With the FACEIT Major Challenger stage set to start today, we wanted to have a look at the UK representation in London and weigh up their chances at the tournament. This is the first major event hosted in the UK and the first that will contain UK players. So who are these players leading the UK scene forward into uncharted waters?
First is Rory ‘Dephh’ Jackson who is the entry fragger for Complexity. His humble beginnings were in the UK playing for CAZ Esports. Rory played alongside many other top UK players but stood out as a hyper-aggressive player with outstanding raw aim. Dephh began to make a name for himself online as well as offline at numerous Insomnia events. Interestingly, Dephh never managed to win Insomnia with two second places being his best placements. Rory was scouted by Complexity at the start of 2016 and moved to America where he has been living and competing ever since. Dephh has been the longest standing member of Complexity CSGO. The roster has gone through many iterations over the years with the UK import remaining as the only constant. As could be gathered by the numerous roster changes, the team have had their issues throughout Dephh’s time on the squad. They have struggled to push to the top of NA but have been on an upwards trajectory the whole time. Dephh’s first Minor was for the previous major in Boston. Unfortunately the team finished fourth and didn’t qualify for the major. The team continued to make roster changes and improve. The latest additions of Stanislaw and Shahzam from Optic Gaming improved Complexity drastically.
Complexity reached the major after winning the Americas Minor. They take on the worlds best team Astralis in their first match of the tournament, a very tough match. So how far do we expect Complexity to go in this major? It is difficult to see how the team stacks up against the best from Europe and around the world as they don’t have many recent results to go from outside of NA. With a bit of luck in the Swiss format, it wouldn’t be outrageous for Complexity to make it to the Legends Stage of the tournament. Dephh’s squad is currently playing better than ever and are a dangerous opponent for any team in the tournament. Take them lightly at your own risk!
Next up is Owen ‘Smooya’ Butterfield, main awp for BIG. Smooya has been making noise in the UK scene for some time. He started to make a name for himself by consistently having the highest RWS of the month in Europe on ESEA. The young pug star started to compete at a high level in the UK, regularly placing well at Epic LAN and Insomnia. There was a high demand for Smooya in the UK so he spent time competing with lots of different rosters and organisations. He had short stints in Excel, Radix, CeX and finally Team Endpoint prior to leaving the UK scene behind to compete on European rosters. His first opportunity in a European team was with Epsilon for the Gfinity Elite Series. His team ended up winning in Season 1 before they got benched for Season 2. Owen spent some time inactive with Epsilon before returning to their active roster. His career was temporarily halted when Epsilon locked him into his contract by way of a large buyout fee. After his contract troubles with Epsilon were resolved, he was approached by the German lineup BIG who wanted a strong Awper. He joined the team and hasn’t looked back. Smooya seems to have settled in quickly getting good results with the squad early on. Their most notable achievement to date is their recent second place finish at ESL One Cologne. This will no doubt give them great confidence going into the major especially after getting upset wins against MIBR and Faze Clan.
BIG automatically qualified for this major by finishing in the top 16 in Atlanta. As previously mentioned, the team are hot off their strong second place finish at ESL One Cologne and dependant on how the Swiss format unfolds, should comfortably make it to the Legends Stage of the tournament. There are still tough teams that could play spoiler to BIG in the Challenger Stage such as a North squad in excellent form and the world’s number one team Astralis. Smooya’s BIG are still a young team and it is doubtful that we have seen them at their peak. They will be difficult to overcome for any team in the tournament. If they perform as well or better than they did in Cologne they could be a dark horse to win the whole thing!
Regardless of their chances on paper, both teams will have the support of the crowd in London which could have a major impact on their performance. We saw how the support of the fans impacted BIG in Cologne and who would have predicted Cloud9 to win the last major in Boston?
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