Another season is upon us in just a few short weeks, and we have another huge CLG roster to digest. CLG has never been a team afraid to change their roster when they felt they weren't performing at a top level, but no change has been as dramatic as this most recent one.
The news broke Sunday night that Hotshotgg would be stepping down from a playing position to focus on CLG the organization, Aphromoo would be leaving the team, and Chauster would be moving back to support. Instead of choosing established players at their empty jungle and top positions, they brought Bigfatjiji back to fill the jungle role and chose Nientonsoh to replace Hotshot in the top lane. A CLG without Hotshot marks the end of an era, but perhaps the return to competitiveness.
The end of CLG as we knew it
One thing is certain, the next time we see CLG it will be completely different than it use to be. A CLG without Hotshot is like a TSM without Reginald...just hard to imagine.The organization and the team will live on, likely for the better, but it's always sad to see players with such history say goodbye. Hotshot hasn't been a dominant top laner in awhile, and this decision has likely been a long time coming, but he always put pressure on the map and did his job better than people gave him credit for.
Source: Reign of Gaming
Hotshot and CLG are gigantic reasons why LoL is the dominant e-Sport it is today. Hotshot was the first huge LoL personality and CLG was the first truly dominant team. They won everything in their path, and even after a disappointing showing at the Season 1 Championships, they rebounded to take all the early events in Season 2. They haven't won a LAN in a long time, but they still enjoy a huge fan base and those fans will never get to see the same CLG again.
CLG had a distinct style that will be hard to maintain with so many new faces or old faces in new places. They split-pushed, hard. They valued towers over dragons. They innovated and 2v1'ed long before the end of Season 2. At the end, above all else, they protected Doublelift. Those comps won't likely be gone or forgotten, but without Hotshot they won't look the same for better or worse. We'll have to see how the new lineup performs, but they will certainly have big shoes to fill.
The New Era
CLG has always valued talent, skill sets, and potential over everything else. They collect talent, it's simply what they do. That's why putting Nientonsoh top and Jiji in the jungle shouldn't surprise people. CLG thinks big picture, and with Hotshot still manning the organization it always will.
Fans have been scratching their heads at why CLG would possibly make these types of decisions. Why not Megazero? Why not someone like Lautemortis? What about Nickwu? For once, CLG picked intelligently and factored in team dynamics. They chose potential stars and are going to let the players natural talent (hopefully) allow them to learn quickly and be the best possible team by the end of the season, not the beginning.
Korean teams and organizations largely do this exact same thing. They value potential over immediate improvement. CJ Blaze took Flame from a very mundane solo queue player who mained Irelia into a dominant force in the top lane who plays Ryze just as well Shy did at Allstars. If the players are willing to take criticism, and their fair share of losses early, they will be able to learn enough to be more than competent in their new positions. Nien is a player who makes good decisions and has good mechanics and the same goes for Jiji. They have the skillsets they need, now they just need the reps in scrims and the right attitude to be successful.
Jiji and Nien aren't flashy, look at me type players. They don't cause huge arguments, and they aren't going to cause a lot of strife within the team. For so long, CLG has had at least 2 huge personalities over the team with Hotshot and Chauster clashing at times, and they use to have Saint in that mix as well. It doesn't breed good, productive practices, and things can get murky without one clear leader when arguments happen. Now everyone can get their notebooks out and go to Chauster school.
Personally, I think this move will pay off in the long run. I believe Nien and Jiji are good players who are stepping into roles that the team didn't get much out of last season anyway. Hotshot and Chauster didn't have large impacts on a majority of CLG's games last season, so it would be hard for them to be much worse. CLG already had the best bottom lane in NA, and that lane only got better with the return of Chauster.
It will probably be rough waters for the team to start the season in mid-June. They have their work cut out for them and will likely have to take their share of losses early, but CLG is interested in the long game. They are looking to qualify for worlds and their lineup today is better than it was at the end of the LCS. They have incredible potential, and it will be interesting to see if they can live up to it or if we will be talking about even more roster changes in a few months time.
What do you think RoG'ers? Do these roster moves make sense or should they have chosen differently? How will CLG fare in the Summer LCS? Are they better off now than they were at the end of the Spring Season? Let us know in the comment section and be sure to stay tuned to ReignofGaming for all your LoL-related needs!
Source: Reign of Gaming