Counter Logic Gaming won its first game with its fully intended starting roster last weekend in the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Split. Mid laner Eugene "Pobelter" Park has once again been promoted to the LCS roster after jungler Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen made his debut the previous weekend with Alexei "rjs" Zatorsky in the starting lineup. Broxah's visa issues delayed his arrival longer than any other LCS player, and CLG struggled mightily without him to a 1-5 record.
Unfortunately for CLG, Broxah's arrival hasn't changed the results. The team has continued its strong early games, but still looks lost as the game continues, and lost its first five games with Broxah in the starting lineup. After its two most recent losses to 100 Thieves and TSM, CLG managed to notch a second strike in the win column after defeating Dignitas.
There's no doubt that CLG has been snakebit this season, but Broxah is maintaining an optimistic perspective now that he's made it through his visa issues. Broxah spoke to Inven Global after CLG lost to 100 Thieves about how his visa issues on Team Liquid in 2020 are providing him with a different perspective on his current situation, what he thinks CLG does well and needs to improve on, and how he feels the new LCS format affects CLG's chances of turning its season around.
Despite another tough loss today for CLG, were you able to take anything positive away from the team's performance?
I think right now the thing that's holding us back the most is kind of similar to what I went through last year, honestly. *Laughs* When you have people arriving late, you start on the back foot right from the beginning, and the start of a split can become really chaotic. I saw this last year on Team Liquid, where it never went well in the beginning, and I'm seeing that now in CLG.
A lot of teams in the LCS have been playing together for a long time now, and in the games I've played and the games without me, our team's early games have been pretty stable. It's not like everything is falling apart in the mid game and late game, but there are certain parts of the game where team play and coordination are super vital, and we end up making a big mistake and the game goes south. Then we lose.
I think everything is fixable, but we do kind of have our backs against the wall. We haven't had much time to play together as a team yet, mostly due to me arriving late.
I'm sorry to hear your visa situation has made this a repeat of last year in some ways. Is there anything you learned during this struggle on Team Liquid that is helping you now on CLG?
In general, last year was a pretty difficult year for me in a lot of ways, especially in spring. It was hard dealing with all of the losses, but I think it's given me a perspective on this year since I already went through this once. On TL, we had a lot of problems initially, but eventually, once we had time to gel as a team, everything started working out. It just gives me a different perspective on the situation because I've been in it myself and I've seen it happen to other teams as well.
The pieces may fall apart in the spring split when visa issues happen, but eventually, you get back on track. That's what I'm trying to focus on now, and at the same time, I don't feel like I've joined a bottom-tier team despite us currently being at the bottom of the standings.
Of the four games I've played with the team in the LCS, all four losses could have been wins with just slight adjustments. We could have been in a completely different situation than we are now, and thinking about that is really mentally taxing. It's really hard, but most of all, we need to try and think about the positives.
The chances of us coming back in the spring are not high, but we realized we still have a chance because we have 35 games left. If you have 10 bad games out of 45, that shouldn't be the end of the world in the big picture. Laughs
Do you think this new LCS format is an improvement on last season's format in terms of being more forgiving of visa issues?
I think I was in a way more fortunate position last year, and there's one reason for that: when the 2020 LCS Summer Split began, every team had a full reset. Every team started at 0-0 records, but now, once summer comes, we are still going to be in a bit of a difficult position standings-wise. Our losses from spring are going to follow us and haunt us for the rest of the year. *Laughs*
I think you can argue whether this is a good change or not. For the top teams, it's a great change. For us, being the bottom team, it's a bit of a difficult position to be in, and I definitely would much rather have last season's format right now. *Laughs* Obviously, since we're having a tough time right now, I would rather start from scratch if we could.
Since you arrived late, were you able to bring a fresher perspective to the team? Sometimes a 'new' player can raise morale in the form of a 'honeymoon' phase.
I don't think we've had a chance to have a honeymoon phase yet because of all the mental pressure that is on the team right now. We are making little mistakes in the game, and the mental aspect is starting to kick in and hurt the team a little.
It's not easy being in a position where you've lost so many games that were so close, so first of all, we really need to get a full mental reset across the board. That way, when we are at a clutch point in a game, none of us will hesitate or think of those bad past moments. We'll truly be in the present, but I don't know, everything has happened so fast since I arrived last week.
I had two days of scrims before my first LCS game with the team, and this week, we've been playing with Pobelter, so right now, we've only had three or four days of scrims with this lineup. *Laughs* We just haven't had any time to play together, but if we can start turning things around, perhaps that will feel a bit like a honeymoon phase.
Either way, it's definitely an uphill battle, but I think as long as we stay positive, stick together as a team, and don't get affected too much by the pressure the standings are causing us, there is a light of hope at the end of this tunnel.