Dec 9 2014 - 4:37 pm

Counter Logic Gaming brings back Link, adds Xmithie

Counter Logic Gaming finalized their 2015 League of Legends Championship Series lineup last night
Dot Esports

Counter Logic Gaming finalized their 2015 League of Legends Championship Series lineup last night.

Austin “Link” Shin will return as mid laner, while Jake “Xmithie” Puchero will man the jungle position.

At one point in time, Puchero was lauded as the best jungler in North America and the only true challenger to William “Meteos” Hartman once Cloud9 broke onto the scene. But the surprising demise of Ex Deus Gloria saw Puchero fall out of the League Championship Series and struggle to get back in on a number of challenger teams.

Shin reprises his role as the 2014 mid laner for Counter Logic Gaming, a period of uneven results for the team.

Counter Logic looked like a team on the rise after placing third in the Spring Split, nearly topping Team SoloMid in the playoffs. But in the Summer, the team fell to relegation. Shin shouldered plenty of criticism for his poor performance in playoffs, leading to questions on whether he can perform on the big stage.

“Both of these players have shown nothing but dedication and motivation to improving themselves and the players around them,” Counter Logic coach William “Scarra” Li said. “I understand that a lot of people will be skeptical about our choices, but I believe that they are the best players we could have in these positions.”

They do, of course, possess the “p” word infamous in association with Counter Logic Gaming: potential. Shin still has room to improve as a player if he can figure out how to make a bigger impact in important matches, something he’s able to on the Rift in many other situations. Puchero’s fall from grace could just as easily give way to a rebirth as one of America’s top junglers.

The team still features one of the best bottom lanes in America, capable of carrying any game. New top laner Darshan “ZionSpartan” Upadhyaya may not be the type of top lane player Counter Logic Gaming is accustomed to playing with, favoring carry play more than steady tanks, but Li knows what he’s got to work with and should potentially be able to work him into the lineup.

The moves are a bit worrisome, but it’s easy to see how they could move Counter Logic Gaming back into contention, if things play out right.

The team will debut at the Intel Extreme Masters Cologne tournament on Dec. 18, but Puchero will not be able to attend due to visa issues. Instead Counter Logic Gaming will feature challenger jungling whiz Thomas "ThinkCard" Slotkin as a stand-in.

Screengrab via Counter Logic Gaming/YouTube

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