jks: "It's definitely been a bit of a wait, but it's also been a really good break for me"

In our latest interview from Copenhagen, Justin "⁠jks⁠" Savage talks joining G2 after nine months on Complexity's bench.

For the first time since getting transfer listed on Complexity at the end of 2021, jks is once again back in business with a new team, having joined G2 in one of the biggest moves of the summer tournament break alongside a new in-game leader in Rasmus "⁠HooXi⁠" Nielsen.

To talk through his big transfer and the last nine months, during which jks also had a brief stand-in stint with FaZe as he helped them lift the trophy in a Cinderella run at IEM Katowice, we sat down with the Australian while at the BLAST Premier Fall Groups media day.

The 26-year-old spoke at length on the topic of returning to the game after the long break, getting the opportunity to join G2, and how the new team has been meshing together in their first week so far.

You can watch the interview above or on our YouTube channel, or you can read a full transcript below:

It's been a bit of a long wait for you to find a team, what has it been like to finally find one after nine months on Complexity's bench?

Yeah, there's been a lot of ups and downs with my career in the last nine months. I thought I was gonna get a team around December, that didn't end up happening. I obviously had a bunch of offers and stuff, but nothing really came to fruition. And then after Katowice I got some offers as well, most of it was just not really offers but more like people being interested, cos they couldn't make changes at that time, and I waited even longer. Eventually I got an offer, I didn't have many, actually, but this was obviously the main one which I wanted to choose, and I think it's probably the best one that I could have chosen.

The new G2 were one of the most talked-about teams during the off-season

It's definitely been a bit of a wait, but at the same time it's also been a really good break for me to go home to Australia and actually spend time at home, because in the last two years I think I only spent about three weeks at home, but two of it was in quarantine at a hotel, so I only actually had about one week at home before that, in the last two, two and a half years maybe. Yeah, it's been a really good break to have four of five months off and actually see my family and friends, just relax and not have to travel and deal with all the COVID stuff that I've dealt with in the last two years.

Was it difficult to get back into things since you managed to have that run with FaZe?

Yeah, for sure. I hadn't played CS for like two and a half months before I played with FaZe, I had no PC or anything like that, I was also living with my girlfriend at the time and I couldn't get a computer. Half the time I was at a hotel as well, so I was just kinda jumping back and forth between without a computer hoping a team would pick me up. Eventually, I got the FaZe offer, but I played like 12 hours a day before for all those days since I got that offer to play for FaZe. I was getting back into shape pretty quickly.

The main problem right now wasn't the same as what I had then. Now it's more like I've had four or five months off and I need to get back into the meta and stuff and get used to playing in a team again. Obviously, I've been watching all the tournaments and stuff, but it's different from actually playing in a team and communicating with each other. It's more just like I'm missing the little basic things that I would have if I played regularly, if I played in an actual team, for example. It takes a while to get used to all the communication and stuff, talking, saying important things and not saying unimportant things, reacting off info and stuff like that. You kinda need to get back into shape, and that takes some time when you have four of five months off. There are a few things that I still need to learn and catch up on, but other than that it's mostly about practicing and playing and getting my hours up.

When I was talking to XTQZZZ he was saying that you were somebody who he's kept an eye on for a while as an interesting player. Is he someone you had talks with even during that time, or someone you kept in touch with before you even got signed?

No, not really, I've never spoken to him before G2 were interested in me. Obviously, I've seen him around at events and stuff like that, but we never really spoke. I think it's just probably the language barrier, and at the same time I didn't really ever speak to him, I didn't know anyone he knew and stuff like that. The only time that I've actually ever spoke to him was before joining G2 and now joining G2, but we've been getting along really well and I think he's a really smart person at the game. It's been really good so far.

What do you think about him? When I look at him, I see a super reasonable guy, but he also looks very serious. What do you make of him as a coach in the past couple of weeks since you got onto the team?

I think he is pretty serious, but at the same time I think he's also really funny. I think he meshes really well with the players on the team and is always trying to keep the mood up outside of practice. During practice he's obviously pretty serious just so he can get the most out of practice, but so far I think he's a really smart guy and I think he's got a really good understanding outside of the game about the team and where the team needs to go, and how they need to get there. Not just in-game stuff. I've only played for maybe a week, if that, so it's hard for me to judge how he is in-game, but so far he seems like a really smart person.

Read more
XTQZZZ: "I've never seen NiKo looking to call the shots, nor have I seen him contradict the vision of his IGL"

There's been a lot of talk about roles and how they're going to work in this team. I'm curious about you specifically and how comfortable you're feeling with what you've been able to get. Everyone's saying the CT side is very obvious, but is it also on the T side that has been what you're comfortable with?

Yeah, the CT side I think it's fine, I have like one or two new spots on CT side, but I don't think it's difficult to learn CT side. I think it's just about playing together as a team, CT side won't be much of a problem. I think, T side, it might take a little bit to get used to it. I have a lot of my spots, still, but it's not really about spots on either side, it's more about how the team wants to play and how we wanna play together. That's something I need to get used to and just the way they react off info, the things that they like to do, I think that's more what I need to get used to.

T side, we're still talking about, there's gonna be some changes from the old team I'm fairly certain, some people are going to be more aggressive and I'm put into the team to play more passive and fill some of the spots. We just have to see how that goes, over time I think it'll get more comfortable and easier for me. But it's not completely the same how I used to play, put it that way, but I still have a bit of a mix between my old playstyle and something that I need to learn and become used to.

jks enjoyed a long break, but he returns with hopes of ending G2's trophy drought

What's your impression of the rest of the team so far?

I think it's been great. Everyone gets along really well outside of the game. Inside the game, obviously they've made two changes, so it's a pretty big change from what the old team would be, so I think everyone needs to get used to the way I play, the way Rasmus wants to play especially as an IGL. They're going from one style to a completely new one, it's going to take some time, and I think we're going to need some time, some events to get used to each other to get used to the way that we need to play, so I don't have any crazy expectations of the first few events or anything like that.

Obviously, there's a lot of pressure on the org and the team because it's such a big org and all that, but I think just over time we need to play more and get more practice. We didn't have the longest bootcamp, so it's hard to know how things are going right now, but outside of the game we're going pretty good and inside the game we're getting there. Each day we're improving and learning new things, so I think that's a good sign.

You've had the chance to play in a few international teams now. The FaZe stint was a brief one, but you still got the chance to look at how the team works - how does G2 compare in terms of how they work? What do you see as the differences between the two?

FaZe is a bit different because they have a very experienced IGL, and I think a lot of the players on that team have played together before, they mesh really well together, and I think they're all very experienced players. On this team we obviously have Rasmus [HooXi], he's an experienced IGL, but not as experienced as karrigan.

There's little differences between each team in the way that each team wants to play, and there's also the language barrier between the teams, and it's something that I need to get used to. Every team has had different languages in it that I played in, so some are harder than others to get used to, and I think in this team I'll have to get used to it a little bit more than the others. I think it all just comes down to experience and the structure of the team. FaZe had quite a lot of structure in the org and staff, and I think G2's the same, so I think that shouldn't be too unfamiliar. I think it honestly just comes down to the players that you're playing with.

I wanted close out with how in G2 there's a lot of pressure to perform, since the team at the beginning of the year was put together to break that title duck, and there's the whole meme about their finals record. Is this something you feel in the team? What is the timeline that you want to reach your goals?

We've set our own personal goals in the team. I don't really wanna speak too much on that, but I think realistically it's hard to say. The previous team had a bunch of finals, they just didn't manage to win one, so I don't think that's bad at all. The fact that they're getting to finals with the previous team is a really good sign, and hopefully in this team we can improve upon that. I know it is a bit of a meme in the community, but at the same time they are reaching finals, you know what I mean? It's better than not reaching the finals.

I don't really wanna say any unrealistic expectations and I don't wanna put too much pressure on ourselves. I think as long as we do what we do in practice and each day we just keep improving like we have been, I think it will go pretty well. Obviously I wanna make the finals, but whether we win it or not is a different question, but I just don't wanna jinx ourselves, either (laughs). Obviously, it'd be really nice to be in finals and to win them, but we'll just have to see every time how it goes.

Denmark Rasmus 'HooXi' Nielsen
Rasmus 'HooXi' Nielsen
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.87
Maps played:
798
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.69
Australia Justin 'jks' Savage
Justin 'jks' Savage
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1183
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.63
#1
 | 
Australia sh4ww
JKSEX
2022-08-19 16:36
6 replies
Savage
2022-08-19 16:39
1 reply
#12
 | 
Brazil flytw4tp
he's so cute
2022-08-19 16:46
+1 and I hate g2 but now that the sexy beast is on there I might have to reconsider
2022-08-19 16:41
3 replies
#11
 | 
Australia sh4ww
same :/ dunno why i have g2 flair i usually hate most g2 fans hahaha
2022-08-19 16:44
2 replies
lol I don't mind the fans since Im a faze fan and you rarely have interactions with fans that are reasonable about their team especially on this site. but I hated them bc of niko but since they can't win anything I've just not cared now lol, but maybe now as long as they don't eliminate faze from any tournaments lol
2022-08-19 16:46
#28
 | 
Serbia eliiiiii_
tbh I think G2 fans are, on average, the most normal on HLTV of all the bigger teams
2022-08-19 20:04
Jks!
2022-08-19 16:36
#3
 | 
Finland Cucumber))
jks enjoyer
2022-08-19 16:36
#4
 | 
Brazil Zinnho5
JKS is very good, let's see if G2 will fight for titles again.
2022-08-19 16:38
#5
NAF | 
Canada harxDy
savage!
2022-08-19 16:39
JSK GOAT DAD
2022-08-19 16:41
jks front and centre of the team photo!
2022-08-19 16:43
1 reply
#16
 | 
Australia sh4ww
like a true chad
2022-08-19 16:48
#14
 | 
Europe mistermr
gl jks, u deserve wins
2022-08-19 16:46
jks getting that fat paycheck for being on the bench plus the extra cash he got with faze
2022-08-19 16:48
GLGL
2022-08-19 16:48
Undeserved. Snax would have been better addition
2022-08-19 16:52
1 reply
suNny you mean
2022-08-19 16:59
Jsk
2022-08-19 17:03
21st. I'm a legend.
2022-08-19 17:14
the goat speaks. I listen.
2022-08-19 17:38
jks the NA hope
2022-08-19 18:10
jks is a sweetheart - whats not to like. Delighted to see him in a top team and really hoping G2 can start winning some events now
2022-08-19 18:12
#26
 | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina Biske
lets go g2!
2022-08-19 19:37
My 🐐
2022-08-19 19:40
savage
2022-08-20 08:06
i hecking love jks
2022-08-20 13:16
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