A little less than a year ago, Counter Logic Gaming was nearly relegated out of the League of Legends Championship Series. Down 0-2 to Curse Academy, it took a reverse sweep to ensure CLG's place in this year's LCS. Peter "Doublelift" Peng told his team, "Whatever you were doing, whatever we've been practicing… just do it. Don't even hesitate." There was relief, joy, and a sense of disconnect from the world on the faces of the players as they took down Curse Acadey's nexus for the third time in a row. It was one of the hardest splits for the team amidst conflict, communication issues, and a sharp drop off in performance. In that frame of time, the players could leave it all behind and share a moment of peace together.
But things still had to change.
The team brought on Darshan "ZionSpartan" Upadhyaya to replace Woo-yeong "Seraph" Shin in the top lane and Jake "Xmithie" Puchero to replace Marcel "Dexter" Feldkamp in the jungle. The team also hired William "Scarra" Li as the new head coach. There was a focus on improving communication and efficiency in scrimmages.
CLG came off to a strong start in the 2015 Spring Split, defying many expectations of a weakened team due to the results of IEM Cologne. It looked very reminscent of the previous Spring Split where CLG would take early leads and snowball them into victories. Unfortunately, the team did not adapt as well as other teams to patch changes as the meta changed towards a late-game teamfight oriented game. Come playoffs and it ended in another 0-3 loss to Team Liquid.
This Summer Split became even more competitive due to off-season changes and making it to Worlds will be a difficult task due to the team's lack of Championship Points. The team has to either win the Summer Split or place highly and win during Regionals. But the outlook isn't bleak just because the competition is higher. All it means is that it will take more effort from the players and the staff to take iterative steps to the final goal: being the best team in the world. That's the goal of any team and of any player that has any sort of drive. While teams should never lose sight of that goal, they also have to look at the weaknesses in front of them - fixing things one step at a time.
Zionspartan, Xmithie, Doublelift, Aphromoo, as well as our newcomers Pobelter and Huhi have been practicing hard since MSI. It will take time to work things out, especially with Huhi still needing a visa and missing out on the ability for in-house practice with the team. But with Coach Ehrenreich and Gray, in addition to more analysts to help the team play the game with a strong analytical foundation, the team hopes to finish strong by the end of the split.
It has been a long year since the last Summer Split and CLG would like to thank all its fans for supporting the team through and through. CLG fans really are the best and most loyal fans in eSports. In the next few months, CLG would like to give back and continually give back. Everything that you say on Twitter, Facebook, and /r/CLG is read - from uplifting supportive comments to sharp, but understandable critcism of the players and team. The changes won't happen all at once, but with an increase in staff, there will definitely be more of the content that you fans deserve in the future.
Thank you for all your support and have a great time watching CLG compete in this year's LCS Summer 2015. No heart attacks please!