Counter Logic Gaming was once a carnival consisting of emotional roller coasters and not-so-merry go rounds. But over the past couple years, CLG put all that aside and finally found a roster without drama, without tension. And it performed. They won back-to-back splits before having a drop off in performance over the past year. Going into the 2017 Summer Split, CLG had a decision to make. Keep going with the happy-go-lucky roster that appeared to have reached a ceiling, or make a risky acquisition which could once again make them contenders. Management chose the latter…
Enter Dardoch. A talented, young jungler with a history of being harmful to a team environment. That was the word coming out of his first team in Team Liquid, and his ‘fresh start’ with Immortals. Dardoch always felt that he was held back by his teammates and to his credit, that was often the case. Of course, he himself was prone to mistakes. The foremost of which was his inability to stay composed in-game.
The lack of talented players is not the problem on CLG. They have possibly the best bottom lane in North America with Stixxay and Aphromoo, Darshan is more than capable of holding his own in the top lane, and Huhi is a wild-card with carry potential in the mid lane. Now add in Dardoch and every member of CLG has the ability to carry the game. Dardoch once felt the pressure of being the only player that could do so, now that couldn’t be further from the case.
Week One. All eyes were on the new jungler and it seemed like he could feel the glares from the CLG hopefuls. Was it a bad performance? No. But you could see him trying to do too much, like when you buy the girl of your dreams flowers, chocolate, jewelry and dinner all on the first date. He failed invades and was caught out of position on several occasions but his team was there to pick up the slack. CLG went 2-0 in the first week.
Week Two. Dardoch came to the realization that he’s on a team in which each player can be self-sufficient. That alone allowed him to play his game. Intelligent while still aggressive. He was a huge threat in games 1 and 3 against Echo Fox on Rengar and Graves. The set included a Dardoch quadra kill and a baron steal which gave CLG the win in a tough fought series. Against TSM, he slightly rescinded to his old ways. Trying to do too much. A re-occurring problem that seems to haunt him under the spotlight. A problem that a team like TSM will take advantage of. After a strong game one, CLG dropped the next two for their first loss of the split.
At 3-1, the future is bright for the new roster that lacks much of a weakness. It’s a team that isn’t about a single player, it isn’t about Dardoch. And that’s what makes them dangerous.