It is safe to say the 2020 League Of Legends LCS Spring Split is not going according to plan so far for Counter Logic Gaming. They came into the season expecting to be competing for a playoff spot this split, but find themselves posting an 0-4 record through the first two weeks.
Not only are they losing, they are barely even competitive. In all their games thus far they have been dominated by their opposition. Their support Andy “Smoothie” Ta and top laner Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min are both among the bottom three in KDA so far this split, and none of their five starters are among the top half of all players in the stat.
The playoffs already are starting to feel out of reach despite the season having just begun. To add insult to injury, CLG Academy has also gotten off to a winless, 0-4, start this split as well.
So what’s going wrong for CLG?
Counter Logic Gaming haven't had the best start (Picture: Lolesports/Flickr)
Ruin has been a disaster
While the blame for the team’s poor start falls on the shoulders of every member of the team, no one deserves more of that blame than their top laner. He has been dominated in lane in all four games so far, and has statistically been the worst top laner in the LCS.
Ruin’s 16 deaths through four games leads all LCS solo-laners. He also averages a creep score differential of -7.5 at the 10 minute mark, also worst among solo-laners. The CLG top laner finds himself in last place at his position in KDA and gold differential 10 minutes into the game.
The Korean import has never been a truly elite top laner, but this is looking like his worst split of his career thus far. His decision making has been poor, he has been consistently outplayed and has struggled to hold his ground at all.
Poor macro play
CLG seems like they have not been on the same page at all this season. In both of the games in Week 1 they lost crucial teamfights because the team seemed to be going in two different directions. Miscommunications on tower dives cause them to surrender their early advantage against 100 Thieves in Week 2.
On one top lane dive early on in their Week 2 game against 100 Thieves, Ruin and jungler Raymond “Wiggly” Griffin seemed uncertain of whether they wanted to fully commit. While they did end up coming away with a kill, they were both also killed in the process, costing CLG an early advantage.
These smaller errors have haunted them throughout the early stages of the season. While some communication issues should be expected from a team that made two lineup changes last offseason, these seem like a lot more than a team that still has not built enough chemistry. There is a serious problem with CLG’s shot calling at the moment.
Early season schedule was tougher than expected
The schedule CLG drew for the first two weeks did not look too tough on paper. Their opening week matchups featured a Dignitas squad making a return to the LCS after being left out of the league in 2018 and a Flyquest team that entered the season hoping to, at best, sneak into the playoffs.
Week 2 pitted them against a 100 Thieves team who shouldn’t be true contenders this split either, and a TSM squad that looked horrible in an 0-2 opening week of their own.
Those teams turned out to be tougher than expected in the early weeks of the season. Both Flyquest and Dignitas are sitting at 3-1 and look like real playoff contenders this Spring. 100 Thieves impressed in early weeks as well, and currently occupy a playoff spot in the standings.
TSM quickly bounced back from their 0-2 start, and looked like the powerhouse we expected them to be in Week 2.
While teams have a responsibility to put everything they have into every game, one can imagine CLG heavily underrating their early season slate, and things may get better for them from here as their schedule softens up in the coming weeks.