Going into the Spring Split, CLG’s new roster was looking very promising with their players finally playing their preferred roles as well as the acquisition of Dexter from the former Lemondogs who finished 1st in the regular season of the EU LCS. Despite having a promising look going into the season, CLG struggled in the early part of the season due to dexter having visa issues, which prevented CLG from fielding their full roster. They started out 2-4 with HotShotGG in the mid lane and then went 2-1 with Chauster. By Week 4, dexter’s visa issues were finally resolved and CLG went on to assume a solid grasp of 3rd place behind TSM and C9 going into the playoffs.
After a commanding series victory over Team Coast in the quarterfinals, CLG goes on to face their long-standing rivals in Team Solomid. Utilizing the pseudo-global ultimates of Nocturne and Twisted Fate, CLG easily overpowered TSM strategically from the beginning of champion select to the exploding nexus and come out with a convincing win in Game 1.
In Game 2, CLG once again won out in champion select coming out with a very formidable team composition whereas TSM picked a very early-game oriented team composition that is doomed to fail if TSM does not get a snowball going in the early game. This snowball that needed to happen for TSM never happened and CLG was in the driver’s seat in the early-mid game. However, CLG did not get vision control of TSM’s jungle and had a couple sloppy engages that seemed to have wrecked their confidence which allowed TSM to get a crucial Baron for a comeback to take Game 2 from CLG.
In Game 3, CLG looked completely demoralized from losing Game 2 and ultimately lost the game from champion select. Giving Bjergsen his Leblanc as well as losing the Nocturne pick to TSM was only the nail on the coffin for CLG’s chances to make it to the Grand Finals to face Cloud 9. CLG goes on to defeat Curse 2-0 in the 3rd place match to secure their final 3rd place finish once again behind C9 and TSM. In the aftermath of the playoffs, Nien steps down from the main roster.
Shin “Seraph” Woo Yeong – Top
With Nien stepping down from the main CLG roster, Seraph (former sub for Najin White Shield) was chosen in CLG’s search for a new top laner to fly to America to tryout for the position. Seraph’s transfer to the NA scene seems to have shown some promising results with his strong mechanics displayed in his solo queue play, a great work ethic, and positive bonding with teammates.
While Seraph’s addition to CLG is promising, it is still a wild card in regards to how well the team meshes together with a new top laner. With the top lane meta heavily focusing on the use of Teleport, it requires clear channels of communication between team members in order to fully utilize teleport in the game. Seraph has also mentioned in an interview with Inven that he has had trouble communicating with Dexter and noted that the synergy between top and jungle was absolutely critical for a team’s success. Depending on how quickly (or slowly) the team synergy develops, CLG will be a force to be reckoned with in this coming split when they achieve that “shinergy”.
Austin “LiNk” Shin – Mid
LiNk has continued to step up his gameplay on CLG and this past spring split has definitely been his breakout season. Winning two back-to-back MVP awards in Weeks 6 and 7 of the Spring split as well as turning in very strong results in CLG’s games has demonstrated LiNk’s prowess in the mid lane and his ability to carry the team.
Confidence and finding the right shotcalling environment has definitely been barriers that LiNk struggled with in his career. However, LiNk’s performance over the past Spring season as well as a sub for Cloud 9 in the All Stars tournament is just a testament of his growth as a player and his desire to become the very best. LiNk’s All Star experience can definitely bolster CLG’s internal shotcalling which has shown some problems despite great improvement over past performances. The future looks promising for LiNk going into the Summer split and he has shown that he will perform even with the pressure.
Marcel “dexter” Feldkamp – Jungle
Despite a delayed entrance to CLG’s roster due to visa issues, Dexter brought consistency to CLG and is a key integral part of CLG’s early game throughout the Spring split. The early jungle presence that he exerts on the map on a strong early game jungler like Elise or Lee Sin sets up his teammates to carry in the later stages of the game and bring victory to CLG.
Going into the summer split, Dexter will have his work cut out for him in a highly competitive league as well as working with a new top laner in Seraph who is still adjusting to living in America and speaking English. If Dexter and Seraph can find that crucial top-jungle synergy quickly, it will do wonders for CLG in the early stages of the season with many of their opponents having to make adjustments to roster changes.
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng – AD Carry
Despite Season 4 not being very favorable for AD carries, Doublelift has found his place as an AD carry in a meta filled with formidable tanks. Even with his world-famous mechanics, Season 4 has shown that teamwork is what wins games over individual skill and Doublelift’s adjustment to becoming a more team-oriented AD carry has been essential to CLG’s victories.
Having to change from having the team being all centered upon you to a team that is more balanced all around is a great challenge that Doublelift has been able to overcome by breaking old habits and diversifying his pool of AD carries. Although Doublelift does not get caught out as much as he used to, map awareness is still an obstacle to overcome.
Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black – Support
Aphromoo’s return to the mainstream competitive LCS scene has been very successful in that he and Doublelift are maintaining CLG’s reputation of having a very strong duo lane. His overall outlook of the game and shotcalling ability has improved over the course of the split and he has shown no signs of relenting his ability to make the plays happen for CLG to achieve victory.
Even though it is an entire team’s job to win the vision war, the support is a fundamental part of getting vision control. There has been times over the course of the season where CLG has picked unfavorable fights in the game that has led to detrimental losses because of the lack of vision. With a more regimented approach to vision control as well as maintaining the ability to make plays, Aphromoo will continue to be the second half of the strongest duo lane in North America.
CLG’s roster going into the Spring split looks even more promising than ever with talent and skill in every position. CLG’s success (and failure) hinges on how well Seraph will integrate into the team as well as whether CLG can overcome previous problems of vision control and going on tilt. I predict a top 3 finish position for CLG with this roster and they are probably the best contender to take down Cloud 9 from their throne.