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Published: May 29, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov


  • Complexity’s AWPer Håkon “hallzerk” Fjærli failed to obtain a visa for the CS:GO event
  • Complexity called South African legend Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek as a substitute
  • The player already has a lot of experience playing with some members of the org’s roster

Many international players have had visa issues, hindering them from attending the IEM Dallas 2023, and Complexity’s AWPer hallzerk unfortunately did not escape from that trend.

Sonic to Substitute Hallzerk

We have finally started the Intel Extreme Masters Dallas 2023 and teams are making some last-minute preparations before their debut in the event. But while some are busy training hard, others have troubles with their rosters. This included Complexity, who had to make an unexpected team change due to problems with travel papers.

Håkon “hallzerk” Fjærli, the organization’s star AWPer and a huge standout over the past three months, was unable to obtain a visa for the event hosted in the USA. The team’s manager Graham “messioso” Pitt, already mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the player is having some difficulties getting the necessary papers, which might hinder him from attending the Dallas event. Unfortunately, these predictions came true, forcing the organization to look for a substitute.

The 22-year-old player had similar issues ahead of the BLAST Paris Major American RMR in April, but an emergency exemption permitted the Norwegian sniper to attend the event. However, no such exemptions were made for next week’s Dallas tournament.

Complexity found a suitable substitute for hallzerk at the last moment, announcing late yesterday that South African legend Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek will take over the role of AVPer for the event. This marks a reunion of the 24-year-old player with Complexity’s roster. 

The player had previously left his home in South Africa and moved to the U.S. with Bravado in January 2018 together with captain Johnny “JT” Theodosiou and coach Tiaan “T.c” Coertzen. The squad started from scratch in North America, ultimately working their way up to a LAN final against ENCE at DreamHack Winter and a victory at DreamHack Mumbai Invitational to wrap up the calendar year. Sonic, alongside JT and T.c, competed for the likes of EnVyUs, Cloud9, and Extra Salt, over the following years.

Although Sonic opted to step away from professional competition in 2022, he could not go away from CS:GO completely. He participated in various ESEA South Africa Cash Cups throughout 2022 and 2023, before returning to the U.S. in May this year, which allowed him to substitute for the team.

Complexity is not the only organization that’s had visa troubles for the IEM Dallas 2023. If anything, they’ve had it easy, as other teams were unable to even attend the event. Such is the case with Virtus.Pro whom will be replaced by Fnatic, due to the whole former squad being unable to obtain the needed papers for attending the tournament.

This problem stretches to other events that are hosted in the USA, including the upcoming BLAST Spring Finals, where Complexity themselves will be replacing NaVi, who also failed to get visas. It’s currently unknown if hallzerk will be able to participate in that tournament, or if Sonic will once again have to substitute him.

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