CLG vs OpTic Gaming
For our second quarterfinal match we have a rather fascinating clash between two incredibly interesting challengers – Counter Logic Gaming and OpTic Gaming. Now, this isn’t exactly what most of us expected coming into the 2019 Summer Split. No one really thought we’d get to see such a quarterfinal match-up and actually be hyped about it.
OpTic Gaming was mediocre (perhaps that’s even an understatement) in all facets of play whereas Counter Logic Gaming couldn’t get off the ground for years. Simply put, they weren’t worthy of a spot in the playoffs. They either lack the synergy or a solid enough grasp of the meta in order to tango with the best the LCS had to offer.
But fast forward just one split and the story is completely different. Perhaps even staggeringly so.
OpTic Gaming started the split off with an absolute bang and were able to remain at the top of the region throughout a good portion of the split. They were never exactly a world-class team, but when they got on the same page and played to their strength, they were more than a formidable foe. As time went on, however, they became more and more predictable. Their strengths were (and still are) fairly obvious. Their potential, even though fairly evident, is not as layered and cannot be easily realized. They have very clear win conditions and if they don’t abide by their own inherent limitations they often crumble under the pressure and make at least one crucial mistake that loses them the game, regardless if they were ahead or behind.
Their three-man core is amazing, but it’s just not enough in the grand scheme of things. Without a world-class top laner and a consistent support that can both peel as well as protect, they’re bound to remain a solid, mid-tier gatekeeper.
The fact that they went this far is highly commendable, to say the least. That said, Counter Logic Gaming, although also flawed in their own, highly idiosyncratic way, are simply too big of a challenge at this point in time.
They’re one of the strongest teams in the region, and although they’re still fairly inconsistent, they definitely deserve a place within the Top 3. They earned it, after all, not through sheer luck but hard work, resilience, and a fantastic ability (and willingness) to adapt. They’re also deceptively creative and proactive, and these virtues start to shine as soon as they start their pick and ban phase.
They’re also one of the few teams in the entire region that can play 1-3-1 comps and actually execute them to a tee. The fact that they fully adapted to what their imported top laner Ruin does best is not only admirable but also fairly intelligent – they became a noticeably stronger threat. They have multiple layers and avenues towards victory and you’re never exactly sure which one they’re going to pick.
They are, however, fairly inconsistent. When they’re at the top of their game they’re pretty much a Worlds contender. Wehn, on the other hand, they fail to start off on the right foot, they’re a pretty negligible block in the road. In other words, to put in layman’s terms, when they’re bad they’re really bad.
Regardless, the fact that they nearly finished the split second speaks volumes about their innate potential and strength. They have their sights set on a ticket to the World Championship and if they continue playing this well they might as well pull it off. Team SoloMid is out of the picture which means there’s a vacant spot in the LCS pantheon. Will Counter Logic Gaming step up to the plate? All signs are pointing towards the positive. That said, they have to dispose of OpTic Gaming first. Expect a somewhat close fight, with CLG coming out on top in relatively clean fashion.