CLG Roster Changes: Nien Steps Down
Team Featured by sayocean 3 months ago

Today, CLG regrettably announces Zach “Nien” Malhas’ decision to step down from his role as the team’s starting top laner. In conversation with team management yesterday, Nien expressed that he is not satisfied with his own performance, feels he is holding the team back, and does not presently feel he is deserving of a starting position on the team. He also noted that the community’s intense criticism of his play and general attacks towards him had become increasingly taxing mentally, and damaging to his confidence as a player over time. On top of this, he has had some family matters arise which he feels the need to be able to dedicate more time and attention to. He will be leaving the house and returning home to focus on improving himself individually as a player and spending more time with his family.

For more insight into his decision, you can see Nien’s interview with Travis of onGamers here.

Nien has agreed to stay on the roster as a sub and is open to returning to the starting role in the future if the team cannot find a suitable replacement. CLG now begins its search for a new starter in preparations for the LCS NA Summer Split and World Championships. The team is looking for a career top laner to replace Nien, but has also discussed the possibility of moving Link to top lane and replacing him with a proven, exceptional mid lane talent.

To learn more about the team’s approach moving forward, check out Travis' interview with the team captain, Peter "Doublelift" Peng, here at onGamers.

CLG would like to thank Nien for his time with the team as a starter. He has shown a remarkable attitude and desire to improve himself as a player. He has been fundamental in the team’s improvement over the Spring Split and CLG’s return to competitive prominence in North America. Most importantly he is a great friend. We respect his decision and will continue to support him moving forward. We hope to see him regain his confidence and return to LCS soon.   

Comments

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Luuda 2 months, 1 week ago
Nien was a hard one for me. I was really hyped on him when he was first announced on the team. Who didn't think he was going to be the answer for CLG during that game of the year vs TSM as Elise. Not sure what happened but he never lived up to his potential. He wasn't a dissapointment, just thought he would be the best in NA and it never worked out that way.
MTaur 3 months ago
Burnout really sucks. I've been there, and am still recovering. I thought Nien was doing his part to keep CLG a tier 1.5 team in the LCS, even if he wasn't the Bjergsen of top lane. I'd love to see a comeback, but good luck in whatever he decides to do in the end.
MTaur 3 months ago
...also, I made an account just to weigh in on this.
yuyukoXdevil 3 months ago
Well I dont say what for this .good guy and good player is not the same thing , I Know he want to be more stronger to carry the team. If want Clg be the strong team at short time,That Absolutely is a best way. I hope he can be stronger and thencome back because he is a nice player that i see
yyyy0706 3 months ago
Nien's performance is greatly related to other laners' performance. This problem was extremely obvious in the playoff matches against TSM. When Link had ZERO lane pressure, Bjergsen just ROAMed top freely to gank Nien, the jungle area leading to top lane near the wraiths wasn't warded at all and I even doubted Link had informed the team that Bjerg was missing. Look back in the days when Nien initially joined CLG in the 2013 split, Nien even carried the team by picking carry-role top lane champs like Jayce. But in the middle of the season, it seems Nien was told or even "forced" to play tanky champ with "FULL TANK and ZERO DAMAGE BUILD" to execute the "PROTECT DOUBLELIFT" strategy.
counterclockwise gamer 3 months ago
Cont'd: However, I firmly believe that CLG can't really keep handicapping themselves to give one person a comfortable early game, as they tried doing all season. Nien knows that, as I knew that back in my team. He took one for the team, and that's an MVP move in my book. Cheers to you, Nien. I'll still be regularly watching your Elise go to town on TSM in that CLG vs TSM game.
physiQQ 3 months ago
The reason that Nien steps down from the team is really not valid in my eyes. He is not bad, he is actually very good. Since everyone calls him bad I am really focussing on his gameplay, and the improvements I've noticed are so insane. This guy has potential to become the best top laner if he keeps playing in CLG. If he leaves, he throws that chance away, gives CLG a hard time and probably will not ever get into LCS again. My favorite game of Nien I remember is this game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRGn9aghJWk Awesome gameplay and that shows how good he is. ZionSpartan is definitely not a bad top laner.
counterclockwise gamer 3 months ago
Actually, they are. I have been on a semipro gaming team, and I got international recognition in that certain MOBA. The changing meta is a really big problem for people who can't adjust. Nien is in a very similar place right now. His laning on and against these toplaners just isnt cutting it, and he knows it. Most of us saw his when he knew his team was opting him for a Trundle into Dyrus' Renekton, without hinting at a laneswap. Hell, anyone would've reacted the same way. He's an amazing player, and the proof to that is his ability to pull off everything he needs to in teamfights.
DavidGmoney 3 months ago
Bring MakNooN to CLG!! MonteCristo has them Korean connections make something happen.
Blackhawk49 3 months ago
Or you conivince Nien to come back, that would be even better.
Blackhawk49 3 months ago
Just an idea: Take HotshotGG, put him top and let Link in mid --> GG
Cart0N 3 months ago
CLG MakNooN plz