floppy: "I think the main expectation is qualifying for Paris."

Reading time  ~11  mins

Hugo “TheSwedishJoker” Nilsson Meier, BLIX.GG: What do you think went wrong overall last year for you guys?

Ricky “floppy” Kemery: I think the qualifier for the second Major in Rio was definitely the worst part. We were all pretty much dead after that. We didn't really want to touch the game after playing that because it was obviously the first Major in Brazil and we wanted to qualify for it. So, that was probably the worst part of last year for sure.

BLIX: What made you pick hallzerk to come into the team? I assumed you were looking at quite a few options for the AWP role.

floppy: I think hallzerk… I've looked up to him since he was on Dignitas. Seeing him play in Europe, especially when I was on Cloud9, like two years ago, I always knew he was good. So, I think him being good and then having a good personality was a really good combination. When we tried him out, he was really fun to play with too.

BLIX: You were playing with ATK in 2019 and now you are with Complexity. What are the main differences between your time in ATK and your time in Complexity?

floppy: With us going from ATK to Cloud9, I think that Cloud9 dropping us and me moving on to the next team for the "Colossus", I think a lot of it is just more business because we like playing with each other but obviously we weren't winning enough for the team to remain on the roster. So, I think maybe if we performed a little better, we could have played together longer, but obviously, that didn't happen. So yeah.

BLIX: Did you have any other offers back then other than Cloud9?

floppy: No, it was just Cloud9, and I think some other MDL teams back then, but I wasn't really interested in playing MDL.

BLIX: How would you describe the whole Cloud9 period? It was a bit shaky, wasn’t it?

floppy: Yeah, with the "Colossus", I think it was kind of doomed from the start, but I think when we made our roster change after three months of the team and cutting our AWPer and then not getting another one, which obviously isn't like anyone's fault, we couldn't get anyone at the time, but it was definitely rough.

Like, having es3tag... well, first it was Alex trying to AWP and then we made es3tag try and AWP and then that's when Cloud9 dropped us because we weren't really doing that well. But yeah, it was a bit shaky for us back then.

BLIX: What were the expectations coming into it? Did you think “oh, yeah, this is going to be great” or were you kind of skeptical about the whole thing?

floppy: At first, I initially didn't want to join because I wanted to stick with the team but then I figured it would be better for my career to be playing with European players for the first time and living in Europe, and playing the game in the region that obviously more people play in so I can get better.

So, I think after putting some thought into it, I definitely wanted to play in Europe, and I did learn a lot from it, playing with those guys, because they have a lot of experience together. So, I think it was an overall good thing for me to do it.

BLIX: Then the whole COVID-19 pandemic came around and with them going out with salaries, do you think that those two things affected the team to the point where maybe we could say that things would have been different if that didn't happen?

floppy: Yeah, I think making the salaries public, if it's only one team, I think it's pretty bad because obviously everyone's just going to talk about that one team. But I think if everyone or if every team had their salaries, I don't think it'd be as big of a deal. For some people, it might get into their heads, like people just make fun of them on Reddit or in Twitch Chat or whatever, stuff like that. But for me, I didn't really care. But for COVID, it was pretty rough.

Like we could only boot camp in Serbia, and I was just living in my apartment in Serbia for a bit. Obviously, I want to move closer to somewhere like Germany or something because the ping is better too, for the online matches at the time. So, I think, yeah, COVID definitely didn't help us when we were trying to make a brand-new team together.

BLIX: Did you have any offers from other top-tier teams before Complexity?

floppy: Well, at the time we were on Extra Salt, and I mean, it was pretty obvious because Extra Salt is a new organization and Complexity has been around for so long. So, I think it was pretty much a no-brainer to join Complexity because they have facilities in Fresco, Texas, which are really nice. It's a really nice place to be and play at. So, yeah, I think joining is just a no-brainer.

BLIX: How do you think that FaNg has dealt with the environment change, coming to tier-one and competing at LAN events against the best teams?

floppy: I think initially he's probably a bit nervous, which is normal. I mean, if you haven't played against top teams on LAN before, then you're obviously going to feel a bit nervous. But I think over time he's got a bit better at that. As long as he's talking and performing his role, then that's fine, everything should be okay.

BLIX: You mentioned JT - you've played with him for quite some time. Has it made the transition to Complexity a little bit easier for you?

floppy: Yeah, I think playing with Johnny again has been fine because I've obviously known him for so long, so I know how he likes to call. So, it's really easy to adjust to compared to joining a brand-new team, building it from the ground up and learning how the IGL likes to call and stuff like that. So, yeah, I think all of it adds up, the little things add up, so I can play at my best knowing how he likes to call.

BLIX: Did you have high expectations for the Major and then when you failed, it just came crashing down?

floppy: Yeah, I think we expected to make it, especially after being up 2-0 beating Team One. And I forget what the other team... I don't remember who we played, to be honest. But yeah, we're up 2-0 and then we eventually just bombed out. It was sad. I think we should have beaten 00Nation. I think we choked a bit on Ancient from not clearing coldzera on top of the A main boost, like twice. We just screwed up. So, I think we definitely, in another timeline, should have made it.

BLIX: Are you guys practicing in Europe or are you practicing at your facilities in Texas?

floppy: Yeah, we're mainly in Europe but if we have some qualifier for, like, some BLAST online event or an RMR qualifier, we're definitely playing at the facility. So, it's mainly depending on if we have an event in whatever region. We prefer to practice in Europe just because the better teams are here.

BLIX: Do you find it difficult to be away from your family and friends in the United States, staying in Europe so often?

floppy: I think initially, yeah but I think I've gotten over it. It's not really something I think of. I'm just here to do my job.

BLIX: You were in Serbia with Cloud9 and now you’re in Europe mostly with Complexity. Has the culture shock kind of settled in and are you used to how things are here?

floppy: Yeah, it's definitely colder. It's definitely colder here in Europe. I think everything's a lot smaller here compared to America. But the one thing I actually love about Europe is, like, the stalls in America where you go to the toilet. There are actually rooms here compared to America. There's, like a little see-through in the door kind of thing. It's just, like, not private at all. That's probably my favorite thing about Europe right now. [laughs]

BLIX: How has the practice been coming into this event for you guys?

floppy: We boot camped for, like, a week now. We played, like, five scrims a day and the results have been kind of interesting in certain maps, but I think we're just getting back into it after the break, so it makes sense.

BLIX: Did you guys have a long break?

floppy: We had, like, four weeks. I think we had a bit of a long break.

BLIX: So, spending time home with family during Christmas and New Year?

floppy: Yeah, it was nice. It's definitely nice to have a bit of a break.

BLIX: That's nice. Do your parents see it more as a job now, maybe because parents nowadays are more accepting than back in the day?

floppy: Yeah. I think my parents recognize it as a job and every time I come home, my mom loves to see me and then she hates when I leave. So, they definitely both support me and my Counter-Strike journey. So, it's definitely important to have too.

BLIX: Do they watch your games?

floppy: When they can if they're not working, yeah.

BLIX: Do you get messages from them after the game, like, “well played, congratulations on the win.”

floppy: Yeah, they always look at HLTV results if they can't watch the stream.

BLIX: Have you guys talked about expectations coming into the new season?

floppy: I think the main expectation is qualifying for Paris. That's not the only thing but it's the main thing I've been thinking about. So as long as we try our best and perform at any other event, it should add up to the Major.

BLIX: You guys have Katowice close after BLAST. How do you prioritize between the events on what to show and what to not show?

floppy: It's not something I mainly think about, it's more like our coach and manager that thinks about stuff like that. But we like to try and play in everything because especially last year for BLAST, in the second season, we played the RMR qualifier and then we flew to Denmark and played BLAST the next day.

So, we would just be jet-lagged. So, it's just sometimes you just have to deal with it and just play through the jet lag or whatever. Sometimes we might have to skip an event, but yeah, it's not something I really think about all the time, it's more just my manager and staff.

BLIX: Would you say that the scheduling has gotten a little bit better within the team?

floppy: Yeah, we only missed one event last year and that's because we had COVID, it was Katowice, so we couldn’t show up.

BLIX: Do you feel like you have grown as a player and as a person during this period of the pandemic and everything?

floppy: Yeah, I think just, getting older you're obviously going to learn more as long as you choose to learn more from things you experience and mistakes you make. So, I think as long as I keep learning from my experiences and I hope I can grow as a person even further.

Here more of floppy's thoughts on the new update, the North American scene and more in part two of our interview at the BLAST Premier Spring Groups.

Feature Image: Copyright BLAST | [@jakhoward]

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