CLG LCS Roster Finalized for 2021
CLG is one of the many LCS permanent partners that has already decided on its roster for 2021 and, despite all odds, they’ve actually ended up with quite a solid one. Surprisingly so, even. “CLG” and “competitive” don’t really go hand-in-hand these days, and it’s been like that for years. Heck, they’ve pretty much been a bottom-tier dweller for what feels like an eternity. Most fans watching now probably aren’t aware of just how good of a roster CLG had back in 2016 and just how fiercely they fought with the likes of Team SoloMid and Cloud9 — the days when Team Liquid wasn’t even a part of the conversation.
But a lot can change in a couple of years’ time, and the boys in black and blue definitely ended up with the short end of the stick in that regard. Fortunately, it seems as though 2021 has slightly better plans for CLG, if their recently announced LCS roster is any indication.
Before we delve any deeper into their odds of finding success, let’s go over their starting roster:
CLG 2021 Starting Line-up
Top: Finn “Finn” Wiestål (former Rogue top laner)
Jungle: Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen (formerly of Team Liquid)
Mid: Eugene “Pobelter” Park
ADC: Jason “WildTurtle” Tran (formerly of FlyQuest)
Support: Andy “Smoothie” Ta
Overall, as far as CLG rosters go, this is quite an impressive one, all things considered. Again, we mustn’t forget that this is Counter Logic Gaming we’re talking about — the ninth best team from 2020 Summer (and tenth from Spring). The LCS had eight playoffs spots this time around and yet they still failed to get in. Baffling, really.
And while some will definitely (and rightfully) point out that this isn’t a roster brimming with well-performing players, it still has more than enough experience and firepower to surprise next year. Will they be hoisting the LCS trophy any time soon? Of course not, but they’ll surely become a mid-tier contender with a puncher’s chance and that, in short, is head and shoulders above what CLG could accomplish throughout the last couple of years.
Finn isn’t exactly a top-tier behemoth, but he did fairly well in the LEC, given whom he was up against. Likewise, Broxah didn’t perform up to expectations in Team Liquid, but we know what he’s capable of when given the right guidance and room to maneuver. He’s still one of the best Western junglers of all time, even though his recent play left a lot to be desired. LCS mainstay Pobelter has been the only shining star on CLG throughout 2020 and is still surprisingly good, despite playing at the highest of levels for so many years. And now he’ll finally have a good enough team around him, so expect good things from the “Notorious POB.”
Finally, we have a somewhat peculiar bottom lane duo: WildTurtle and Smoothie. Their careers had entirely different trajectories. WildTurtle has pretty much remained a staple marksman in North America, whereas Smoothie faded into obscurity. Their performances tell the same tale as well. Pairing one of the best AD carries the LCS has to offer with one of North America’s worst supports isn’t exactly a combination that one would expect. Still, Smoothie always had ups and downs throughout his career, but we’ve seen what he’s capable and — one could argue — he deserves another shot as a starter. But it’s a stretch, really. Still, if he doesn’t improve fast enough he’ll undoubtedly be phased out in favor of someone younger.
All in all, this is a surprisingly decent roster. At the very least, it’s ten times better than anyone thought CLG would end up with. This might be a rough way of phrasing things, but it is by no means untrue. For CLG to succeed even remotely in 2021, these players will need to embrace their inherent underdog status and play like there’s no tomorrow. Either way, watching them synergize and put their best foot forward should be quite exciting.