The series was a very personal one for both teams, as they are long-time rivals. It was particularly important for SoloMid, who lost to Counter Logic in the NA LCS finals at Madison Square Garden in New York last August.
After a number of roster changes in the offseason, including AD carry Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng moving from Counter Logic to SoloMid, it looked like a re-match wouldn’t happen—as CLG were in second seed and TSM in sixth. But SoloMid finally hit their stride in the playoffs to take out first-place team Immortals and land their spot in the finals.
“Clawing our way back from sixth seed we just had to try harder than every other team to make it this far,” said Peng in a post-match interview today. Sadly, it wasn’t enough.
Reigning champions Counter Logic took out game one and two, with SoloMid making a comeback to take the series to game five. The decider was a close one, with Counter Logic taking the early game. But SoloMid managed to come out on top of a few team fights to even out the gold and tower count. The momentum only turned in Counter Logic’s favor when AD carry Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes got a kill on top laner Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell, allowing them to Ace SoloMid and head to their base without fear.
In the post-match interview Counter Logic head coach Tony “Zikzlol” Gray said that in order to foster the team’s positive attitude they make sure everyone is comfortable.
“We treat everyone as a family,” said Gray. “None of us are selfish.”
To win the split when so many people were looking for us to fall is why I’m proud of the team. Thanks to the people that never lost faith.
— HotshotGG (@CLG_HotshotGG) April 18, 2016
Meanwhile, SoloMid will look to work on their synergy ahead of the summer split in the hopes of a better seed and a chance at taking the summer championship.
“I’m pretty proud of my team,” said Peng in the post-match interview. “I knew it was going to be a close series, I didn’t know it was going to be this close. I’m just shocked I guess. I didn’t think CLG was that good.”