Counter Logic Gaming triumphed over Immortals in its first match of week 5 of the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split, and not only was the win CLG's cleanest of the split, but it also kept the team alive for potential post-season contention in the LCS 2021 Mid-Season Showdown. However, at 3-10, CLG must extend its two consecutive victories into another five wins, while another team with at least eight wins in the LCS thus far must lose all of its games.
CLG mid laner Eugene "Pobelter" Park joined Inven Global for a brief interview to discuss the win against Immortals, the context of his return to CLG's roster following the arrival of jungler Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen, and how and why CLG has improved upon its shoddy mid and late game to go along with a surprisingly strong early game.
Congrats on your win tonight. How is CLG feeling after a convincing victory?
We've had more time together as a team as of now, and today, it felt like we won the game through really good team play, so I think everyone was really excited about that, especially because the primary focus of our practice this past week was improving our macro play.
The early games have been strong from CLG all split long, but what specifically has the team improved in the other stages of the game?
We haven't had as much time as a team together compared to other teams, and I think that's still true, so getting more repetitions of these situations over time together as a team has been really helpful overall.
Aside from that, in terms of what we're working on...well, I guess 'macro' is a pretty broad concept, but specifically, we are making sure we are pressuring at the right times, playing safe on the weak side of the map at the right times, and making sure we are rotating around the map and properly assigning our lanes.
Would you attribute CLG's strong early games more to execution or preparation? A team with a 100% First Blood rate despite a 3-10 record borderlines on an anomaly.
I think it's a little bit of both. I think our preparation is pretty good, but I think there is also a bit of luck to it in terms of getting First Blood 13 out of 13 times. That being said, I guess it's a pretty cool statistic and we'll try to keep it up for as long as we can.
We saw CLG Academy mid lane Alexey "rjs" Zatorski start in your place in the weeks leading up to Broxah's arrival. Was it always planned for you to return to the LCS roster upon Broxah's arrival to build synergy with him?
The situation from earlier this split was pretty unexpected for me. It wasn't guaranteed that I'd return to the LCS roster. Because of this, while I was playing for CLG Academy, I wanted to prove that I belonged in the LCS playing for our main team, and I think I succeeded in that. I think the important thing is that now I am back and we have our full roster. Now we can work towards building something really great for the rest of spring and for summer.
Because of two consecutive wins, CLG is still technically in the running for the spring post-season. Is that something your team is focused on or is it all about improving for summer right now?
As long as we are in the running we will strive for that goal. I know it's a really slim chance at this point. *Laughs* Essentially, we need to win all of our remaining games in the LCS Spring Split, and one of the teams who currently have 8 wins needs to lose all of its remaining games. I believe we'd play a Tiebreaker for 6th place if that happened, so while it's unlikely, we're going to work towards it if it's a possibility. Even if we can't achieve that, I think we'll still be in a good spot for summer.
Best of luck, Pobelter. Is there anything you want to say after this win?
Yeah, I just wanted to give thanks to the fans who have been sending us positive comments and sending general goodwill our way. It's never easy to be on a team that is doing poorly — people are s******g on you; s******g on your team — so I want to give a shout out to those who have been propping us up and instead of putting us down have been trying to make us feel positive about ourselves.
All images by: Oshin Tudayan for Riot Games