The past two weeks have been rather eventful for UK CSGO. Firstly, the young prodigy Owen “smooya” Butterfield and his team placed second at ESL One Cologne, and then Rory “dephh” Jackson qualified for the main Major Qualifier in London later this year by helping his team, Complexity, become champions of the FaceIT Americas Minor.
This achievement means the UK will not only be able to experience watching one UK player at the first UK Major, something which has never happened before as a UK player has never qualified, but they’ll be able to watch two: smooya and dephh.
dephh joined the well-known US organisation Complexity in 2016, which has been operating within the Counter-Strike franchise since its founding in 2003.
During his ongoing tenure, dephh has contributed to Complexity’s presence in the biggest circuited leagues Counter-Strike has to offer, including ESL Pro League and ECS, but Complexity has struggled to make an impact on LAN.
This has all changed though, as qualifying to the next stage of the London Major and doing it in such an impressive fashion is something that will be welcomed over in the Complexity camp. The win is especially rewarding since they’re the organisation who’ve been trying to change the conventional business model in esports by investing in players rather than simply replacing them. Perhaps this success could be proof of method.
Going into the Minor, Complexity were matched up in a group with the Brazilian line-up Furia, American line-up Team Dignitas and group favourites, Rogue. In a group such as theirs, Complexity were expected to make playoffs but, as they weren’t the favourites, the final will have felt like a long shot and so the priority would have been to focus on one game at time.
However, Complexity played the group stage with ease in some match-ups and won enough games to comfortably proceed to the playoffs.
What an incredible day it has been. Not only did we qualify for the Major, we also won the Minor! As you can see from their reactions, the team was and still is beyond excited about their wins today.
In the semi-finals, dephh helped Complexity beat the favourites NRG in a best-of-three series. Despite NRG’s outstanding talent, Complexity took the win and dephh himself produced a stand-out performance, ending the series with the highest rating on his team.
When it came to the upper-bracket finals however, things went South as Rogue, who beat Complexity earlier on in the group stage, managed to defeat Complexity yet again. With a spot in the main Major Qualifier and the opportunity to have in-game stickers at stake, the pressure was on and Complexity proceeded into the lower-bracket final. With a 2-0 victory, they managed to beat eUnited, and dephh ended with a 1.08 rating.
Whilst by this point in the narrative Complexity had already secured their place in the Major, an extra $15,000 and a whole lot of pride was on the line going into the grand final.
Complexity went into the grand final against Rogue, whose squad includes Major veteran Spencer “Hiko” Martin and Aussie legend Ricardo “Rickeh” Mulholland. Unexpectedly, Complexity won the final 2-0 and dephh had another stand-out performance, top-fragging with a 43:28 K:D ratio which was, by far and away, the highest rating in the server with an outstanding 1.42 rated performance.
HLTV picked dephh to be their Player of the Match for the final and he has since appeared on the site’s Player of the Week section under the ‘Opening kills’ leaderboard.
So proud of the boys, feels so good finally having some success. Reset now and prepare for the major. Thanks for all the kind messages, it means a lot. ?
— dephh (@dephh_csgo) July 11, 2018
Although both smooya and dephh will have to progress through the Challenger section of the Major to reach the final 16 in September, the recent performances from both UK talents are promising. Perhaps CS can come home this year – even if football can’t.
Jamie has been following competitive Counter-Strike for roughly four years and has fallen in love with esports ever since, slowly branching out into other titles and learning more about the industry. He has recently started an esports degree in London.
“I started playing CSGO when I first got my own PC and haven’t really stopped ever since," he said. "After playing more competitively I opened my eyes to esports and have been doing my best to learn as much as possible about both the competitive side within CSGO and the business side across the industry as a whole.
"Much of my work so far has consisted of interviews, however I hope to branch out in the future and write more content about Counter-Strike."