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CLG Recap: Week one LCS Spring Split 2020

Counter Logic Gaming, coming off a decently strong Summer Split performance, took a step backward in the first week of the League Championship Series 2020 Spring Split. After a disappointing 0-2 in matches, many are already signaling the demise of one of the oldest League of Legends organizations. Only two games into the 18 game season, is it time to panic? Here are three takeaways from CLG in week one.

DIGNITAS WITH FIVE NEW MEMBERS LOOKED MORE LIKE A COMPLETE TEAM THEN CLG WITH TWO NEW MEMBERS

CLG vs Dignitas
Although they look like a complete team in this anime-style drawing, CLG couldnt put the pieces together against a well coordinated Dignitas team. (Credit to Counter Logic Gaming)

When a team makes massive roster changes in the offseason, it is expected that those teams would take a little while to mesh together. Meaning that since CLG made changes to their Mid lane and Support, they would not be playing at their max potential in week one. However, the teams they played against, Flyquest and Dignitas, also made massive changes to their roster with the later fielding a team of five players who have never played together. 

In CLG’s match against Dignitas, CLG lacked decisiveness early on. At 9:44 into the game, the CLG squad squandered their early game advantage with a very questionable teamfight in the top lane where CLG’s new support, Andy “Smoothie” Ta, hesitated on an engage which led to four members of CLG overextending into a lost fight. 

Later in the game around the 23-minute mark, CLG decided to engage on the cloud drake objective. CLG looked like they were able to force Dignitas off the objective but a counter engage on the Dignitas side left CLG once again hesitating on what to do. Raymond “Wiggly” Griffin was the lone CLG member in the Dragon pit while the rest of the team tried to escape from the Dignitas roster. This left Wiggly to tank the Dragon and led to Dignitas taking the objective themselves as Wiggly was forced to escape the pit to avoid death.

Dignitas had no problem dismantling CLG even with a completely new roster. If Dignitas were able to mesh together as a team this early into the season, what is CLG’s excuse?

CLG DIDN’T CAPITALIZE ON THEIR CHAMPION PICKS

CLG recap week 1 ornn
The scoreboard very late into the game shows CLG with a level 15 Ornn only with three of the potential five upgraded items (Credit to Riot Games)

The other questionable moment for CLG in the Dignitas in this game was the lack of optimal use out of Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min’s top lane champion choice, Ornn. Facing a gold deficit throughout the game, CLG failed to get the maximum value of Ornn’s passive when it could have changed the tide of the game.

It is said that Ornn’s upgraded items are worth somewhere in the realm of 1k gold each. With Ornn being able to have a total of six upgraded items at level 16, that would mean that a 6k gold deficit would theoretically mean a tie game. For most of the game, CLG was behind essentially four to five thousand gold. It wasn’t until late into the game that the deficit grew. A theory behind the deficit growth could be that CLG never took advantage of Ornn’s passive.

At level 15, Ornn had only three upgraded items when he could have had five. CLG failed to capitalize on the Ornn pick when they refused to build items that took advantage of Ornn’s passive ability. Also the idea that CLG would have had to build sub-optimal items to take advantage of Ornn doesn’t apply here.

Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes on Senna built a Duskblade for the lethality stat it provides, however, Youmu’s Ghostblade also provides lethality and more of it when Ornn upgrades it. Altogether, not only is that 2k gold worth of item potential wasted, that’s also 2k gold worth of stats wasted. In a game where CLG came up just short of winning team fights multiple times, those extra stats and gold might of been the difference maker.

CLG’S NEW ADDITIONS DIDN’T HAVE THE BEST OF DEBUTS

Going into 2020, CLG made two big changes to their main roster. Lee “Crown” Min-ho replaced Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage and Smoothie replaced Vincent “Biofrost” Wang. CLG has said all offseason long that these changes were upgrades. However, they did not look like it in week one.

Crown, who just landed in NA less than a week before the start of the Spring Split, looked like he might have had a little bit of jet lag from his travels. In week one, he didn’t look like his former self at all. Against Dignitas, Crown and the rest of CLG had no answer to Dignitas Mid laner Henrik “Froggen” Hansen as his Viktor ended up being the main reason why CLG started off the Spring Split with a loss.

In game two against Flyquest, CLG got an early look at whether or not they made the right decision in the mid lane Crown went up against CLG’s former Mid laner, PowerOfEvil. Once again, Crown had no answer to PowerOfEvil. PowerOfEvil’s Rumble in the Mid lane was enough to keep CLG in check. Flyquest finished their first week 2-0 and gave CLG their second loss of the opening weekend.

Smoothie, CLG’s new support player, didn’t do much better. In-game one against Dignitas, Smoothie had some questionable engages and ults on Leona. Flyquest Support player Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun showed Smoothie how Leona should be played in game two.

In a masterful performance from the new star import, IgNar was always in the right place at the right time. He finished the game with a 1/0/14 KDA and earned “player of the game” honors.

Heading into week two

The shining light for CLG is that team morale seems to be high after the losses. Members of CLG took to social media to say that they look forward to improving week by week. If jet lag did impact Crown, then he should return in week two refreshed. 

One more thing benefiting CLG is that time is on their side. The Spring Split does not reward championship points this year. This means that when it comes to CLG’s goal to make it to the world championships, the Spring Split won’t have any direct influence on that. It’s definitely not time to panic yet. After all it’s only week one. 

 

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