FIFA, it's a one-on-one game right?
Well, occasionally in the FIFA esports scene, players will team up to become the best in the world.
The recent FIFAe Club World Cup had a unique twist this year, with the pandemic splitting the tournament up into six localised zones.
All eyes were on defending champions Complexity gaming, but the pairing of Max "MaXe" Popov and Joksan "Joksan" Redona, pulled through and claimed yet another title.
Fresh from claiming their share of the $350,000 prize money, they sit in the FIFA101 chairs this week and reveal their secrets to success.
"The top tip to playing with a teammate is that you've got to trust them at all times," says Joksan.
"You're not playing by yourself ow, you're playing with your teammate for a team - so you've got to trust them."
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, MaXe and Joksan weren't able to show off their two on two skills but were still there for one another as a pair - even from their own bedrooms.
Joskan says: "Make sure they feel comfortable when playing, for example, I told MaXe I was going to run a different formation because it feels more comfortable, and he supported me.
"We need to talk to each other too, communication is key and be there for your teammate."
The biggest task playing FIFA, whatever format, is dealing with going down a goal early.
"When I'm winning and I’m playing with a lead, i’ll play really well," says MaXe.
"When you’re losing late in a game, or if you go down, that's where the challenging part is.
"You must remain confident and play the way you know how to play.
"Joksan experiences it too, and it’s probably the biggest thing for anyone who plays FIFA."
Having been a pair for almost two years now, and with two titles behind them, Complexity are the most feared duo in FIFA esports.
Although Rome wasn't built in day, there was a seemingly instant connection when MaXe and Joksan started playing together.
MaXe says: "Joksan was the major reason I ended up signing for Complexity. After my first year playing competitively, I was 16 years old, up and coming and I finished in the top three in North America.
"I played really well at the FIFAe World Cup Play-offs when Joksan was already an established top 10 player in the world on FIFA 19.
"He needed a teammate on Xbox in North America, and he pushed for me to get signed, so he's a major reason to why I even got a FIFAe Club World cup contract with Complexity.
"Then when it got to the event, we didn’t go in with crazy expectations in Milan (last year), because we knew how hard it would be, we weren’t playing the best we’ve ever played prior to the tournament.
"And then for some reason, something just clicked - our 2v2 was amazing and we had chemistry that’s just natural."
Handling the pressure
Of course, the Complexity duo had an advantage over the competition after their success last year.
MaXe says: "After winning in Milan, the hardest tournament we've ever played in, Playing this year we already know that the other guys is gonna win when it matters.
"That reduces a lot of pressure on yourself. Playing this year I knew Joksan was going to perform, I knew I was going to perform when it mattered, and we did."
Complexity didn't find things straight forward this year, however, after being pushed into the "losers bracket" in qualifying, but still managed to secure second spot in the qualifiers.
Again in the group stages, things weren't easy, with a win and two draws good enough to take them through the final.
Joskan says: "We remained confident because we started off well, and we trusted each other.
"The group stages were hard because everyone was so good - and it was harder playing online as internet connections are not always the best!
"We managed to pull through, we always trusted each other, and when we made it out of the groups I told MaXe, and I always tell him this - I don’t want to get second place."
They faced New York City Esports in the final, and that's where the pair flexed their muscles, taking a 9-3 victory - but it still relied on Joksan claiming a 3-0 win over Christopher "NYC Chris" Holly".
MaXe says: "Finishing second place is the worst place you can get in a tournament - it's impressive, you did really well but nobody cares about second place at the end of the day.
"So when you get to the final, you can’t be content with what you've done - you have to win. No one cares about who got second, who got third - they just care about who won the whole thing."
There's no rest for the wicked in the FIFA esports world, with FUT Champions points to play for every week, and always another tournament on the horizon.
Joksan says: "There’s still a lot to play for in the FIFA competitive season.
"For me, I’m going to try to continue winning the online tournaments that we have and try to do well in the Play-offs and try and make it into the Grand Final of the FIFAe World Cup.
"Just continue pushing and continue to do become a better player."
With just the FIFAe Club World Cup and FIFAe Nations the only competitions where players play as a team, the Complexity duo would like to see more team events on the FIFA circuit.
"Team events are the most fun part about FIFA for me," says MaXe.
Competing with a teammate can also be more stressful than being by yourself, because you don’t want to let them down, but sometimes it can also reduce stress as your teammate can step up when you need them to."