For too many consecutive splits, the Counter Logic Gaming roster have been considered ‘too nice’ to do what is necessary to get their hands back on the NA LCS trophy. That assumption is set to chance in the 2017 Summer Split.
The era of Counter Logic Gaming’s ‘friendship team’ is over. The team has added a necessary spice to the boiling pot for the summer, wishing farewell to long-term member Jake “Xmithie” Puchero, in exchange for the raw, cutthroat talent of Immortals’ Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett.
The roster marked the team’s first roster swap in over a year, tearing away a piece of the close-knit core that had become so synonymous with CLG brand.
The theory behind the CLG roster was that the source of the team’s strength was the sum of their parts, unified through their macro play and behind the shotcalling of their team captain and support, Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black.
The team enjoyed immediate success following Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng’s treacherous move to Team SoloMid, winning the 2016 Spring Split and placing second at the Mid-Season Invitational. The ‘friendship team’ had proven that superior coordination and level-headed communication could overcome individual weaknesses.
The endearing nickname would soon become ammunition for critique however, the team’s consecutive disappointing splits sandwiched failure to advance from the group stages at the 2016 World Championship.
The arrival of Dardoch has buried any lingering preconceptions surrounding Counter Logic Gaming’s NA LCS ambitions. Infamous for his ‘no holds barred’ approach to teammate relationships, the CLG team have put the fox amongst the chickens with their latest signing:
“Josh is the youngest member on our team, both in how long he’s been on a pro team and his age so he definitely has more issues in being able to gel with the team.
“He has a lot of skill and above everything he’s so motivated, not only in improving his play but improving his mindset. Even though it can be difficult sometimes we’re always headed in the right direction.
“We have not set CLG as a brand: ‘We’re here to compete, we’re here to be the best, and that is all we’re here to do.’
Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaha
Despite suffering defeat at the hands of Xmithie’s new Immortals lineup, Counter Logic Gaming bounced back to defeat Team EnVyUs and sure up their 2nd place standing.
“In other teams they hardcore beat around the bush, because they don’t want to hurt my feelings, they’re scared I’m going to yell at them – nobody gives a shit on this team because they all take criticism well.”
Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett
Counter Logic Gaming’s ambitions have been clearly outlined for the Summer Split: success is the overarching aim and any pre-existing niceties can be thrown out of the window.