The Complexity of Complexity: An Interview with Swindlemelonzz

06:26 PM April 19, 2016

By: Julius “swarley” Tabios

After a long day of Ranked Matchmaking and scrims, Kyle “swindlemelonzz” Freedman breathes out a sigh of relief. His Dota 2 obligation is done for the day and he couldn’t be happier.  


Swindlemelonzz is a professional player and captain of North American organization Complexity (coL) Gaming’s Dota 2 team. He gets up from his fancy DXRacer chair and finally gets to stretch his legs after hours of mashing at the keyboard and clicking profusely with his mouse. His team is hard at work getting ready for their next LAN tournament.

ESL One Manila will take them on a roughly 20 hour flight halfway across the world to the islands of the Philippines. “If you wanna beat the best in Dota 2,” said swindlemelonzz, “You have to work your ass off.”


Asked what he knew about the Philippines, swindlemelonzz answered in a heartbeat: “Absolutely nothing, man. Well okay, I know it’s freaking hot. But that’s it.”

CompLexity’s preparation for ESL One Manila is going great. They’ve been doing a lot of scrims, 1v1 practice sessions, review sessions, pocket strategies and what not. “We also have to make sure we’re eating healthy, sleeping enough hours, maintaining good morale.” swindlemelonzz added.  “We’ve also been playing a lot of scrims against Evil Geniuses and Team Secret after the break. We also played against E.Wolves and Shazam among others. However we have yet to scrim against the new look DC (Digital Chaos). But generally we’re feeling good about the build-up.”

Kyle “Beef” Bautista, coL’s team manager, is closely monitoring the proceedings at the coL Gaming House in Florida. Beef has to keep them focused and in line during preparations and actual tournament propers. These young professional gamers aren’t immune to the many distractions that jump at them from every corner.

Evil Geniuses won’t be part of ESL One Manila. But swindlemelonzz strongly believes that their new roster, despite losing star players Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and Saahil “Universe” Arora who both departed for European Team Secret, will actually even be better. This shift in the NA Dota 2 doesn’t exactly make the road easier for compLexity in the long run. “Much like anything you do in life, you still have to keep working hard to become the best at it.”

If the players don’t work hard they are not going to do well. “Look at the Chinese collapse a lot of people are talking about. I think it was long overdue. Compare their players to the Western players. Clement “Puppey” Ivanov always tries to look for the best players to surround him. Same goes for ppd and Salehi “Kuroky” Takhasomi. Look at Zhang “xiao8” Ning, he just stops and goes on vacation and comes back when he feels like it.  Bai “rotk” Fan just shocks me. That guy is terribly underperforming at Dota yet he has an enormous ego and he still gets the best young talent around him. Look at TI4 Champions Newbee for example. Since they won they got cocky and stopped caring about the game. Hell, they lost at the Frankfurt Major to a Peruvian team! Enough said.”


compLexity Gaming was placed in Group A along with Team Liquid (Europe), Wings Gaming (China) and Mineski (Philippines) for the ESL One Manila Group stages. Swindlemelonzz is feeling pretty good about the group his team is in. “ESL fortunately put us in a group that have teams we have already beaten in LANs. We beat Wings at Starladder. We’ve beaten Mineski at MDL (MarsTV Dota 2 League). And I feel that Team Liquid will be very beatable.” The top 2 teams from each group will advance to the Semifinals.  

swindlemelonzz says he would love to beat Team Secret. “ Naturally, I think everyone wants to beat those guys. They are the biggest challenge at ESL. Fnatic is also going to be tough competition. They have been absolutely insane lately even without Chai Yee “Mushi” Fung. I think Djardel “DJ” Mampusti is the best Filipino player right now also. He works as hard as anybody which I respect.”

compLexity Gaming’s most recent LAN win was at the Dota 2 Canada Cup earlier this year and recently also secured their spot at the ESL One Frankfurt LAN. “We just wanna win at Dota 2. We want to be at TI. Nobody likes to lose. We are coming to ESL One Manila looking to win. Nobody goes to a LAN hoping to get 2nd or something.”

Tomorrow is another day of Dota 2 for Kyle Freedman. More hours in playing a game that he treats as his job. More hours trying to improve in the many facets of this dense game. compLexity Gaming like any other team going into a LAN will be hoping to take home the gold and the +25 MMR. And maybe enjoy some balut ( boiled duck embryo, a classic Filipino street food) after.


Images taken from Complexity Gaming’s Facebook page

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