Counter Logic Gaming may be coming off a 2-0 weekend, but they still have a lot to improve on, according to their jungler Juan Arturo “Contractz” Garcia. The team rounded out the sixth week of the North American League of Legends Championship Series with a dominant win over Dignitas.
The match between CLG and Dignitas seemed almost decided after a Level 1 fight in the bot lane. CLG’s Fatih “Luger” Güven and Philippe “Poome” Lavoie-Giguere got the better of Dignitas’ Trevor “Spawn” Kerr-Taylor and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang with an aggressive early play. Poome flashed forward on Renata Glasc and Luger’s Draven was close behind, netting him two early kills.
“I messed up Level 1 and, especially in the Kalista/Draven matchup, it’s really volatile,” Spawn said in an interview. “So they kind of snowballed off that.”
Contractz said that capitalizing on the bot lane matchup was the CLG game plan going into the drafting phase. The team selected Draven because they felt they had the advantage.
“We went into the game with a lot of confidence,” Contractz said. “We knew we got a good bot matchup. Luger/Poome vs. anyone in the league. We’re very confident in their abilities.”
After that first fight, the game became tough for Dignitas. Although they got scrappy and found some counter-punches, Dignitas couldn’t slow down CLG’s carries and their burgeoning gold lead. Even still, Contractz felt that CLG could have closed it out more neatly.
“Overall, we could’ve been a lot cleaner with our victory,” he said. “Definitely something we need to be looking at and looking to improve.”
Dignitas Academy players struggle on the big stage
It’s a tough outcome for Dignitas and Spawn. The team recently brought Spawn and his Academy teammates — Lee “Hoon” Jang-hoon and Lawrence Lin “eXyu” Xu — onto the main roster in a move that shocked many.
“For me, a game like this is the biggest one I can learn from,” Spawn said. “In Academy, I had a game like this in my first split. Then, after that, I made sure it never happened again.”
Spawn said that he needs to continue working on his confidence and playing with the same aggression that characterized his play in Academy. He wants to continue learning so that he can find that elusive first victory on the LCS stage.
“I haven’t got a win yet on LCS,” Spawn said. “So I think that’s the main thing we’re looking for.”
Contractz and CLG continue to impress
As for CLG, the team is continuing their momentum from their impressive start to the split. They also beat Golden Guardians on Saturday, meaning they went undefeated during Week 6.
“[A] 2-0 weekend is always nice,” Contractz said. “Even though it’s versus some of the lower-tiered team. It’s always good for the record and the morale boost. Just having momentum going into the next week is always helpful.”
The schedule gets more difficult in the coming week as CLG face two strong opponents: FlyQuest and Cloud9. Winning both games would mean edging past Cloud9 in the standings. With playoffs looming, jostling for seeding has become the name of the game.
“I think C9 has been looking really hot recently,” Contractz said. “It’s definitely gonna be a very hard weekend.”
In the last few weeks of the Summer Split, Contractz is hoping that CLG can maintain their focus coming into each game. Focus and getting good practice will be the difference-makers for the team, who surprised many with their level of play during the split.
“The most important thing for us is making sure we’re on the same page and going into each of games with an idea of how we want to play,” Contractz said. “No hesitation is going to be a big thing for us going into playoffs.”
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.