Without a doubt 2011 has been one of the biggest years for both compLexity and for eSports thanks to the massive boom brought on by StarCraft II and the various MOBA titles. Since it’s been such a monumental year, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the biggest news stories from the past twelve months.
January – June by Alex “Yuenanimous” Yue
The year started out with compLexity signing two star Protoss players to the StarCraft II squad, Julian “rsvp” Xu and Abdulaziz “CrunCher” Abed. Along the same lines, StarCraft commentator turned IGN PR man, Josh “AskJoshy” Sutherland joined the compLexity staff as the voice of our StarCraft II projects. Just take a look at any of our videos from live events like MLG and you’ll quickly see why we add Josh to the family.
Aside from the additions to the team, January was also a noteworthy month for compLexity because it saw the launch of two very successful series: The V and Mind of the Gamer. The V was quite an avant garde initiative at the time. If you can remember the age before the NASL, IPL, or Playhem daily, there were very few regularly scheduled showmatch series with cash prizes. We are very proud of the fact that we were on the forefront of weekly SC2 entertainment as well as providing up and coming gamers a chance to make ends-meat doing what they love.
Along the same lines, we released a series with the intention to provide gamers with in-depth StarCraft II analysis from professional players. I’m of course referring to our Mind of the Gamer series, which started off with our very own Ryan “Ryan” Rushia discussing his Protoss play.
Much like January, February started off in a big way with compLexity’s Counter-Strike 1.6 team partnering with the Counter-Strike: Source team Target Down. This was a major partnership because it allowed both compLexity and Target Down to invest more time and money into the Brazilian training facility, allowing our players to have a more comfortable experience while practicing. Eager to show off how the new partnership has benefited them, coL.br headed to Germany to participate in the Intel Extreme Masters Season 5, where they were able to advance through the group-stages, but fell in the playoffs.
Moving from CS to SC2, compLexity began February by signing the fantastic Canadian Zerg player Brendon “Ryze” Walker. Ryze was destined for great things when we saw that he had the forethought and understanding of the game to use Infested Terrans heavily in a era when the metagame completely ignored them. Along with the signing of Ryze, coL.sc2 had a great month with Stalife winning the tQ Live Tourney #3 and tQ Invitational, rsvp winning the Midwest Championship LAN and the SCReddit Open XXIII, and CrunCher taking second at the FireFlash TV Open #2.
March saw a strong start for coL.SC2 with Stalife winning both the SCReddit Open XXIV and the Frag for Cancer championship. Aside from Stalife’s success, coL.SC2 also saw Antimage take 2nd place at the ESL Go4SC2 #38, rsvp win the final SCReddit Open tournament, and, of course, the birth of the famous IdrA vs. CrunCher rivalry at the TSL3. Outside of coL.SC2, but still staying in the StarCraft II scene, March also saw the announcement of the Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Pro-Am Gaming Tournament. Presented by compLexity Gaming, Creative, and Fry’s Electronics, this tournament was one of the first to allow amateur gamers a shot at taking down invited professionals all with $5,000 in prizes on the line. Along the same lines, March also saw some playful teasing by IGN as they hinted at their, at the time, unknown Pro League.
March wasn’t all sunshine and lollypops. We were saddened by the release of our good friend and teammate Bruno “bit” Fukudo Lima from coL.br. Despite losing such a great player, coL.br soldiered on to win the Brazilian tournament TP Summer 2011.
The last major piece of news that came out in March was the partnership between compLexity and PC hardware giants PNY Technologies. Thanks to this partnership, not only are our players able to train on the best hardware, but we are able to offer product reviews, promotions, event appearances, and prize giveaways.
Kicking off the month on the right foot, April came in with the first MLG event of the year, MLG Dallas. While none of coL.SC2 was able to make it into the Championship Bracket, we did manage to make it very deep into the open bracket. It is also important to note that NaNiWa won the tournament.
In other StarCraft II news, the IGN Pro League was officially announced. It featured a $5,000 prize pool and some of the best players in North America, including former coL.SC2 squad member Stalife. Speaking of new tournaments, April also saw the official start of the NASL, which promised nightly StarCraft II entertainment as well as coverage from the newly created site Wellplayed.org. Also launching in April was the Fry’s Electronics Tactic3D Tour, with the first stop featuring former coL.SC2 member Sam “Firezerg” Prowse. This event allowed fans to meet and play against their favorite coL.SC2 members for a shot at Sound Blaster prize packs.
While April saw many high points in compLexity’s history, it also saw a low one. In April, compLexity was forced to release coL.br, marking the first time in history that compLexity was officially without a Counter-Strike squad for an extended period of time. While this was very sad news, especially considering compLexity’s history with the Counter-Strike community, the excellent performence of our other team’s softened the blow. The StarCraft II squad saw success in the NASL and IPL in addition to CrunCher winning the All4One Gaming Invitational and rsvp taking 3rd in the Nationvoice Open. The Team Fortress 2 squad took 3rd place at the ESEA TF2 Season 8 LAN in Dallas, Tx. Lastly, the newly added League of Legends team took home 2nd in the April Go4LoL Finals.
In terms of tournaments, May saw some of the biggest news of the year. First off IGN’s IPL announced that it would be hosting a second season, this time featuring a $50,000 prize pool. Not to be outdone, Major League Gaming announced its partnership with GOMtv. This partnership, called the “League Exchange Program,” helped Korean pros make their way to the States to participate in MLG events. In exchange for the players, the GSL offered up Code S and Code A spots in their tournament for non-Korean players who placed in the top 3. This partnership also helped bring “The Casting Archon” Tasteless and Artosis to MLG events to help commentate. On a smaller scale, the Collegiate Starleague saw it’s first finals between The University of Waterloo versus The University of British Columbia. While this was big news in it’s own right, it was especially important to compLexity because it featured three members of our StarCraft II squad: Antimage, FireZerg and Stalife.
While May was a huge month for eSports, it may have been an even bigger month for compLexity. First off, we announced our partnership with award winning custom PC manufacturer ORIGIN PC, making them the “Official Gaming PC” of Complexity Gaming. The next major announcement was the launch of our compLexity Academy initiative. This program allows up and coming StarCraft II players a chance to hone their skills in our highly competitive training regiment and earn LAN travel, prizes and pro contracts.
During May, compLexity also released the Team Fortress 2 team. In happier news, coL.LoL had a reign of domination taking 1st place in both Go4LoL Cup #9 and #10. The StarCraft II team had a similar dominant presence, winning the first ESEA StarCraft II Season by beating rivals Evil Genisus twice.
June marked the start of what I like to call “the modern era of eSports.” Right at the start of the month eSports fans were presented with MLG Columbus. Thanks to the GOMtv/MLG League Exhange Program, StarCraft II fans were treated to the first American tournament where Korean progamers were able to attend. Much as you’d expect the Koreans dominated the show, however compLexity put up a great fight with all of our players making it deep into the Open Bracket and CrunCher fighting his way into the Championship Bracket. StarCraft II wasn’t the only game compLexity was competing in at MLG Columbus. The newly added Halo squad, coL.TriggersDown made their first appearance. While the Halo and SC2 teams were fighting it out in Columbus, coL.LoL participating in JeeSports Cup #5 where they went undefeated taking home 1st place.
In other compLexity news, Jason “1” Lake, Jason “Anomoly” Bass, Mike “Twixz” Shane, Byron “Reckful” Bernstein and Andy “Bravo” Dudynsky all made a trip out to this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California to help out at the Creative Booth. The team came back with a whole host of pictures showing off all the ridiculously cool new toys us common folk have to wait for.
Possibly the biggest news for compLexity in June was the aqusition of the StarCraft II team, ROOT Gaming. Thanks to this acquisition, compLexity was able to add the extremely talented crew of Paulo “CatZ” Vizcarra, Andrew “drewbie” Moysey, Chad “Minigun” Jones, Steven “Destiny” Bonnell II, and Jung Ho “DdoRo” Moon. Unfortunately both Destiny and DdoRo parted ways with the team shortly after the announcement was made. Speaking of new players, coL.SC2 also added TriMaster to the roster in June.
coL.SC2 wasn’t the only squad growing in June as coL.TD also added two new players, Jordan “Amish Acorns” Dotzel and Brett “Naded” Leonard. We also added our new fighting game division compLexity: CrossCounter. Featuring the legendary duo of Mike “MikeRoss” Ross and Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, coL.CC not only opened compLexity up to the fighting game community, but also allowed us to help support Cross Counter TV, an entertainment network for fighting game fans.
On the topic of gaming communities, June also saw the first article in the popular series “The Devil Plays Protoss.” Featuring the writings of the talented and astute Jacqueline Geller, TDPP takes a look at different aspects of the StarCraft II community, analyzing how it can grow to reach a wider audience.
July – December by Derek “Redav” Coombes
July saw several additions to the coL family, strengthening the team. coL.CC added ComboFiend and FilipinoChamp, and coL partnered with MVP creating coL.MVP. This added two well-known Korean SC2 players, Park Soo Ho (“DongRaeGu”) and Jung Min Soo (“Genius”). This partnership has been an extremely successful strategic advancement in the compLexity brand growth and advancement of relations between Korea and the foreign e-Sports world. In addition to the League of Legends team, a Heroes of Newerth team was also formed. The team consisted Matthew “jaH`” Penaroza, Chad “Tarano” Muller, Kan “AMXzaku” Johnson, Josh “Paintitgold” Amos, Brendan “Se`Busca” Taveirne, Alan “Kiwikid” Huan Nguyen, and Trent “Slickz” Tucker.
The coL community also saw the return of the Random Acts of Kindness Initiative. This year, efforts were put towards fundraising for Project Mañana, a small charity that provides food and education for impoverished children in the Dominican Republic. The coL Community generously donated a total of $1,110 towards the cause.
July also marked MLG Anaheim, which saw the advancement from pool play from coL.CrunCher, coL.MVP DRG, and coL.Drewbie. Sadly, all were eliminated in the championship brackets with DRG finishing in 5th place.
The major winnings of July feature coL.CrunCher, who took first in the North American Champions Tournament earning him $250, and a Killer 2100 networking card.
In August, more changes to the rosters occurred. compLexity’s Halo team, coL.Triggers Down, merged with another team, Final Boss, creating coL.FB with the line-up: Jacob “Hysteria” Reiser, Jordan “Amish Acorns” Dotzel, Cameron “Victory X” Thorlakson, Justin “FearItSelf” Kats, Andy “Bravo” Dudynsky. coL and MVP also expanded their partnership opening up the entire MVP line-up for global travel and the use of coL.MVP jerseys. It was also announced that coL.MVP would be sponsored by Creative Sound Blaster. As the team expanded in numbers, it also expanded in its community by announcing several new initiatives. For one, coL and z33k.com created a 2v2 Masters Weekly series in which the winner each week would receive $50. Additionally, the already huge CrossCounter show expanded it’s name by announcing CrossCounter LIVE. To top it off, a brand new weekly show hosted by compLexity was announced called MOBA weekly. MOBA Weekly features Darthozzan, S2XanderK, FourCourtJester and a guest each week to discuss news in the MOBA scene. This includes League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, and the yet to be released DotA 2.
The coL teams also saw success in their game play as coL.MVP’s DRG qualified for Code A GSL and coL.HoN placed first at the DreamHack MSI BEAT IT Qualifier. For MLG Raleigh, coL.TriMaster dominated the Open Bracket advancing all the way up to the fifth round of the Championship Lower Bracket where he was eliminated by HuK. coL.MVP’s DRG advanced from pool play to the semi-finals where he was eliminated by CoCa, taking third place.
September added two new initiatives from coL, and a major player addition for coL.SC2. coL.Drewbie was sent to Korea for six weeks to train with some of the top StarCraft 2 players in the world. A personal vlog series named “Drewbie Does Korea” was created which showcased his time in Korea. A total of 4 vlogs were released and they outline what Drewbie did, saw, and how he lived in the MVP house while training.
Along with PNY, compLexity announced an SC2 tournament featuring any players ranging from bronze – diamond levels. The bracket was originally open to 64 players, but due to extreme interest in the tournament, the format was doubled to a 128 man bracket. This was called PNY’s Diamond Down Tournament. The winner of the tournament, ferriswh33l, received a PNY GTX 580 liquid cooled graphics card.
As for the major addition to the SC2 roster, coL.SC2 acquired Johan “NaNiwa” Lucchesi, formerly from Dignitas. NaNiwa, a top-level European player who had won several tournaments including MLG Dallas, was an excellent pick up after it was realized that Stephano would not be competing under the coL flag. NaNiwa was living in the MVP house in Korea to enhance his StarCraft 2 skills as well as get as much play time as he possibly could.
Major wins of the month include DRG winning the DreamHack Valencia Invitational, earning himself 100,000 SEK (~$14,450USD), and coL.HoN again proved their skill by winning yet another tournament, the Lions Quality HoN Cup Championship.
October was a very busy month for compLexity, with three tournaments within 2 weeks: the Intel Extreme Masters NY Championship, MLG Orlando, and Blizzcon 2011. coL.MVP DRG managed to pull off a first place finish in IEM NY Championship, defeating renowned StarCraft player FruitDealer in an extremely close best of five. At MLG Orlando, coL.Drewbie was eliminated in the second round of the Loser’s Bracket, and coL.FinalBoss was eliminated in the 6th round of the Loser’s Bracket. From Orlando we move to Anaheim where Blizzcon was a success for compLexity. Although coL.NaNiwa was the only player participating in Blizzcon 2011, Park Soo Ho (“DongRaeGu”), Paulo Viscarra (“CatZ”), Andrew Moysey (“Drewbie”), Jason Lake, Jason Bass, Edward Chang and Josh Sutherland (“AskJoshy”) were all in attendance to support the e-Sports community as well as run contests with fans at the Creative Sound Blaster booth. After an extremely good showing, coL.NaNiwa fell to Sen in the Lower Bracket finals eliminating him from the tournament, but earning him a 4th place finish.
Changes to the coL roster in October were the release of the Heroes of Newerth team, and the inactivity announcement of coL.CrunCher. The HoN team was released after a decision was made not to attend DreamHack Winter, causing the team to disband. CrunCher decided to continue his studies in college which caused him to go inactive in the StarCraft scene.
It was also announced that compLexity became the official sponsor of one of the largest gaming events in the world, Devastation. Along with the success and growing fan support of compLexity, a video entitled “We Are compLexity” was released to show all of the newer fans what compLexity was and continues to be today.
November was one of the most successful months for compLexity in 2011. The StarCraft 2 team showed that they are a force to be reckoned with, both at MLG Providence and DreamHack Winter. To start off MLG Providence, the MLG Global Invitational was played. This is where coL.NaNiwa managed to take out two of the world’s best StarCraft players, IM’s Nestea and MVP to secure 1st place and $3,000 in prize money. After doing so well in the Invitational, NaNiwa was confident going into MLG Providence in the following days and was seemingly unstoppable. In the Semi Finals, it was NaNiwa vs DRG and Naniwa came out on top meaning DRG finished 3rd overall. Both NaNiwa and DRG performed excellently and finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. The following week, DRG and NaNiwa competed in DreamHack Winter 2011. With a team kill the first round, DRG defeated NaNiwa and advanced to the quarter finals, but fell to Puma in an extremely close best of three.
As for roster changes in November, compLexity signed Goswser, a graduate from the coL.Academy and Kevin “QXC” Riley, formerly of FXO. With the signing of Goswser, he would receive a gaming PC from OriginPC.
Although a slow month overall, with the off-season of eSports creeping its head in, December has seen some huge developments. So far in December, NaNiwa’s contract was sold to Quantic Gaming, releasing him from the organization. There has been one major placing by DRG in the Blizzard Cup where he placed second, falling to one of his rivals, MMA.
As we embark on the journey of another year, let us wish you and your family all the best in 2012.