Counter Logic Gaming: Defying The LCS 2022 Summer Logic
In a league as top-heavy as the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), it’s not easy to bring yourself from the bottom up. The teams amongst the high-end of the standings tend to control the narrative, the overall quality, and most important of all, the best-performing players. This forces the lower-end teams to bottom for the remaining scraps, with middle-of-the-pack placings often being celebrated as a good result. It can be said for any team not named, Team Liquid, Cloud9, 100 Thieves, and due to their recent success, Evil Geniuses.
For a team like Counter Logic Gaming, that middling placement can mean the whole world. This is a team that before the Team Liquids, 100 Thieves, and Evil Geniuses of the world broke the status quo. They did what was at the time thought possible, they etched themselves in North American history alongside league giants and dynasty wielders Team SoloMid and Cloud9. Two back-to-back LCS championships, one in the summer of 2015 and one in the spring of 2016, and the first North American team to make it into the finals of a Riot-held international tournament with their second-place finish at the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI). They broke barriers.
However, ever since then, barring a solid LCS 2017 year, Counter Logic Gaming has struggled to even get close to that former glory… until now.
Staying True To Their Name, Truly Counter Logic
Coming into the 2022 LCS Season you’d be hard-pressed to view Counter Logic Gaming as an upper-echelon LCS team. Their roster certainly wasn’t at the calibre of the super team, Team Liquid, nor the likes of Cloud9, 100 Thieves, and Evil Geniuses, and although their players individually had potential it wasn’t thought of as game-breaking. That conglomerate of features led to them finishing in eighth place in the LCS 2022 Spring Split with only six wins total.
Usually, a placement like that calls for massive changes even if it's in the middle of the season, instead, Counter Logic Gaming went for one—the introduction of top laner Niship "Dhokla" Doshi.
A change like this certainly wasn’t seen at the same level as a Felix "Abbedagge" Braun addition to 100 Thieves or even a slotting in of ADC Edward "Tactical" Ra for Team Liquid in early 2020, but so far, it’s done its help already.
So far in just weeks 1 and 2 alone with their 4-1 record in the standings, Counter Logic Gaming are already on track to bettering their spring performance in fewer matches. If that win-loss record wasn’t impressive enough, this team has managed to tie for first with not just Team Liquid, but the reigning LCS champions and recent MSI participants, Evil Geniuses who they beat in an intense comeback win.
In contrast to the Spring Split, the Summer Split already has been a success in some ways. Not only do they seem to have a stronger top laner, but Counter Logic Gaming has bettered themselves on several marks with an example being the improvement of the mid and jungle synergy of mid-laner Cristian "Palafox" Palafox and jungler Juan "Contractz" Garcia.
There’s no telling where Counter Logic Gaming will end up once the Summer Split finishes. But one’s thing for certain, this team is definitely not the same team from the spring, and they will look to continue showing that.
Amidst this recent success, it’s fair to say that a good number of the matches they’ve won so far have been close, so it’s not like they’ve been dominating everyone in their path. Add the fact that three of their next four opponents are 100 Thieves, Cloud9 and Team Liquid, and Counter Logic Gaming could quickly come back down to earth.