Complexity Gaming Signs jks
Complexity Gaming has officially announced the addition of jks to its CS:GO roster, thus completing the Juggernaut lineup.
Complexity Gaming has just announced the addition of Justin "jks" Savage to its Juggernaut Counter-Strike roster. The move comes following the benching of 100 Thieves' CS:GO lineup, with the players deciding to head their separate ways. The Australian rifler will be stepping into the shoes of Owen "oBo" Schlatter due to the 17-year-old returned home to the United States following a long bootcamp in Europe.
YEAH THE BOYS
North America was recently dealt a heavy blow as 100T announced its exit from the Counter-Strike scene, consequently benching its players. NA has become accustomed to the Oceanic presence of jks and Aaron "AZR" Ward, as the duo moved to the US in 2015 following the signing with Renegades. Renegades housed various players over the years, but the American organization always kept an Australian core, as jks and co. have largely been accredited with putting Australia on the Counter-Strike map. Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad linked up with Renegades in early 2018, initially as a stand-in, but the Norwegian rifler unsuspectedly ended up staying with the roster much longer. By September of that year, Renegades would undergo a few changes, bringing in more talent from Down Under in the form of Jay "Liazz" Tregillgas and Sean "Gratisfaction" Kaiwai. Despite not housing any NA talents, the team would establish itself as one of the best in the region, fighting for recognition and national pride. Impressively, jks never dropped outside of the top 30 during his time with Renegades.
In the latter half of 2019, rumors began circulating that 100 Thieves was looking to reenter Counter-Strike, but there was much uncertainty regarding who 100T was looking to sign. Renegades' 3-4th place finish at the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019, as well as quarterfinal appearances at DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 and IEM Chicago earlier in the year, seemed to have attracted the attention of 100T, with the team sitting at #7 on HLTV's world ranking in late October. Sure enough, the Australian-New Zealander-Norwegian roster would sign with the Thieves by the end of the month, furthering the team's stay in North America and able to enjoy all the benefits of 100T's facilities.
End of an era
The team would hit the ground running under the new organization, with a second-place finish at IEM Beijing in November, beating ENCE and Team Vitality along the way. However, the run in China would, unfortunately, become the best result the team could achieve while under the 100T banner, with 2020 marking the start of the end. AZR and co. were able to reach playoffs at IEM Katowice 2020, the last large LAN event of the year, but the ensuing move to online play due to the Covid-19 pandemic was a massive blow to the squad. The players would return to the US and compete in ESL Pro League S11 as well as other following online events, but they were unable to find consistent form during the online era and frustration began to grow in the team. While the Thieves recently placed second at both EPL S12 and IEM New York Online, the team would ultimately disband, with 100T deciding to bench the roster and leave the scene once more.
It is with a heavy heart we announce that 100 Thieves will be exiting CS:GO. pic.twitter.com/cJqKk5Vvwp— 100 Thieves (@100Thieves) October 12, 2020
While 2020 has been a rough year for everyone, the former 100 Thieves players were dealt a particularly rough hand. Just as the roster was hitting its stride and beginning to perform well on LAN, the pandemic meant that the team would be forced to play online. Furthermore, none of the players are American or even Canadian. While AZR and jks have been living in the US for a few years, they have mentioned on multiple occasions how hard it is to be so far away from home. The Australians were obviously able to visit their families on holidays, but flights from the US to Oceania are very long; more travel time means less time with family. They could also potentially see their relatives at IEM Sidney or IEM Melbourne, but Australian events were already scarce in the CS calendar.
Furthermore, Australia is a huge country, so even if a player is attending an event in his home country, it doesn't mean that he'd have time to go and see his friends and family. So even in a regular year, the Renegades/100T players didn't get many opportunities to go home. If you add on the extra stress related to the pandemic and the frustration of inconsistent performances, it's easy to see why tension had been growing in the team. With the roster now disbanding, it's the end of an era for North America and Oceania, as there will no longer be a majority-Australian team representing the national pride abroad.
What happens to the Thieves?
Also feeling very homesick, jkaem is returning to Norway, where has already joined the Norwegian side of Apeks. He will be playing alongside some of the country's best talents and Swedish veteran Dennis "dennis" Edman. He will look to develop his national scene as well as enjoy some time at home following two years abroad. Still, it's a little strange to see jkaem join a team of Apeks' stature, given that following his benching, he became one of the hottest prospects on the market. Given his relatively docile nature, it's not unruly to think that jkaem wants to take a step back in the foreseeable future. Being a part of Apeks will allow him to spend more time at home, as even once LANs return, it's unlikely that the team will be traveling very much.
Liazz was recently linked with a move to Gen.G Esports, as the team recently lost two of its members to VALORANT and is looking to rebuild its roster ahead of Flashpoint 2. Liazz took on a very supportive role within Renegades and 100T, but he was regarded as the next big player to come out of Australia during his time on Kings Gaming Club and ORDER. In fact, Liazz was brought into the Renegades roster with the idea in mind that he'd eventually replace jks, given that they both played very similar roles in the past.
AZR recently announced that he was looking to move to Europe as he wants to commence the next step in his career. With Europe housing many multi-national lineups, AZR should have plenty of opportunities given his proven experience as an in-game leader. Furthermore, the Australian captain stated that he'd be open to staying in North America if the right opportunity came along. Given the lack of good available IGLs in the region, AZR should be receiving many offers and could even be a suitable candidate for Gen.G as the team will be looking to replace Damian "daps" Steele.
As for Gratisfaction, he took to Twitter to announce that he was open to offers in both Counter-Strike and VALORANT. Much like good IGLs, good AWPers are also a rarety in North America, so Gratisfaction should be in a pretty good position. Team Liquid hasn't had a proper dedicated AWPer in what feels like forever, and as such, could greatly benefit from an experienced sniper as the team has been struggling recently. While Timothy "autimatic" Ta has been the sniper for Gen.G, he could easily transition back into a rifling role if the Korean organization wants to pick up the duo of Liazz and Grat. Otherwise, NA has seen more investment than any other region when it comes to VALORANT, and a player of Gratisfaction's stature should have no issue finding a team in that regard.
LFT BTW!!— Gratisfaction (@Gratisfaction) October 19, 2020
Open to offers both in CS and Valorant
Joining the Juggernaut
Complexity's active roster was recently reduced to four players as oBo stepped down in order to return to North America. While the youngster was an integral part of COL's firepower, jks will be a fantastic replacement, and Complexity might even end up better after this change. Easily the best player from Down Under, jks was deemed the 15th best player of 2019 by HLTV. There's no doubting in the Australian rifler's firepower, and he has considerably more experience than oBo competing at the top level. Considering that jks played with AZR for all of his career, there will certainly be an adaptation period required as he transitions to a completely different style of play. In the past, jks has always been his team's star player, but coming into a roster with the likes of Benjamin "blameF" Bremer, Valentin "poizon" Vasilev, and Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke, any player can pop off at any given moment.
A beautiful tale
While the boys are no longer together under the same banner, their impact on ANZ CS will always be remembered. It may be sad to see them part ways, but there's comfort in knowing that the players will find new homes and continue the next chapters of their careers. When it comes to jks specifically, the move somewhat felt inevitable considering just how incredible he actually is. In a way, it's actually surprising that it took so long before for jks to go international, but we thankfully got to see an Australian team reach the top 5 for the first time, so while it may be the end, at least it was a beautiful run.