Hrant “Flakes” Yakoub sure came out of nowhere huh?
The latest success story of John “Johnnyboi_i” McDonald’s showmatches is now a member of the Rocket League Championship series. He’s probably one of the five best 1v1 players in the world. Flakes carried Complexity through the Rival Series, DreamHack top eights and is a top tier Rocket League Twitch streamer.
Does any of that matter? Will his skills translate seamlessly to the most competitive car soccer league in the world?
This is Best Case/Worst Case, a Game Haus preview series profiling each Rocket League Championship Series team. With the season just over a month away, now is the perfect time to project each team’s ceiling and floor looking ahead to Season 8.
The fifth preview hones in on the Dallas Cowboys’ newest pet project: Complexity Gaming.
Season 7 Results: 2nd place in RLRS (4-3, 15-10). Beat The Bricks and Veloce Esports to gain promotion.
Off-season Movement: There was a bit of a “Flakes is unhappy and may be leaving” scare, but it seems that they’ve weathered the storm.
Off-season Performance: 5-8th DreamHack: Dallas. 3-4th DreamHack: Valencia. 7th-8th DreamHack: Montreal Closed Qualifier.
Team Stats (Rival Series): 2.20 GPG (2nd), 1.76 GPG (1st), 4.48 SAPG (4th), 1.72 GAPG (5th)
Team MVP: Flakes
Realistic Team Goal: Make LAN
Background and Team History
Joonas “Mognus” Salo and Marius “gReazymeister” Ranheim sure got the better end of the Linus “al0t” Mollergren deal. While al0t tried to keep Mouz afloat, they styled on RLRS teams with Flakes.
It’s hard to talk about Complexity without referencing how close they came to missing out on top two. ARG were 4-2 heading into their last match against bottom dwellers ZeNoMoon, but got shut out in games four and five and lost. Complexity needed two 3-1 wins to promote, and they did so with ease. Big oof for ARG there.
Complexity are now members of the Allegiance Rocket League Yo-yo Academy as they dropped and promoted in consecutive seasons a la Allegiance in Seasons 4-6. Hopefully Complexity won’t get relegated and subsequently disband as an org.
This team is really fun. Mognus is still an excellent distributor. Greazy stills plays a gnarly third man. Flakes is a very creative difference maker who specializes in dribbling. They have a Team Reciprocity/TSM-style team build, and it should work nicely.
Defense was an issue for CoL last season. Giving up 1.72 in the Rival Series isn’t great, and some of the half-chances that bounced wide won’t be so errant in the RLCS.
Complexity is a legacy org who has been in Rocket League for a long time. They’ve made Grand Finals and were the strangest team in the game with al0t’s cherry picking style. Mognus is the last connection to that past and he’ll be key in building the team’s future.
Mognus drifted away from the spotlight after Complexity were relegated in Season 6. That team just could not find a way to score and finished last in GPG. Flakes remedies that with his own creativity and his shooting ability makes his team better.
That is massive for Mognus. He’s still among the best passers in the game and much prefers distributing to scoring on his own. If Mognus still has it, Complexity are going to score often.
Greazy got hit pretty hard because he was the one who replaced Otto “Metsanauris” Kaipiainen when they went from perennial LAN contenders to bottom dwellers. He deserved the flack, but his team wasn’t doing well either.
Mognus and al0t asked him to conform to their non-traditional playstyle, but it didn’t work. Then playing traditionally didn’t work. Flakes walked through the door, and all of a sudden Greazy was good again. Go figure.
If Complexity are going to compete for a LAN spot, then their defense has to improve. All three players were above average in SAPG in the RLRS, but they allowed 1.72 GPG. It’s hard to see them allowing less goals against better competition.
Their ideal scenario centers around Flakes. If he can continue to improve and skip around defenses, he’ll quickly develop into one of the best players in the world. He could stake his claim as one of the five players in the world and contend for MVP.
Complexity don’t need that to happen to make LAN, but they could make a deep run at the World Championship if he does. If they just want to make LAN they need to improve the defense and let Mognus run the show.
The point is that Flakes takes their ceiling higher, but Mognus is their most consistent player. Mognus has probably already played his best Rocket League at this point in his career, but Flakes still has room to improve. Hopefully he does.
It’s really easy to forget that Complexity was a Rival Series team last season. Their performance at DreamHack events has masked how close they were to playing Season 8 in the second tier.
It’s also easy to forget that Flakes was very vocal about upgrading at Greazy’s spot in the offseason. Mognus was obviously not on board. It’s easy to tell why.
When Mognus dropped Metsanauris for Greazy, the team went from World Championship contender to demotion. Could the trauma from their failed Season 6 campaign still hang over this team?
Flakes wouldn’t suggest trying out other players if he thought the team was fine as is. Maybe he was right all along and the team doesn’t have enough firepower to contend. Greazy doesn’t make a lot of saves and isn’t really a mechanically outlandish player. Is he the best available option?
Greazy is not incapable, but nearly all of his contemporaries have retired or can’t land with teams. He deserves credit for staying around as long as he has. Flakes’ skeptical eye may still watch his play.
They’re adults. They can surely move on from this, but after a few poor results things may surface behind in private discord servers. This is not to condemn Flakes or Greazy. It’s something that happened that can’t just be ignored.
Europe doesn’t really have a clear top tier after Renault Vitality which likely means that Complexity could get caught up in the shuffle at the bottom of the table. Who are the favorites to be relegated in EU? Veloce? Mousesports? Complexity? Someone has to finish at the bottom and Complexity aren’t exactly the favorites to win the league.
Complexity could be Spacestation or they could be Splyce. More experienced players could shut down Flakes’ attacks and leave Mognus and Greazy in tough positions.
TL;DR: Flakes is the future of this team, but Mognus is probably the key to their present. Can they overcome their offseason chemistry setback?
Featured image courtesy of @ZeeboDesigns on Twitter.
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