When TSM brought C9 low in the finals of the NALCS finals, CLG fans everywhere rejoiced. They would once again be able to see the likes of Darshan and Aphromoo play against the best the world had to offer, and to show that their team was still world class once again. Still, more people had worse things to say about CLG’s qualification for Worlds, claiming that they weren’t truly the third strongest team North America had to offer, a claim made seemingly more apparent by their prior loss to The Immortals. Still, regardless of how strong or weak the Immortals look (I’ll get back to you on that, actually) CLG made it, earning their spot with excellent performances through the entire season and powerful macro play throughout the majority of it as well.
However, if you’re a CLG fan, or even just a stalker of the League of Legends Subreddit, you’ve seen the cries of unfairness and claims that CLG will fall apart at Worlds, some users even using the infamous “Crash and Burn” meme to show how little faith they have in the team. In truth, CLG’s chances at the international tournament aren’t half as bad as people like to claim, to prove that, I’d like to look at the facts about how Worlds works. The World Championships are played on a single patch (6.18 this year), and CLG has always been a team that performed better when given time to optimize their strategy on a particular meta. Their worst times come from when the meta immediately gets shifted without time to coordinate and plan on how to play it. This was made most evident when the meta shifted from lane-swaps to standard lanes. CLG doesn’t have the most powerful laners, and without time to understand the intricacies behind it, they fell just short of third place in NA this split.
Why does that matter, right? Well, looking back at CLG’s results when given time to acclimate to something, they become an international and domestic powerhouse, it’s important to remember that this is the same roster that took second place at MSI, arguably without any superstars on their team. CLG becomes a good metaphor for Batman (New 52 and Forward) under optimal conditions. With both time and preparation, they can bring down even the mightiest of foes, but without it they get their back broken, or get lost in Gotham’s gutters and slowly die.
All that said, Counter Logic Gaming has both the time and preparation, with three weeks off to scrimmage against the best teams in the World (They have scrimmed at least G2 as Zven confirmed) and some good solo queue results out of the team with Darshan being the second western pro to hit Korean Master Tier at the boot camp and Huhi only the fifth, CLG is in prime position to not only good out of Groups, but to make a solid run at Worlds this year.
You can tune in to watch CLG play the first match of the World Championships at 7:30PM EST on Thursday, September 29th!