Warden: "Harder now than it has ever been"
After his compLexity squad easily topped their group, we managed to get some time with team coach Matt “Warden” Dickens.
Complexity had a relatively short first day at Fragadelphia, after beating District 7 in the offline final of the qualifier and convincingly taking down Raphael "cogu" Camargo's Gorilla Core in a group match.
This is your second LAN this year, the first was DreamHack Masters Las Vegas,where you were eliminated after losing to Astralis and North. Was that disheartening or do you take it as a learning experience?
It was definitely a learning experience, the more my guys get in servers with top tier players, the better they’ll get. That being said, we prepared Nuke for that event, and it didn’t work out for us at all. Our map pool wasn’t very deep, which we knew, and ultimately they were just better.
You lost your spot in the ECS, which owner Jason Lake took pretty hard. What was that time in the team like?
It was equally devastating for us, ECS is an important league, we are going to be trying our hardest to get back into it. Not to take anything away from Bee’s Money Crew, but we really felt like that was our match to lose. There was a lot riding on that match, and everyone took it pretty hard.
You recently removed Surreal from the team and added yay a short time after, how did you decide on him?
A lot of our guys had been playing Rank S with yay, so they got to know his playstyle a little bit. We were looking to get an AWPer, and there aren’t a lot of uncontracted AWPers out there right now. We looked at Matthew "WARDELL" Yu, but that option was not available, and we decided to give yay a chance. We haven’t played anyone incredible at this event yet, but he has impressed me so far, even more so than in practice online.
How much practice were you able to get in with yay before the event?
We got about a week's worth of practice in, a lot of scrimming. We definitely have strats, we aren’t pugging. We’re doing some stuff where we plug him into Surreal’s roles, and some stuff where we let him do his own thing. He is prepared and ready on our core of maps.
What are your thoughts on Rank S? Helpful or harmful?
I view Rank S as a tool like pugging or DMing, that players can use to keep up their skill. I totally understand where other coaches are coming from, that there is a lot of selfish play, not a lot of listening. If you play Rank S and take those bad habits into team practice, that’s obviously an issue. Our guys don’t have such a problem, so Rank S hasn’t caused problems for us.
You’ve already won some money via Frag Online, and topped your group here. Who are you watching out for at this event?
There’s quite a few good Premier teams here that can definitely upset us, like Denial. Ownage we obviously have to look out for, but I’m more concerned about teams that practice every day and have structure — swag and those guys are just going to try and kill us.
ESL Pro League Season 6 will start in a little under a month, what are your thoughts on the new teams in the league? (Splyce, Bee's Money Crew and Rogue)
I think those teams will struggle, just like we have, finding themselves in the middle or bottom of the pack. Coming into Pro is seriously daunting for these new teams, not because they aren’t skilled, but they haven’t learned all the aspects of the game. Even my team, put us in a server with SK, and they make us look stupid.
Do you see this coaching period with compLexity as an extension of your earlier tenure with the team?
Absolutely. I tell these guys that nothing would make me more happy than re-affirming my legacy by creating a winning Counter-Strike team. It's harder now than it has ever been, 1.6 was definitely a different game in terms of how many people were dedicating themselves to it — my guys have it a lot harder than I did. It's a challenge. Our results have been poor, but I think I’ve done pretty well over the past year and a half building a team of free agents. We haven’t done a single buyout, it takes time, and I’m very much on board for the journey.