published at 16:30 CET, Sunday March 19 2017

Match of the day: CLG take a nail-biting win over FLY

Today's match between Counter Logic Gaming and FlyQuest meant a lot for both these teams. For CLG, a win today would mean they'd continue their climb to the top of the standings; for FlyQuest, a win would snap their losing streak and help them regain their footing. In the end however, it was CLG who pulled out the win thanks to excellent teamfighting and a pair of crucial lategame plays.

CLG looked absolutely lost in the early game, with poor positioning and rotations all around. FlyQuest meanwhile was able to pick up towerdive kills in both games, snowballing up an early kill lead and tower lead. However, FlyQuest were never able to find a way to close the game out - CLG stopped playing to FLY's beat once midgame rolled around and found opportunities to get some gold back. In the end, a single crucial fight spelled the difference for CLG in both games, allowing them to take out FlyQuest.

Many players would sweat under the pressure of having to win from behind, but according to CLG Stixxay, it's not that big of a deal. "I feel like we're kinda used to it at this point," he said in a postgame interivew. "Its not too suprising to get behind. We always know how to get back into the game."

Getting back into the game is a lot easier done than said when you have someone like Darshan on the team. CLG's toplaner was crucial to their success today, finding some excellent Poppy flanks in game 2 to equalize fights and splitpushing effectively on Shen in game 1. He also landed a truly massive four-man taunt during a Baron fight in game 1 that all but handed CLG the victory.

Of course, before the Baron fight, CLG had been behind. FlyQuest five-man ganked botlane for two kills and the first tower of the game, then rotated up towards the top side of the map to bully down that tower as well. CLG tried to answer back a few times, but just weren't able to keep up with the pressure - that is, until midgame rolled around. FLY were seemingly unable to answer the 1-3-1 splitpush from CLG and were forced into a desperate Baron attempt that almost worked. Darshan's timely arrival - and subsequent Shadow Dash - resulted in three kills for CLG and a Baron left at the perfect health to Smite down. With the buff secured, it was a trivial matter to take down inhibitors and find the one final fight they needed to win game 1.

Game 2 started with CLG being down early as before, but FlyQuest looked a lot better this time around. They held the pressure through the midgame, using the chain CC of Ashe, Lulu, and Syndra to pick off CLG members and force towers. Only Huhi's Vladimir and Darshan's Poppy kept CLG in the game by somehow coming up with enough kills to stymie FLY's subsequent push attempts. Once again, a Baron fight helped decide the course of the game - FLY Balls overcommitted onto Huhi, but couldn't quite kill off CLG's midlaner. In the ensuing brawl, CLG took down three members of FlyQuest, then snagged the Baron as well. FLY might have been able to stall out the buff's duration, but CLG picked off Balls in the botlane following the Baron and started trickling out FlyQuest's members, keeping them below full strength for the remainder of the game. FLY mounted a heroic defense of the Nexus, even acing CLG, but the last few caster minions of CLG were able to knock the last few hitpoints off the Nexus and end the game.

Joe “Helmight” Silva
Joe's been playing - and writing - about videogames for about three years now. He mains Garen, hates Akali, and thinks LeBlanc should be deleted from the game. You can talk to him @grabthelantern on Twitter.