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CLG defends North American LCS crown

(courtesy of Riot eSports, flickr)

Counter Logic Gaming held off red-hot Team SoloMid in a riveting five-game slugfest on Sunday. In anticipation of our in-depth recap, we take you through some of the bullet points of this series to prep the palate.

North American mainstays Counter Logic Gaming took to the rift at the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas to defend their North American LCS championship crown against once-underdog supersquad Team SoloMid.

In a stunning five-game marathon, CLG flexed their macro-play muscles en route to convincing Game 1 and 3 victories, while allowing the series to continually be tugged back into the TSM corner with Game 2 and 4 losses. 

Interestingly, CLG's victories came at only a +2 kill differential over TSM while their losses left them at a dismal -20 kill differential. TSM owned three out of five 20 minute gold leads, but could not convert in closely contested late-game situations, allowing CLG's superior map awareness, strategy, and team synergy to fluorish.

Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes was named the series MVP after a demonstration of levelheadedness and precision in such a high-pressure setting. The rookie's numbers were in no way particularly gawdy, but his performance in Game 5 on a Guinsoo build Tristana turned doubt into domination, exploding in a decisive teamfight at the 45 minute mark, earning a triple kill and securing Counter Logic Gaming's second consecutive NALCS trophy.

Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg was an absolute monster in this series, regardless of the outcome. Posting an 8.33 KDA (22/6/28), Bjergsen's worst performance was a 4/3/4 Leblanc effort in Game 3.

Counter Logic Gaming is the definition of a "team." Sefless, confidently, and adeptly, they dictated the tempo of their victories from the first minute and set the pace for the series, often making TSM play on their terms. With a full season under their belts, both Stixxay and mid-laner Choi "Huhi" Jae-hyeon are primed to make a big leap in the summer, as CLG looks to lock up yet another trip to the world tournament.

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