Brazilian CS:GO coach Luis ‘peacemaker’ Tadeu reflected on his ill-fated stint with Complexity and spoke about his future in an interview with Dexerto.
It didn’t take long for peacemaker to realize the size of the task facing him on Complexity.
The Brazilian coach took charge of the ‘Juggernaut’ on July 23, inheriting a team in flux that had just brought in Patrick ‘es3tag’ Hansen to replace William ‘RUSH’ Wierzba.
— Complexity Gaming 🎄 (@Complexity) July 23, 2021
As the end of the player break neared and teams wrapped up preparations for the new season, es3tag declared his desire to win silverware in his new home. But just days later, Complexity were rocked by the news that star player Kristian ‘k0nfig’ Wienecke would miss several weeks of action after fracturing his wrist in a freak accident at an airport.
The loss of k0nfig, who was averaging a 1.13 HLTV rating in 2021, only exacerbated the existing problems within the team. In October, weeks after failing to qualify for PGL Major Stockholm, Complexity parted ways with Benjamin ‘blameF’ Bremer, k0nfig and Valentin ‘poizon’ Vasilev, while putting Justin ‘jks’ Savage and es3tag up for sale.
It was officially the end of the ambitious ‘Juggernaut’ project.
“I think that the perception that the team was falling apart is real, it really was falling apart,” peacemaker told Dexerto. “Before I joined, the team had several problems, things that were outside their control, like injuries, players being temporarily out of the roster, etc. It was no different at the end of the year.
“It is important to mention that k0nfig’s situation was a blow for us. We had our plans mapped out, he was a very important player for the team, playing a very important role, and the team really suffered from the loss of a player like him, a star player. We also had some problems with poizon that, out of respect for him, I won’t go into.
“Because of contractual reasons, the tournament calendar and our tournament commitments, it was not possible for us to add a player on a permanent basis just before the Major, when no team wants to lose a player or change their roster.
“It goes far beyond what the community wants in a CS team. There are many factors that make many of our wishes impossible and that are simply beyond our control.”
Peacemaker explained that when he joined Complexity, a cloud of uncertainty was already hanging over the team. With k0nfig, blameF and poizon all entering the final months of their contracts, there was no telling what the squad would like in 2022.
“That haunted the team in a way but we were not shaken,” he said. “We focused on performing and on the things we had to improve, but we knew that this situation would come up before the end of the year.
“We all believed in the project. That’s why we brought in es3tag, and our plan was to keep that team until the end of the year and assess things based on performance.”
Descent into chaos
Despite all the difficulties and challenges, peacemaker’s Complexity did enjoy some success at first. They reached the first round of the playoffs in ESL Pro League 14, losing out to eventual runners-up Vitality, and were two rounds away from qualifying for the BLAST Premier Fall Final.
IEM Fall, held in Stockholm, was a completely different story. Complexity were sent packing in the group stage with just one victory from five matches, even losing games to Sinners (Complexity were 1.40 favorites to win) and Movistar Riders (1.36 favorites). As the Major dream came to an end, the team hit a downward spiral that they couldn’t escape.
Again, peacemaker stressed, context is important to explain the team’s disintegration.
“At IEM Fall, we were very confident, but in that tournament some things happened, there were some internal problems,” he said. “After that, I felt that we were trying to fight for survival and trying to end the year on a positive note and in a more pleasant atmosphere because we imagined that we would not be sticking together for 2022.
“In the last two tournaments, we had a really big performance drop. We even made a change for IEM Winter and we withdrew from DreamHack at the end of the year because we knew there was no mood for us to stick together as a team.
“I really respect how the players conducted themselves during this period of uncertainty.”
Complexity’s bursts of quality under such difficult circumstances, albeit brief, help explain why peacemaker believes there are positives to take from his time at the helm of the ‘Juggernaut’.
“It’s obvious that my assessment cannot be positive, but the story would have been much different if we had managed to close out a few games and secured the spot at the BLAST Final, which was in our hands,” he said.
“The community and the people in the scene need to look at the big picture before passing judgment on what I do. In my opinion, given all the things that we went through, I think that it was not all negative. It’s just a shame that we did not qualify for some tournaments down to details.”
As he watched the ‘Juggernaut’ fall apart, peacemaker readied himself for the inevitable abuse and ridicule that would come his way.
In recent years, he has been held responsible for his teams’ failures more than he has for their successes. An often-repeated claim in the scene is that he generates hostility and eventually ruins the teams that he coaches despite several of his former players and colleagues coming out in his defense.
Been watching a lot of stuff about @peacemaker on twitter today, and I would just like to say he's a hard-working coach, who will put his heart and soul into any project. All the hate is severely unjustified..
— Patrick Hansen (@es3tag) December 2, 2021
To this day, the ‘troublemaker’ moniker is still stuck to him like glue.
“The criticism from the community, I take a lot of that with me, and I try to improve every day,” he said. “A lot of what people say isn’t true. As I recently tweeted, a lot of people want to spread negativity and hate on social media. I try to filter all that out and not let it affect me.
“I joined a team that had recurring problems, and a coach is not a miracle worker. The coach is there to help, and it’s a long-term job. In traditional sports, for example in football, it takes months, sometimes even years, for a coach’s work to yield results.
“I feel that esports are still far away from that, also because CS:GO coaches are still being treated differently. Only a few coaches have full support from the organization and the team, and are given time to work.
“That makes me upset, but it has nothing to do with the Complexity organization or anyone on the team. It’s just that the project ended up dying before I could really do my job and perhaps help the players a lot more. That makes me a bit frustrated because I really liked the players and I wanted things to work out, but I completely understand what happened, and I wish everyone the best of luck.”
Peacemaker knows all too well the perception he is fighting, so he stressed that he didn’t make any radical changes during his time with the team and that he worked in tandem with CEO Jason Lake and General Manager Graham Pitt.
“I didn’t have the power to make decisions,” he said. “Graham, Jason and I made decisions together, but the organization always had the final word.
“My job was to get to know the players and how they worked, and not make drastic changes. I 100 percent believed in the way blameF worked. I was more much more focused on the individual side of things, on getting to know the players and helping with preparation, than on changing drastically the way that we played or getting in conflict with the players or blameF specifically.
“If you look at the way that we played, some things did change, and we had some good results initially, but because of certain problems, our performance levels kept dropping. We tried to patch things up, but some things were outside of our control.”
Future and a dream
Peacemaker was released by Complexity on December 1, almost a month after the North American organization announced that their two remaining players, es3tag and jks, were on the market.
Thank you @peacemaker for all the hard work you've put in over the last few months.
— Complexity Gaming 🎄 (@Complexity) December 1, 2021
During that time, he held talks with the management over the direction in which the team should head. In the end, the two parties were no longer on the same page, with Complexity reportedly lining up a move for Copenhagen Flames’ squad, the surprise package of PGL Major Stockholm.
“Complexity is assembling another team, and we were no longer aligned,” peacemaker explained.
“That’s why what happened happened. I wish them lots of success and I have an excellent relationship with everyone. I really respect Jason, who treated me very well from the start.”
In late November, reports from The Enemy and Dexerto suggested that peacemaker is the red-hot favorite to take charge of the ‘Last Dance’, a moniker given to a new Brazilian team in the making headlined by two-time Major champions Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo, Fernando ‘fer’ Alvarenga and Lincoln ‘fnx’ Lau.
Questioned about his involvement in the project, peacemaker did little to hide that he would jump at the chance to coach such a team.
“I will continue coaching, this is what I love,” he said. “I have gained a lot of knowledge in the last few years and I still hope to pass that on.
“One of the things that I dream about is to coach a Brazilian team. I haven’t done that since 2016, and since then I have been trying to find the best version of myself. Helping a Brazilian team to reach the top is one of my goals.
“I haven’t had a lot of talks about the Last Dance yet, I was still under contract with Complexity. Now, I will sit down and evaluate my options.
“But I’m dreaming, and I think that Brazilians can start dreaming, too.”