UPDATE 3/7: Counter Logic Gaming's 100% First Blood after 14 games. The team boasted a 14th First Blood thanks to an impressive solo kill by mid laner Eugene "Pobelter" Park against FlyQuest mid laner Cristian "Palafox" Palafox to extend its consecutive First Blood streak in the Spring Split.
Unfortunately for CLG, Team Liquid decided enough was enough in both team's 15th match of the Spring Split. Team Liquid AD carry Edward "Tactical" Ra and support Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in engaged on CLG's bot lane immediately after TL crested the lvl 2 mark of experience, and while CLG AD carry Jason "Wildturtle" Tran managed to get away in the doubled-level deficit, support Andy "Smoothie" Ta met his end at the hands of CoreJJ's Ignite.
Counter Logic Gaming ended up winning the game against Team Liquid, but the sacrifice was the demise of its 100% First Blood rate in the 2021 LCS Spring Split, which lasted for the first 14 games of the 18 game split.
It is no secret that Counter Logic Gaming has had a rough start to the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series season, but a particularly peculiar stat has been one of the few constants in an otherwise tumultuous spring for the squad. Despite a 3-10 record, CLG has secured First Blood in all 13 of its games throughout the 2021 LCS Spring Split.
CLG's LCS roster has been a revolving door due to visa issues, but no matter who was starting in the black and blue, the team has secured the first kill of every single game. At 9th place with a 3-10 record, this is both testament to CLG's strong early game and the, up until recently, disastrous mid and late game decision making that has led to a 23% win rate.
Of course, First Blood in a game doesn't equate to a good early game, but a 100% secure rate is rare for a top team in any region, let alone a 9th place team. Various members of CLG have commented on this trend in interviews with Inven Global throughout the LCS Spring Split.
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," said jungler Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen.
"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."
CLG mid laner Eugene "Pobelter" Park echoed Broxah's sentiment in an interview with Inven Global after CLG's most recent win over Immortals, attributing the lack of conversion from early game to having less time than other teams to gel.
"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," Pobelter explained.
CLG Academy mid laner Alexey "rjs" Zatorski, who started for CLG's LCS team for the first three weeks of the Spring Split, secured First Blood in CLG's first four games of the split, the most of any member on CLG despite returning to CLG Academy after week 2.
Every other starting member of CLG has gotten in on the First Blood action. Despite missing the first six games of the Spring Split, Broxah leads all current starters with three First Bloods. Support Andy "Smoothie" Ta and top laner Finn "Finn" Wiestål have two apiece, and since returning to the starting roster, Pobelter tied AD carry Jason "WildTurtle" Tran at one each.
CLG is currently on a two-game winning streak, which doesn't sound like much until you consider the team has three wins total. To keep its postseason hopes alive, CLG must win every remaining game of the Spring Split and one of the two teams with eight wins — Evil Geniuses and 100 Thieves — to lose every one of its remaining games in spring.
However, even if CLG finds itself eliminated from qualifying for the 2021 LCS Mid-Season Showdown alongside Golden Guardians, the team is showing a newfound ability to convert its early advantages cleanly which should paint a far brighter future for the organization come summer.