es3tag on joining Complexity: "Everyone on this team wants to win, and that's what I want to do"
The Dane spoke about what made the Complexity offer stand out and discussed his reunion with two former Heroic teammates.
Complexity were one of the few top teams to make changes in the off-season. Having struggled for deep runs throughout all of 2021 so far, the Benjamin "blameF" Bremer-led squad decided to pull the plug on the roster that had remained untouched since Justin "jks" Savage came into the team in October, changing not only a player but also the coach during the summer break.
Jamie "keita" Hall was the first to be cut from the lineup, and he was quickly followed by William "RUSH" Wierzba, whom many had expected to be on the chopping block following a run of underwhelming form. Complexity brought in two former teammates of blameF — Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu and Patrick "es3tag" Hansen, who had shared several months with the Complexity in-game leader under the Heroic banner in the first half of 2019.
The reunion sees es3tag find a new team after an extended period on the sidelines, having been left teamless following the sudden disbandment of the Cloud9 "Colossus" in March. We spoke to the Dane at the time while his career was still up in the air, and although the original interview never made it to air due to ongoing talks with organizations who were interested in him, we have gotten the chance to catch up with the 25-year-old again now that he has chosen his new home.
Looking back at these last couple of months when you were out of action following the disbandment of Cloud9, you talked about being a bit bored and wanting to get back into it as soon as possible. How much pressure did you feel to join a new team soon?
There was definitely some pressure in terms of me just wanting to get back in there and start playing again, but I must say that one of the best opportunities came around with Complexity, so it wasn't like "yeah, I just need to join something now." I'm actually really happy with where I ended up and the teammates that I got. I know blameF from the past and I'm really excited to play with him again, and I'm sure we can do great things with this lineup. Like you said, I really wanted to get back into things with CS:GO, playing again, because honestly playing regular FACEIT and stuff is not super fun to me. I always liked playing at the highest level, where you can elevate each other as players, and that's where I want to be. I'm really excited to be back.
You spoke about wanting to join a team that's going to compete at the top and be vying for the No. 1 spot. Were there any other options in terms of teams that got in touch?
There were a couple. I'm not going to mention any names, but there were a couple of other offers that I was considering. But I'm 100% sure that I took the best that I had. We'll see where it takes us, I'm really hoping for some trophies, but it all depends on how practice is going to go, of course.
What made the Complexity offer stand out? What made it interesting and why did you end up deciding to go this way?
I think one of the things is that I knew blameF and his work ethic, and I really respect the number of hours that he puts into the game. I know I'm joining a team where this is not going to be just a stroll in the park, people are going to work really hard, and they want to win trophies. I spoke a lot to Jason Lake before signing, and you know, if you've ever seen the guy on a Discord call cheering on his team or being at an event, you know that guy wants to win no matter what. And that's what I'm here for, as well. In the beginning, I saw the jks interview, and all he wants to do is win, he's had a long career and now he wants to win. Everyone on this team wants to win, and that's what I want to do. I want to cement myself at the top, and this is how I'm going to do it, with a bunch of people that have the same mindset and goals.
You're also going to reunite with blameF and peacemaker. How does it feel to get back together with your former Heroic teammates?
I only have fond memories of playing with blame. I think he's a really cool dude, and same with peacemaker, actually. I feel really bad for his reputation because I think it's been in the shitter, but I think he's actually a great coach in many aspects. Especially the tactical one, I think he's a huge reason that MAD Lions at that point got to where they were. I don't see why he has the reputation that he has, to be honest. But I've been friends with peacemaker for quite a while, so maybe that's just me that sees who he really is, you know.
You previously highlighted the Xyp9x roles as the best fit for you and expressed your hopes that you'd stop switching around and stick with something that you're comfortable with. Are you going to be able to do that with Complexity?
I'm going to get most of the roles that I had back then in Astralis, like most of the support roles. I'm going to be basically taking most of the roles that RUSH had. It's a bit of a mixed bag, some of the roles I haven't really played that much, and some of the other roles are basically just Xyp9x roles, so I'm hoping that it's going to fit me really well in this team. I'm just really excited to get back into practice and really see how it's going to mesh with me and see how many trophies we can pull in before New Year's.
Complexity have been in a rough spot lately, having trouble making it deep into tournaments. How do you think the team will be able to turn things around with you on the roster?
I think Complexity for a little while now has just been needing some new blood. And I'm going to be that new, fresh air that they needed. I think they've always been capable of winning big tournaments, I just think it's a case of running it down as the five-man lineup that they were. I think I'm just going to bring in some fresh air, everyone is going to be really motivated, and hopefully that's enough for us to bring home some trophies. That's why we're all here.
How quickly are you going to be able to hit the ground running? What are your personal expectations when it comes to if the team will be at a competitive level already at ESL Pro League?
It's really hard. I would love to say that we're just going to go on a honeymoon and just destroy everything, but that's sometimes not how it is. It's really difficult to say, but I would hope that within the next two or three months we're going to start winning trophies and still do really well at some of these runs that we have in the next month or two. That's at least my expectations, and I'm sure everyone's going to work really hard towards that. I don't think it's just the dream scenario, I think we're going to do it.
What is the preparation going to look like for Pro League?
We're getting a bootcamp in. It's just going to be a CS grind from day one, and nothing but living and breathing CS:GO for a little while there. It's nice to put a face on the guys you're going to play with. Although I've seen them at events, it's not as if we've ever really talked with jks and poizon, I don't really know them that well, so it's going to be really nice.
es3tag's official debut with Complexity will take place in the ESL Pro League Season 14 group stage. The team have been placed in Group B, also featuring G2, Virtus.pro, OG, Renegades and SINNERS, with the opening round of the group pitching Complexity against the Australian squad on August 21.