Just a few hours before the start of IEM Dallas 2023, one of the local teams, Complexity Gaming, suffered a painful blow after announcing that their star AWPer Håkon “hallzerk” Fjærli, would not be able to attend the event due to visa issues. However, team fans need not worry, as an extremely experienced player, the legendary IGL, Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek, will be filling in.
Admittedly, this is tough news for the team, as they will have to adapt to Sonic’s style of play on the fly, as there is no preparation time. However, the experience of this veteran player could be critical to the team’s aspirations to do well in this home event.
Sonic joins Complexity Gaming for IEM Dallas 2023
Sonic announced through a video on his Twitter account that he would be playing as a substitute with Complexity at IEM Dallas 2023 replacing hallzerk.
— Sonic (@Sonic_cs) May 28, 2023
As we reported several days ago, Graham “messy” Pitt, the team manager of Complexity Gaming, announced that hallzerk was having problems with his visa and was likely to miss IEM Dallas. Now, with Sonic’s Tweet, this is fully confirmed, and now COL will have to make do in this tournament without their star AWPer.
Hallzerk and his visa problems
The 22-year-old Norwegian has had different problems in recent months getting the visa that allows him to arrive at tournaments held in North America. In April 2023, the player had trouble getting a visa to play in the RMR Americas for the Paris Major in Monterrey, Mexico. However, thanks to an emergency exception requested, the player was able to attend the event.
For the IEM Dallas 2023, the U.S. government did not allow this exception and did not grant the Norwegian player a visa to participate in this tournament. These moves come just hours before Complexity is scheduled to play its first tournament match against ENCE.
Sonic is an experienced South African player who is no stranger to some Complexity Gaming staff. Sonic, along with Tiaan “T.c” Coertzen (Head Coach) and Johnny “JT” Theodosiou, decided to jump the pond from South Africa to NA playing for Bravado Gaming in 2018.
This team made a big impact on the NA scene, as in their first year, they managed to reach the grand final of DreamHack Winter. Then, the team went on to win the DreamHack Mumbai Invitational Champions trophy.
After that, the South African AWPer was part of the squads of ATK, Team Envy, and Cloud9, where he won numerous matches in LAN and online events, especially in the 2021 season. However, in 2022, the player decided to retire as a professional player to focus on content creation.
A few months later, we could see Sonic playing different online tournaments in the ESEA South Africa Cash Cups until he decided to return to NA to play with Complexity in IEM Dallas 2023.
Header: Stephanie Lindgren | DreamHack