CLG’s decision about holding Link surprised many people – either fans of HotShotGG’s team or opponents of the organisation. You obvioulsy can’t say that Austin isn’t really talented player, but he has some problems in his gameplay that prevent him from becoming world-class midlaner.
The cruel reality
When Link joined CLG as substitude after decay of CLG Black and quickly became starting midlaner everything looked great for the team. Austin seemed to be one of the most talented players in North America and for CLG fans it was obvious that he has chances to complete for the title of best midlaner NA. Unfortunately, reality one more time proved to be unexpected. After Link joined starting line-up of CLG, team didn’t live up to hype. Lack of successes in last seasons made fans sad and haters happy… Of course, it’s not only CLG midlaner’s fault, but his troubles surely didn’t help the team to made Counter Logic Gaming one of the strongest forces in the North America.
Worries about Link
Link is rejoining CLG’s line-up for next season – that announcement, made before start of NA LCS, was astonishing. However, it wasn’t that easy – Austin was pushed to compete with other candidates, not even on equal terms. He was forced to be way better than the rest to save his position. Eventually, he made it and remained in CLG. Why should we talk about him just now? HotShotGG and Link’s teammates still has much faith in his abilities, but he faces the same problems as before. It can be serious issue to solve for the team. The main thing is Austin struggles when playing under pressure. We all saw the game versus Team SoloMid – Link was playing differently from majority of his performances in this split, making a lot of mistakes and then worrying about not doing them, what resulted in being way too passive. It probably costed CLG victory like it was quite often in these big matches in the past. The second trouble of Counter Logic Gaming’s midlaner is incostinstency. In the past he had tendency intersperse good performances with weak ones. And actually I would like to exhibit one more of his weaknesses – after unsuccessful early phase of the game in his execution it’s really rarely to see Link being important part of the team.
Every cloud has a silver lining
Although it doesn’t seem very well for Link, I never wanted to wipe the floor with someone. This guy has so many advantages! I would say he fits CLG perfectly if it goes to characters of players. Link is team-oriented midlaner who likes to help the team. It’s quite significant when your ADC demands to be the most important person in the team. Actually I am almost sure that Link is kind of nice guy who don’t talk much, but makes good atmosphere in the group, which is needed in every team. He has also really wide champion pool what is helpful if it goes to meta changes and expanding team strategy basis. And, of course, he is talented individually player.
How will it end?
I think Link still can become world-class competitor, but he isn’t that Forg1ven type who is just incredibly self-motivated to be the best. Actually all of Link’s problems are more about psychology than game, so I am sure Austin could menage them, if only he worked a bit with sport psychologist. But it’s certain that he haven’t said his last stand yet. Let’s wait till end of split before judging him. Anyway, it’s probably his last shot to prove himself.