Determination: The compLex Story

The compLexity organization is the first to truly come full circle in North America. After qualifying for the 2013 North American LCS Spring Split, they soon faced relegation after an unsuccessful season, only to return in the Summer of 2014 with a near completely different line-up. With a cast of determined individuals, compLexity defeated Team Coast to earn their spot back on top of the North American League of Legends scene.


The Background


You would be hard-pressed to find a more deserving group of guys than the ones who are a part of compLexity Gaming.

Westrice has been looking for his shot since the end of 2012 – After removal from Curse Gaming upon the team’s failure to qualify for the Season 2 World Championship, and subsequently a spot in the first LCS Season the following spring. He bounced around the scene for the first half of 2013 and landed with most of the Determined Gaming squad in July of 2013. After numerous failed attempts at making the LCS, he qualified in what he said would probably be his final attempt at professional League of Legends.

I was actually planning on it. Like I had a plan B that if we don’t beat Coast, then I’m just gonna stop playing. Maybe play casually and stream and stuff, but I’m glad it didn’t come down to that.

Brokenshard is somewhat of a poster boy for Murphy’s Law in the LCS. After qualifying with Dragonborns for the 2013 European Spring Split, he was removed from the team before playing a single match. He came to North America in hopes of finding better luck in the ‘Land of The Free’ and was able to join the Determined roster after heavenTime left the team.

His redemption song was played as he qualified with the rest of compLexity and finally gained his shot at the LCS. He has since struggled with visa issues, having to return to Europe, and has since then landed a gig with the struggling Copenhagen Wolves.

Pr0lly is the only player still remaining from the original compLexity roster first built during the 2013 Spring Split. He was missing from the scene for a good portion of 2013 as he was attending a post-secondary institution. He was picked up by the Determined squad after their first failed promotion attempt and found himself in a hopeful position to take back his LCS spot.

ROBERTxLEE was wildly considered for a large portion of late 2013 and early 2014 to be the greatest ADC talent in North America who had no prior LCS experience. Despite being a sub for Vulcun/XDG, he never saw any play time, and instead was busy playing with Westrice on an FXOpen team, though that was short-lived. Following the disbanding of FXO, West and Robert became members of To Be Determined and continued their run for LCS glory.

Bubbadub is the most recent addition to the League of Legends scene. After putting his entire life on hold for six months, Determined Gaming failed to qualify for the NA LCS Spring Split in 2014 – Despite this setback, he was given the blessing to continue his professional League pursuits for six more months. It paid off, and he joined the LCS with the rest of his team during the 2014 Summer Promotion Tournament.

The Buildup

As previously mentioned, before compLexity re-branded the team, they were a part of Determined Gaming – A dominant challenger team for the better part of four months in late 2013. During a time when every team seemed to be making multiple roster swaps a week, Determined Gaming was able to keep the core of the team together and charge through most of the existing Challenger scene tournaments at the time.

They were the top-seeded Challenger team coming into the 2014 Spring Promotion Tournament, and were left to a Velocity eSports team that had just been bought out by eSports powerhouse Evil Geniuses. Determined Gaming went down in three straight games to the new EG roster. Shortly after the loss, the team took to Facebook and announced that they would be sticking around as a team to compete in the Coke Zero Challenger Series.

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With this turn of events, the first Spring Series rolled around and Determined found themselves in an increasingly competitive Challenger field. They charged straight though the first series to meet up with the famed LMQ in the finals. After their first round victory over Curse Academy, the team was picked up by compLexity to play under the moniker of compLexity Black. This was the first time in several months that it seemed compLexity would have some competition in their tier of play.

This was also the first time LMQ would truly be tested in a competitive environment, having arguably come through the easier side of the bracket, and not having any tournament experience as a team prior. LMQ subsequently trounced their opponents in two straight games in just over 75 minutes of total game time. Luckily for compLexity, their positioning in the first series put them in a comfortable position to find a spot in the Spring playoffs.

After some technical issues during their round-of-eight match-up against Cloud 9 Tempest, they were forced to forfeit and concede their chances at a potential #1 seed heading into playoffs. Because the second split is weighted more heavily, Tempest was able to make a run to the finals and knock compLexity down to the #3 seed, causing them to face their sister team, compLexity Red.

Bischu started the game before productions were ready and forced a remake and during the remake the lobby bug occured (everyones clients crashes and everyone had to relog). I started up the client and it made me start patching from the beginning thus us forfeiting the match. – ROBERTxLEE

After a quick 2-0 win over Red; Black got their rematch with Cloud 9 Tempest and, in one of the best Challenger series matches I have ever bared witness to, was dispatched to fight for the last remaining promotion spot against a surging Curse Academy team. It took all five games but compLexity got it done and earned their chance to compete for a spot in the Summer Split of the 2014 North American LCS.

The Becoming


Only one final challenge stood between compLexity and their dreams of playing in the LCS: Team Coast. Six months of hard work and determination all came down to a single best-of-five series.

In Game One, compLexity came out swinging, and it was clear from minute one with a five-man invade on the bottom lane that they refused to be intimidated by Coast. Nothing came of the situation, but compLexity was able generate enough momentum in the middle lane to force a gank from NintendudeX’s Evelynn. An opportunistic countergank from Brokenshard netted a kill on Shiphtur for first blood and the game was looking promising with all lanes winning in CS.

The rest of the early game played out without much consequence. A one for one exchange in the top lane allowed Westrice to trade the top lane turret for a Team Coast dragon, however Coast stuck around a little too long and Pr0lly made them pay for it as compLexity picked up 3 unanswered kills and an additional turret after the dragon fell. After two chaotic teamfights Coast was able to claim the first Baron at 29 minutes and compLexity’s aggressive playstyle was starting to hurt them.

Coast held a 5-7k gold advantage until the 44 minute mark where a risky Baron call provided compLexity with just what they needed to mount their comeback. A three for two, Baron buff, and a timely inhibitor respawn meant compLexity were right back in the game. In a rather unfortunate series of events, for Coast, compLexity managed to kill a splitpushing ZionSpartan, a mis-positioned Lulu, and steal Baron within a 10-second window. compLexity had two dead for 60 seconds and seized their chance to charge down the middle-lane, securing their victory in just over 54 minutes.

Game Two also started out well for coL. Brokenshard went red to red, netting first blood on Nintendude and a four buff start.

With every lane across the board winning for compLexity, Brokenshard was able to continue his counterjungling, which was a theme that took hold throughout the game as Coast was forced to surrender their buffs for most of the game, along with a stolen dragon during second spawn. compLexity took their lead early and never surrendered it, growing the lead to over 16k by the game’s end- With this, they were able to slowly squeeze the life out of the Coast roster. In a low scoring game where nothing was overtly flashy, it was a tedious and methodical push that Coast ultimately succumbed to in just shy of 40 minutes.

Game Three was polarizing from the initial two. This first time Coast fought for a lane swap they got it.

With Daydreamin and WizFujiN struggling heavily in the previous two games against Bubbadub and Robert, the lane swap forced compLexity into an over-aggressive situation between Coast’s turrets, costing them first blood on Lucian. Coast spent the mid-game playing to the strengths of their team composition and turning picks into objectives. Being up 11-1 in kills and 7k gold at 20 minutes into the game, Coast was in a very comfortable position to close out the game much quicker than the previous two.

A catch on Brokenshard was the beginning of the end for compLexity, as Coast was able to take the middle inhibitor and the Baron, all in quick succession. With super minions streaming into the base, Coast positioned themselves to look for a second inhibitor. In the end it didn’t matter, Coast were too far ahead and had far too much damage for anyone on compLexity to deal with, closing out the game in 29:55.

In what turned out to be the last game of professional League of Legends for the existing Coast roster, the fashion in which they bowed out was nothing short of dramatic. At the time of the series, the 4v0 split push was still very much alive and well.

The game opened with compLexity failing to push the Tier 2 turret in the bottom lane in what seemed like a massive oversight at the time. However, the bloodthirsty compLexity team had some different ideas. The four-man squad of compLexity was able to converge on a retreating Coast and secure two kills. Coast managed to out-dance compLexity around the first dragon of the game. Meanwhile, Shiphtur and WizFujiN were able to successfully remove the mid lane turret from the map without allowing compLexity to counter with the dragon.

Continuing the aggressive play, Westrice set out to split push against Jinx and helped secure a pair of kills for nothing – However, they were unable to snowball the kills into an objective, other than additional farm for ROBERTxLEE. Despite three dragons for Coast, compLexity had a 3k gold lead at 28 minutes and were able to force a Baron with a vast vision advantage. Westrice desperately wanted to play the split push game and did so quite effectively, until a questionable teleport handed Coast three kills and a Baron buff.

Westrice on the respawn was able to trade his life for an inhibitor, but Coast answered with two of their own.  Coast had the game in their sights, knowing they only need one more inhibitor to surely force the GG from compLexity – But much akin to the first game, that’s when everything went wrong for Coast. They lost three players and a delayed fourth after Zion had a questionable teleport of his own, straight into the compLexity base. It proved to be just enough for Robert and West to run for the Nexus and fight off the only two remaining members of compLexity – Taking the game and claiming their spot in the LCS.

The Bottom

Despite making the LCS, compLexity still finds themselves in dire straits fighting for their playoff lives. Currently holding on to the seventh position in the NA LCS, compLexity’s play still leaves much to be desired for their fans. Despite maintaining the best win rate in games beyond 45 minutes in length, compLexity doesn’t have a whole lot else going for them right now.

The most important trait of any top tier team in the world, regardless of discipline, is consistency, and while compLexity have shown they have the skills to compete with North America’s best, they have yet to demonstrate this in consistent fashion. Plagued with roster issues for the first three weeks of the split, it was only once Brokenshard officially left the team that compLexity started to show marked improvement. With the addition of Kez, compLexity began to put a heavier emphasis back on their early game aggression and vision control that won them their LCS spot originally.

With only six matches remaining for each team, the chances for compLexity to avoid immediate relegation danger are growing slimmer.

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With games against LMQ and Dignitas this week, it looks unlikely that compLexity will be able to pull out two much needed wins in their race to catch Curse Gaming. Two games back with only one remaining against the aforementioned Curse lineup means compLexity will need to find wins elsewhere if they want a shot at Worlds and avoiding relegation. After everything the compLexity roster has undergone in the past year, it would be a great injustice to see them be a one and done team like the first squad in the Spring of 2013.

With the current Challenger talent pool, I find it hard to believe that any team would knock compLexity out of the LCS, but if their own story doesn’t motivate them to perform at crunch time, then they may find themselves on the outside looking in again next Season.

Images courtesy of onGamers.com, GosuGamers.com
Table courtesy of /u/mr-damn

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Blake "TheCasualGamer" Bottrill is a freelance eSports writer working for Cloth5 and Paravine Network. Blake is a Platinum level Support main and has much better analytical skills than mechanical skills. Follow Blake on Twitter @MrBlakeBottrill.

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