With playoffs around the corner, teams sought out goals of playing on the world stage throughout their individual narratives. This summer, the reigning champions, and MSI finalists CLG appeared to be on the cusp of destruction, as they drop games to teams like TSM, Immortals, and even Apex. As CLG faltered, fingers began to point at CLG’s individual performance, and the questions of individual talent rose once again. CLG’s top laner, Darshan constantly going for aggressive overexertion and tower dives, Huhi’s blunders on mid centric champions such as azir, and mid game throws began to plague the team. It was soon after their performances, that the social media community began to write them off completely despite of their past success, and their reign of “over performance” has come to an end. However, CLG seems to disagree. From pick/bans to split push, their mantra remains the same and they proceed to play their own unhindered style, and for some reason, their disposition as a team teases the notion that they could beat any team and win the entire summer split.
The Mid Lane Pick and Bans
Despite growing resentment from fans, and constant bashing from the underbelly, one of the more controversial calls this season has to be CLG’s reliance on Huhi to play Azir. It is hard to argue against the meme at this point of the season. Ignoring past performances on this champion, Huhi has compiled a KDA of 1.3 on this champion, out of six games (two wins and four losses) throughout this split. To place this in perspective, Pheonix 1 Pirean having the same amount of games on Azir, has a 3.9 KDA ratio while having one more win with the champion (three wins and three losses). Numbers do not always tell the tale, but in this case, it clearly reveals alarming conclusions with playoff teams ready to square off. The underwhelming performances on Azir have been against the league’s top teams, above them on the standings. (C9, IMT, and TSM). This could prove to be a huge hindrance when competition will only increase when teams raise their performance towards the end of the split and world stage. Despite all of these factors, CLG still locks in Azir, without any hesitation in some cases.
Top Lane Troubles
Darshan has taken every step and breath he could to split push and apply top lane pressure whenever he can. It has happened since he stepped onto the rift on GGU (Good Game University) in season three. He has had his highlights; however, his falters could be quite heavy and overbearing within the game in certain situations. A plus for Darshan; however, is that he is surprisingly the most unpredictable Top Laner when it comes to champion pool. Darshan is willing to play Jax into many match-ups, and is even willing to play Fiora, post-nerf, a champion most top laners abandoned right after fiora became less popular. Within the trio of top laners: Huni, Hauntzer, and Darshan, they all share a component in their play-style. They are willing to be apply constant pressure to the point of literal death, which most of the time leads to them giving away gold and kills. The only difference up to this point of season, is that CLG are unable to maintain pressure on other points on the map, or coordinate the right ganks efficiently. Bjergsen and Svenskeren seem to know exactly where the enemy jungler is at all times before fifteen minutes, and push accordingly. Against top teams, CLG sacrifice more than their opponents when making these kill trades, and at some points, not getting the kill trades at all.
These problems are in it’s most apparent form up until this point. CLG seems to lack mechanical ability, and Darshan seems to tilt if he dies under tower. However, CLG still remains to play the same style. The spring split has proven that they are able to coordinate the draft phase and early game strategies to lead victories. They have proven to team fight at an exceptional level, and on the world stage. Unlike the public, CLG has not forgotten their success and formula. Appeasing to meme’s and social media outbursts did not land them first place during the spring split, nor the finals at MSI. CLG currently rest at 7-7 in the split, learning from their mistakes, and slowly regaining their strategic prowess, taking a game off Immortals, and outright beating Cloud 9, two teams already in playoff contention. Counter Logic Gaming has embodied their actual team name. Regardless of the team, or stage they play on, CLG will always play their own unrestrained way, with one hundred percent confidence.
Written by Nduka Bandicoot
Edited by Williaf
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