CLG 2022 LCS Team Breakdown | Starting Over From Scratch
CLG will enter 2022 with a completely revamped roster and, well, you should lower your expectations as much as possible as there’s very little these five players will be able to do against the many LCS giants and mid-tier gatekeepers.
This might be a harsh way of putting it, but it is by no means incorrect.
Now, not all is grim, and we really need to be fair to CLG here — we’ve been clamoring for a thorough refresh for years and now that they’ve finally pulled the proverbial “trigger” everyone’s criticizing them for not spending more. CLG were never going to splurge a few million on the biggest of imports, so going with rookies and investing into the potential “superstars of tomorrow” makes a lot more sense.
This, however, brings forth a different kind of question: is the CLG coaching staff capable enough to nurture these young talents and guide them appropriately? We’re not fully convinced, in no small part because of the many ways in which CLG has fumbled and failed throughout the last few years. To be fair, different folks are now in charge which means we’ll witness a different kind of CLG for the 2022 LCS, but it’s hard to shake off that lingering doubt.
Fostering young, native players is a gargantuan challenge that only a few orgs were able to tackle — mainly Cloud9 and, as of late, Evil Geniuses. It’s no secret that CLG have hit rock bottom, so how in the world do they expect to pull it off from such a disadvantageous position?
Their plan is fairly simple on paper: rally around a singular vision, put a seasoned veteran in charge, and take it one step at a time. But the simplest of ideas and concepts often require a tremendous amount of planning and excellence in execution; that’s something CLG don’t really excel at. They’ll be fighting an uphill battle and, frankly, they’re not going to find any concrete amount of success any time soon — which is totally fine.
Instead of making overly confident (and wholly unrealistic) plans and promises, they’ve been forthright: they’re well aware of their position and the fact that they’ll almost surely finish near the very bottom of the standings yet again. They have a long-term plan here which means short-term results simply have to be sacrificed. This one fact is hugely important for us to remember. Instead of going for broke, they’ve set up a foundation and will make the necessary roster and coaching staff changes as they traverse the future, in hope of one day leaving a mark
CLG | 2022 LCS Starting Line-Up
The following five players will all compete under CLG’s banner for the 2022 competitive season:
Top Lane: Thomas “Jenkins” Tran [Team Liquid Academy]
Jungle: Juan Arturo “Contractz” Garcia [Evil Geniuses]
Mid Lane: Cristian “Palafox” Palafox [FlyQuest]
AD Carry: Fatih “Luger” Güven [100 Thieves Academy]
Support: Philippe “Poome” Lavoie-Giguere [100 Thieves Academy]
In all fairness, there is some potential with this line-up, although we’d be remiss if we didn’t say that it’s quite meager and barely noticeable. First of all, Jenkins performed quite well during the time when he stood in for Barney “Alphari” Morris. He might not be a top lane behemoth, but he can certainly hold his own and is definitely worthy of the starting spot.
By the same token, we’re elated to see Contractz back on an LCS team. He’s been killing it in Academy and is still exceptional at the game — despite being a far bigger veteran than most folks realize. He’ll be the biggest catalyst for CLG during the 2022 LCS season. He’ll set things up in the early game and lead his team in a multitude of ways, both on the Rift and outside of it as well. Palafox, on the other hand, didn’t exactly blow anyone’s mind during his stint with FlyQuest. A few good moments aside, he was fairly meek and exploitable. Did his play deteriorate given the circumstances? Or was he not sufficiently talented to compete on the LCS stage in the first place? Perhaps it’s still a bit too early to judge, but we’re pretty sure he’s not going to set the world on fire come 2022.
Much of the same can be said for Luger and Poome. On the one hand, Luger is a very promising player (and a TCL champion, to boot) so he’s probably going to show up and deliver in some way, shape, or form. On the other hand, we still remember Poome’s dreadful performances on the LCS stage. To be fair, 100 Thieves pretty much threw him into the fire without any real preparation; Poome simply wasn’t ready for the level of competition he eventually faced and the results speak for themselves. We hope he’ll be able to deliver this time around, but we’re not going to hold our breath for it to happen.
Needless to say, head coach Thomas “Thinkcard” Slotkin has an incredibly challenging task ahead of him. Heck, we’re putting it mildly here! These players have potential — that is a fact — but they just don’t have enough of it to actually matter. They might pull off a few upsets, they might string a few wins at the most random of moments, but sooner or later they’re all but guaranteed to end up near the very bottom of the standings.
And that’s okay — for now, at least. These first steps will be hugely important but also mighty painful. So, don’t expect anything from CLG going into the 2022 LCS season as you’re bound to be disappointed. In time, however, they might stand a chance of correcting course. The odds will be stacked against them, but at least they’ll have a shot.