Counter Logic Gaming had a "Lebron-to-Miami" type moment as they lost their star player to one of their rivals. Coming into IEM San Jose, the expectations were unknown. This team still had a dominant top-lane in Darshan, and a solid support in Aphromoo to lean on.
"If you can get your first win as a new group of 5, it's a moral booster especially since we have young players. It's good to show we can win," said CLG's support Aphromoo.
Aphromoo spoke about the identity of the team without Doubelift.
"When you get rid of your all-star players, there's always going to be new people coming and assume that role. In my opinion, Huhi, Darshan, and Stixxay will assume that role."
In game 1, Darshan went full-carry mode on Fiora, posting a final score of 11-3-3. He consistently killed Vizicsaci when he was playing Renekton. Darshan stepped up when it mattered most. When everyone wondered who would be the guy for CLG, Darshan came in clutch.
Game 2 featured Huhi doing work on Leblanc. CLG grabbed their Jinx, like most CLG compositions would, but it featured instead of a "protect-the-doublelift" comp, it went into a general pick, teamfight composition. Darshan played well on Riven, Huhi finished with a score of 7-1-9 on Leblanc, and Stixxay posted a 7-4-9 score. Stixxay played well in both games and really featured to at least for day 1, exceed expectations of what many thought CLG would be. He limited the deaths, did his job by just flat-out putting out damage, and played consistent on two carry champions: Tristana and Jinx.
CLG now will move on to play Jin Air tomorrow. This will be way more difficult than today's match, as Jin Air have had plenty of time to prepare for this tournament. They didn't have off-season drama or removals, they had ample amount of time to prepare for 5.21 patch, and likely even scrim some of the other teams in Korea. Jin Air will be a difficult matchup but if CLG is going to be back, they will have to prove their worth against them.