Can CLG break into the NA LCS playoffs?
The NA LCS playoffs are about to kick into overdrive! With three teams fighting for the two remaining spots, everyone is asking themselves whether the fan favorites—CLG—can still qualify?
And if so, what will it take?
The turning point
CLG’s spring journey was a rocky one. The beginning of the split had the endemic NA LCS org suffer back-to-back losses against Cloud9, 100Thieves, and Clutch gaming. And while CLG managed to pick up a few wins in the following weeks, the following 6-game losing streak proved that there was something other than bad luck at play here.
Nothing was working for this team. Reignover had a good grasp of the early game pathing, but he quickly ran out of steam as the game went on. The bot lane of Stixxay and Biofrost struggled to develop any semblance of synergy. Even their most solid players—Darshan and Huhi—constantly overextended in a vain attempt to make up for the overall shortcomings.
At one point, it seemed like CLG were the clear-cut worst team in the league. Until they weren’t. Suddenly, the individual vanished into thin air. CLG’s macro also saw drastic improvements—a development caused by Biofrost taking on the burden of shot calling. With that, CLG went from the bottom feeders to top-tier competitors in a matter of two weeks, so it’s not exactly surprising that fans want to see them in the playoffs.
CLG’s growth may not fall into the ‘too little’ category, but it might definitely be too late. Currently, the team is sitting at the 7-9 record. Meanwhile, it’s competitors—TSM and Team Liquid—both have 9 wins and 7 losses. This means that either TSM or Team Liquid has to go 0-2 during week 9 of the NA LCS for CLG to have a chance to make the playoffs. And then there’s the tiebreaker.
The schedule isn’t on CLG’s side either. While Team Liquid’s first match is against Cloud9, the following game against OpTic should be an easy win. In a similar fashion, TSM start their week with a game against Golden Guardians, so even if CLG manage to beat them afterward, the victory might not amount to much. In short, it will take a massive upset for CLG to get their tiebreaker.
That being said, the NA LCS is no stranger to miracles. Back in the day, Cloud9’s Gauntlet run has already proven that a mixture of luck and determination can overcome seemingly impossible odds. And if CLG get the slightest bit of help, they might very well make League of Legends history.