CLG are looking to carry their 2022 success into the new season.
Coming into 2022, CLG had just finished their fifth split in a row at the bottom two of the league, had fans calling for their removal from the LCS, and just completely changed their backroom staff along with their starting roster. Just one year later, they became probably the most exciting team to watch in the whole LCS, not to mention they made the Summer Playoffs and were one game away from eliminating the eventual champions.
CLG’s rebuilding was the best story from last year, and the decisions of their new staff should rightfully be applauded. So, it was great to hear them run it all back, not just with the players, but also with the coaching and other managerial staff. They even strengthen the team by bringing in a legendary top laner from EU, Paul "sOAZ" Boyer, as a positional coach. This consistency can be a great asset for them, especially in a split where they are the only team without a roster change in the entire league.
- Top laner: Niship “Dhokla” Doshi
- Jungler: Juan Arturo “Contractz” Garcia
- Mid laner: Cristian “Palafox” Palafox
- Bot laner: Fatih “Luger” Güven
- Support: Philippe “Poome” Lavoie-Giguere
Looking to carry over their Summer performance
2022 Summer was the perfect storm for CLG. With Dhokla coming in and Palafaker putting up decently consistent games together, they found a lot of success with their solo lane focused comps. Their bread and butter Akali/Yone double flex picks caused a lot of trouble for other LCS teams. Thankfully coming into the Season 2023, both top and mid lane is looking like they are going to be strong with patch 13.1. There are a lot of carry top laners, like Fiora and Camille, and roaming mid laners, Ryze and Sylas, in the meta so they can continue to play towards their strengths.
Although their solo lane strength doesn’t mean they have a weak bot lane either. Poome and Luger took a step back from the spotlight last split, but they are still a very formidable duo. They showed a lot of enchanter lanes with Senna/Seraphine/Karma picks, and not many LCS teams showed that they can play great against these death-ball, sustain comps just yet. Not to mention the recent Zeri changes. Luger has always been great at hyper carries as well, so CLG options aren’t limited.
But in the end, CLG will probably live and die by their jungler. There were rumors during the off-season that CLG wouldn’t bring back Contractz, but I think they made the correct call. Despite his abysmal Spring, Contractz bounced back great in Summer, even winning the Most Improved Player award. He is the driving force behind CLG’s aggressive play style with his constant invades, creative ganks and early-game presence. Even though his aggression sometimes backfired on them, there is no arguing that CLG would’ve struggled to create as many advantages as they did without him. So, it looks like CLG will have to hope Contractz's Summer form can carry over to 2023, and he can lead his team to more wins.
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