This summer, CLG have proven that they can adapt to the meta. They were one of the first North American teams to play Lux on stage and in scrims. They’ve also shown that they can take games off top teams like Team Liquid and TSM.
Three weeks remain this split and CLG are tied for third alongside TSM with a 7-5 record. Between the Spring and Summer Splits, CLG only made one roster swap, but that wasn’t the most impactful adjustment made. Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes believes the biggest change came from the players’ ability to be consistent.
“Our laners are a lot more consistent than they were before,” Stixxay told Dot Esports. “Whereas sometimes we would just have games where we just lose, now we have Tristan who’s really consistent mid. We have Ruin who almost always does really well despite getting pressured a lot. Our laners are the most consistent that they’ve been in a while.”
The CLG roster may be able to repeat gameplay from match to match, but it’s not the main reason for their continued success this split. Stixxay said the team has an incredible grasp on the game’s fundamentals.
“I would say everyone on this team typically has a really good understanding of what they need to do,” Stixxay said. “So usually when we make a plan it’s really straightforward what someone needs to do to make that plan happen.”
CLG and Stixxay aren’t the only ones to have noticed the changes and improvements that the team has made. It’s been almost two years since CLG placed in the top three and old fans of the team are starting to come out. Now that CLG are doing well, Stixxay said he’s starting to see a lot more support for the team than he has in a while.
“At least for like the past two splits it almost felt like there were no fans,” Stixxay said. “It was like damn everyone just hates us now because we just kind of suck. But now that we started winning again, people started giving us a lot more respect, kind of started showing themselves again, and yeah it just feels a little better.”
While it’s been a few splits since CLG’s fans really showed up, it had been even longer since they’d taken a win off of TSM—three years, to be exact. But during week five, CLG finally broke the cycle in arguably their most important match of the season. They defeated their once rival, TSM, and now hold a 1-1 record against them this split. It seems unfair to quickly cast aside years of losing after one game, but for Stixxay, TSM is already a distant memory.
“I think [TSM’s] out of the C9, TL tier, but I do think they’re good,” Stixxay said. “But I don’t think they’re anything special. They’re at least top five, you know.”
Stixxay now has his eyes set on Liquid and Cloud9. CLG have a 1-1 record against Liquid, but they haven’t beaten Cloud9 yet this split. And these two teams will face each other for the second time this weekend. It’ll also be a crucial point in CLG’s success for the remainder of the split, according to Stixxay.
“We lost last time [against Cloud9] and I think we play them next week, so I think right now they’re definitely my biggest competition moving forward,” Stixxay said. “If we can beat C9 then we can kind of establish ourselves as a top team.”
This is the best season CLG have given LCS viewers in a long time and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be slowing down anytime soon. For Stixxay, the main thing the team can do to continue performing is to keep improving and stay consistent.
“We’ve just been on the up and up the whole split,” Stixxay said. “We’ve never had a down week where it’s just like man we really suck this week. It’s just like consistently every week we’re doing better and better and I think we just need to keep on that train.”
There are three weeks remaining before playoffs. And although CLG have some room for error, they’ll have to stay focused and ensure they aren’t dropping games against teams they’ve already beaten.
CLG will play against C9 on Sunday, July 21 at 3pm CT.