IEM San Jose [ Tournament Schedule and Info ]
It's going to be an eventful weekend as both our League of Legends team and CS:GO team will be battling it out against other international teams! Follow us on Twitter for updates on upcoming matches and results, we'll help you keep track of all the games going on this weekend. You can watch all the games over at Twitch.tv.
Testing the Waters
Almost a full month has passed since the end of the League of Legends World Championships and the team has undergone some roster changes. This weekend will be a good measuring stick for them to figure out the team dynamics and learn about their strengths and weaknesses in their first LAN since Worlds. Fans can expect to see the familiar faces of our core of Xmithie, ZionSpartan, and Aphromoo. As announced a couple weeks ago, Huhi will be our starting mid-laner for the upcoming split. Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes, a promising player in the Challenger scene and member of CLG Black, will join us as our AD carry for IEM San Jose.
The tournament starts right into the bracket stage where we face off against the Unicorns of Love. Like the CLG team, UOL recently underwent roster changes with Gilius at the jungle, Fox in the mid lane, and Steeelback as their new AD carry. It's an uncertain matchup in an older meta. Preparation will be difficult as neither team can really scout how the other will play with different rosters. It all comes down to which team managed to figure out their team dynamics and identity faster in the short time both teams had.
Should CLG defeat UOL, they have the Jin Air Green Wings waiting in the semi-finals. Although Jin Air had a relatively disappointing performance in the recent KeSPA Cup, the depth of strength in the Korean scene is not to be underestimated. Ever, an amateur team, managed to win the entire tournament going undefeated against SKT and CJ Entus in the semi-finals and finals respectively.
Finding Solid Ground
The North American CS:GO scene has been rife with inconsistency and our own CS:GO team isn't free of that accusation. Although Cloud 9 picked up two wins in the past week, they have been struggling in the past several months before that. Luminosity has looked incredibly strong in the majors, but never seem to show up as much outside of them. Team Liquid has finally started to pick up the pace since their acquisition of Hiko, but also could not string together wins. It seems as though the NA power rankings flip around every month as each NA team takes turns in a battle of king of the hill.
With Na'Vi, Team SoloMid, Virtus Pro, and G2 Esports in the tournament, NA's king of the hill battle looks small in comparison to the mountain on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. CLG CS:GO will face off against G2 Esports, who up until recently looked to be the middle of the pack in international rankings. However, their performance in the last major was very impressive and they showed that they have what it takes to be possible contenders.
The CLG CS:GO team has to enter the tournament with fresh minds and ignore the recent results of the past weeks LANs and online matches. FNS has been consistently one of the best fraggers and showed smart play in the past couple weeks. If the team has all their players firing on all cylinders, there's no reason to count them out. There's no denying that it will be an uphill battle for the team, as well as all the other North American teams, but its esports - anything can happen.