With the League of Legends World Championships right around the corner, professional teams from all over the planet are putting on their metaphorical game faces in preparation for the largest tournament of the year.
While most teams are preparing by adding in some extra practice to daily routines, strategizing together, or even just scrimming against fellow teams, Counter Logic Gaming decided that the best course of action for their 5 starting members is to be shipped off to Korea for a week of hardcore boot camp.
During the LCS Super Week.
If your head is spinning right now, no one would blame you; this news is shocking to even the most seasoned veterans of the game. Allow me to explain:
It started with CLG’s Top laner having to renew his visa in order to maintain in the United States to play in the LCS World Tournament. According to the CLG website the visa has already been approved, but “still has to be finalized in Korea.”
It is important to note that Seraph’s new P1-A athlete visa is already approved, but in order to avoid further legal complications, he can’t overstay in the country with his current visa.
No Top Laner Left Behind
Team members having to leave tournaments in pursuance of a visa renewal is not a new concept to the LCS. Earlier this year TSM’s Mid laner, Bjergsen, was unable to play during Super Week for similar issues.
However, what is new to the LCS is an entire team being subbed due to visa issues.
Boot Camp Rush Hour, Courtesy of Monte Cristo
Rather than let just their Top laner, Seraph, return to Korea alone, CLG decided the best course of action would be for the rest of the team to accompany him as well, while participating in a skill-sharpening boot camp featuring (none other than) the infamous Monte Cristo.
Since the team will actually gain a few days, due to time zone differences, the team will be undergoing an intense, concentrated training session, working on various concerns such as cohesiveness and inconsistency.
During this boot camp CLG is set to scrimmage many top-level Korean pro teams, hopefully sharpening their mechanics and teamwork enough to perform to their full potential during the World Championships.
iBUYPOWER, a popular peripheral company, will be supplying them with computers and top-of-the-line equipment during their stay.
So, Is CLG Still Playing Super Week?
Even though all 5 of the CLG starters will be in an entirely different country, the spirit of Counter Logic Gaming will live on.
With Riot-approved substitutions, the brand new CLG roster that will be debuting during the 2014 Summer Split will be as follows:
- Top – Nien
- Mid – HotshotGG
- Jungle – ThinkCard
- Marksman – Chaox
- Support – Kon Kwon
Yes, I am serious. No, you’re not dreaming.
Nien and HotshotGG are both a given, due to their extensive history with the team and accessibility. Maybe even ThinkCard isn’t too big of a surprise, considering his LCS experience with Evil Geniuses.
Chaox, however, is where most League of Legends fans start to pick their jaws up off the floor. After previous statements trashing the LCS, despite his uncontested skill level, and getting kicked off TSM for his attitude, no one expected to see him in the LCS anytime soon. Or ever again.
Not only this, but a well-known rivalry between Chaox and Doublelift, CLG’s starting ADC, has been flaring for years:
@CLGDoublelift nice game bro. I recently figured out how to clone myself.. where do I sign up to replace all of CLG?
— Shan Huang (@ChaoxLoL) March 21, 2013
@ChaoxLoL plenty of salt on the bench
— Yiliang Peng (@CLGDoublelift) March 21, 2013
So, Who’s Kon Kwon?
Oh, you’ve never heard of Kon Kwon? That’s because he’s ThinkCard’s roommate.
Hey, at least he’s Challenger!
Greater Risks Generally Return Greater Reward
While this decision is raising a lot of eyebrows, and causing a lot of confusion, it might actually be a successful venture.
Not only was this incredible in terms of marketing (everyone is talking about it), but CLG has proven to perform better after training with Monte in the past.
On top of a crash course in League of Legends, practicing against the best teams in the world certainly wouldn’t hurt.
I, for one, am fabulously beside myself with excitement. In addition to watching the second string try their hand against the rest of the NA LCS teams, I can’t wait to see the strides of the new and improved CLG upon their return.