For the first time since Spring Split Finals 2016, Counter Logic Gaming won a game versus TSM. From that series to now, CLG had an 0-15 record against them, making Sunday’s win a momentous one. CLG has a long way to go to revitalize an actual rivalry with TSM, but getting their first win in so long is a cherry on top of this promising split.
Last time CLG overcame TSM, Darshan, Xmithie, Huhi, Stixxay and Aphromoo were the line-up against Hauntzer, Svenskeren, Bjergsen, Doublelift and Yellowstar. The two squads duked it out on picks like Ekko, Bard, Nidalee and Graves until CLG finally secured the 3-2 victory. The power of Stixxay’s Caitlyn won out in the end, earning him Player of the Series. The win would qualify CLG to the 2016 Mid Season Invitational, but they would not beat TSM for a very long time.
Looking back, it feels like CLG slowly declined after winning that best-of-five in 2016. That Summer Split they finished fourth, losing 3-0 to TSM and 3-2 to Immortals in playoffs. In 2017, CLG finished fifth-sixth in Spring playoffs and third in Summer playoffs (the season with Dardoch and Omargod jungling). In 2018, they finished seventh and eighth in Spring and Summer, completely missing playoffs with Reignover, Biofrost and Wiggily joining. Finally, CLG finished seventh again last split, despite importing PowerOfEvil as mid and Weldon as head coach. The organization has not qualified for the League of Legends World Championship since 2016.
Hopefully this win over TSM will have the opposite effect. CLG have not looked this strong in a long time. Without Championship Points, qualifying for Worlds 2019 is a long shot. CLG would need to win the split, beating the likes of Team Liquid, Cloud9 and TSM. But, when making it into playoffs is the goal, sitting in first place over halfway in is a good start. From here, CLG could threaten to win it all. Even if they don’t, this win over TSM is a fantastic place to start the rise.