As with all great things in life, I went into LCS this year skeptical. For one, save for the Astros’ astonishing win at the world series, the Energy City’s never been exactly notable for it’s sports team’s prowess (I say reluctantly as the teams move closer to victories at new heights in, but not limited to, Basketball, Baseball and –much to my amusement- E-sports). But it seems surreal that a team founded within 6 months of today is making such remarkable steps against teams that have been considered staples in the league, notably Team Solo Mid.
What makes 2018 a new leaf ? Why are the times are changing ? In E-sports (Where I pay the most attention) it’s not just one single thing. If for no other reason than because games require a large amount of effort and attention to detail that franchises can help provide, and upon rectifying those issues,work to improve as a team. Of course, that’s a given – but it really shows how much the team cares about one another’s positioning and relative space between each other. Not only on the rift are they close, but the team recently went to visit the Rockets during a practice session and the sense of belonging is extremely apparent. Since these photos were taken, the team is on a two-game win streak coming out of week 7. Coincidence ? Probably, but it’s more fun to believe otherwise.
In CG’s case, it’s wonderful to watch that unfold in (nearly) real time. LirA’s presence seems nearly infallible, which is a god-given talent in the early game as a way to help, most notably in week 6, top laner Solo get first blood against CLG Darshan on Day 1 of Week 6. But in a good jungler is the ability to know your own (As well as your enemies’ ) limits and act on them. Against FlyQuest in week 7, Hakuho, LirA and Apollo rush a 3 Vs. 4 in a successful attempt to steal Elder Dragon. As Spring Split comes to an end and summer approaches, I’m hopeful enough to feel safe for an MSI performance.
Apollo and Hakuho are nearly there, but watching their bot lane feels very slow-paced and responsible when looking at the mid or even top. In fairness, playing safe as a glass cannon is likely the best scenario in a high-stakes situation such as Spring Split. But with TL DoubleLift and C9 Sneaky making the flash-y plays, and making them successful, you have to wonder if maybe they should be taking a page out of LirA’s book and play on instincts. The team is currently 9-5 so, however you look at it, the team is doing consistently. Most importantly, though, the team’s looking good for this upcoming week.
Going into week 8 is gut-wrenching, to say the least. On one hand, again, the team is going smoothly into it. On the other, the other team is Echo Fox (Day 1 Week 7, currently 11-3) who are regarded as the best the league. A fair title, and one we have no right to refute. In the only game CG played against them, they lost. Maybe, just maybe, Clutch gaming is trying to live up to their name, though.
Although that’s something I don’t think my nerves could handle.