It’s a sad reflection of the reputation Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett has established for himself, when he is compelled to dispel rumours of internal conflict the moment he begins to share stage time.
Returning to the NA LCS after a mid-split break for Rift Rivals, Counter Logic Gaming were hoping to pick up where they had left off. Frontrunners in the race for first place and a first round playoffs bye, CLG has added another weapon to its arsenal in rookie jungler Omar “OmarGod” Amin.
With the roster having established an opening game lead in their series against FlyQuest eSports – a game in which Dardoch provided a stable performance on Gragas – Counter Logic Gaming handed the reins of the jungle over to rookie OmarGod as Dardoch took a seat in the stands.
OmarGod would produce a promising performance on his NA LCS debut, notching a scoreline of 5/0/13 on Olaf as he tore through FlyQuest to secure the series for CLG.
First game on stage today. I felt really nervous, but I'm glad I was able to perform for the team. Excited for future games ??
— CLG OmarGod (@omargod) July 15, 2017
Though the emphasis should have been on the rookie’s breakthrough performance, the spotlight remained fixed upon Dardoch, who felt forced to defend his position on the team.
Dardoch has shown signs of star potential throughout his short career, including leading the NA LCS in MVP accolades for the 2017 Spring Split.
Too often however, maturity issues and internal problems have plagued Dardoch’s career, resulting in the jungler being traded from two teams in less than a year, despite his obvious talent.
Dardoch took to social media after Counter Logic Gaming’s win to congratulate his teammate and to suppress any rumours of unrest within the camp.
— Joshua Hartnett (@Dardochlol) July 14, 2017
The role sharing setup put in place for Dardoch and OmarGod initially appeared to be an effective strategy for CLG, who sought to employ the same system once more as the team faced a resurgent Team Dignitas.
In theory, employing subs in the jungle role can provide teams with a significant advantage. As seen during the FlyQuest series, CLG effectively utilised Dardoch’s known ability on Gragas, before switching to OmarGod’s aggressive carry style on Olaf.
Against Team Dignitas however, the introduction of OmarGod for Game 2 failed to have the desired effect. After failing to find success using Dardoch’s Gragas in Game 1, curiously CLG drafted a near identical composition, falling short with OmarGod playing the very same jungle champion.
Dardoch may well be accommodating of Counter Logic Gaming’s ambitions for a fully-operational six-man roster, but his attitude towards sharing the jungle role with OmarGod may shift if the team do not continue to deliver results.
The former Team Liquid and Immortals man has reiterated time and time again that reaching the World Championship is his primary ambition: a strategy that aids that goal will be welcomed, anything that hinders it will likely receive the same level of negativity experienced by his previous employers.