shanghai MajorCoL.Handsken: I would not see Starladder as a success, it was more of an event where we went into it with low expectations, due to our packed Schedule, with the major qualifiers and holidays previously.
Regarding MDL, we we're a bit more satisfied with that event, although it has to be mentioned that we were a bit bummed after not going further after having a pretty good group stages I would say, nearly winning the entire Group, but dropping in the tiebreakers.
As far as the playoff bracket goes, we lost to EG which is a very solid team of course, we would've liked to do better in that series, but mostly bummed about not getting a higher placing in the group I suppose.
You've been matched with Evil Geniuses again (Full groups). Is that literally the worst possible round 1 match you could have anticipated? It seems on paper you have the hardest group. What are your thoughts?
CoL.Handsken: I think our group is one of the harder ones, it is hard to make a case for a favourite in that group that isn't EG. But if we show up and play well we can pull through, I believe!
Complexity team huddle ahead of match versus Digital Chaos (Image provided by Complexity)
It seems the community has an obsession with the top 2 or top 3, If you're outside of that then you're apparently not a strong team. How does that feel as a player to read and see those kind of comments?
CoL.Handsken: I don't think the general community has a very good understanding of what separates a great team, and a good team, so I don't really get affected or read too much into it.
What seperates the two?Good question, I think it it's about detail, and execution while still remaining cohesive as a team and making good decisions. It's about putting strong players together as a unit, to put it short remain in a good place in terms of moral, and following the same directive is important as well. A few of the top teams have more or less of some of these I'd say.
Where does Complexity fit in this good vs great division?
CoL.Handsken: I would say we have a good understanding of teamwork, and what everyone needs to do in terms of winning a game of dota. We understand what it takes, but sometimes we fail in other areas, like decisions, whether those are individual or are made by a captain. We have a lot of experience in competitive gaming, as well as playing together, but we're nowhere near the top players of dota in terms of actual dota games played.
Going back to the day you qualified for the Shanghai Major, I saw the video tweet (above), you guys went mental. How did that rate in comparison to the times with NiP?
CoL.Handsken: I mean, it was a good moment, of course qualifying for the Major meant a lot, because its something most of us never done before. I don't really like to compare the two teams in that regard, I would've been just as happy qualifying to a major with NiP as I am with complexity.
I ask because it seemed from the outside that NiP not qualifying for Frankfurt was kind of the fatal blow to the team that so many people loved. Seems kind of ironic you qualify from the LB final after coming so close at the final stage of Frankfurt qualifier versus Alliance.
CoL.Handsken: Oh yeah, that's true. The times around the qualifiers are always super stressful for players and not qualifying can definetely hurt teams, and that was for sure what happened with NiP.
Although I would like to point out that there's quite a big difference between NiP and Complexity for that qualifier especially, because we hadn't been around for that long when the Shanghai qualifier hit. Which would not make it as big of a blow I think, but still, never fun finishing third or fourth in such a substantial qualifier.
Handsken (middle front) with former NiP team-mates at D2CL Season V (Image by @MalystryxGDS)
That's a good way to look at it. Looking ahead to the Shanghai Major, what are you most excited about? Who do you see doing better East or West?
CoL.Handsken: I'm excited to see what the Valve events are like, but most of all im looking forward to showing the other teams and community what we've got! (smiles) It's much more of a hard call this time around that it has previously been.
I was very impressed with some of the Chinese teams at MDL, and I think they are going to do well, at the same time, the western top teams have been looking solid, as well as some of the newer teams shining a bit more recently.
Where do you expect to finish at the Majors? What would be a good result for you guys?
CoL.Handsken: Top 6 would be a good result, considering we're still quite a new team. For TI we want to be considered some of the best in the world.
Confident! If you had to convert people to be Complexity fans for this Shanghai Major, what would you say to them?
CoL.Handsken: Stay what? (
???) It's something that swindle and the guys kept doing in HoN when they were under the name StayGreen. They would make a chant, that all the fans would join in on 'Stay what? Stay Green!' we've been keeping this one even on dota, or well they have, I'm the new guy (smiles).
Alright so any Twitch chat residents should go for that when it gets underway. Thanks for your time Handsken, any words for the soon-to-be complexity fans?
CoL.Handsken: Just thanks for continued support (smiles).
If you want to follow Handsken you can find him on Twitter.