Some pretty big news coming out of the League of Legends pro scene yesterday. CLG is, once again, reworking their roster, and it looks like the great HotshotGG’s run as a player may be coming to an end. Oh, and if you could care less about pro LoL skip ahead to the end for a video of some awesome Thresh plays. Mondays suck, but hopefully this will hook you out of the blues like a Vayne who has just been introduced to Death Sentence.
Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) has long been a cornerstone of the LoL pro community. They were one of the first organized and sponsored pro teams, and they remain one of the most followed. After what can only be viewed as a sub par spring split (first half of the year), CLG is once again making some major roster moves. The official announcement can be found here. To list out the changes Aphromoo is out, Chauster is moving back to support, bigfatlp is back as the team’s jungler, they have picked up Nientonsoh (formerly ADC for team MARN) as the top laner, and Hotshotgg will officially become the team’s coach/business manager/sub as needed.
Apparently CLG will be releasing an in-depth interview with Hotshot talking about all of these changes and why he has elected, seemingly, to take a step back from playing professionally. I want to wait until seeing this video to offer my full commentary on how I feel about Hotshot stepping away. What I will offer you are a few of the first impressions of other pro players.
Some people are intrigued as to why the team picked up Nientonsoh for top plane. Nientonsoh has mostly built up his reputation as a mid/adc player, and his matchmaking history indicates that his transition to the top lane might not be going so smoothly. It is also a curious move considering there are quite a few established top laners who are unemployed after the latest relegation tournament, including Nientonsoh’s former teammate MegaZero. CLG must see something very special in Nientonsoh to take him over the other veteran, and probably better caliber, top laners who are currently out there.
bigfatlp’s relationship with CLG has been a troubled one for about the last six months. He seemed to be in a rut last year and was not living up to the expectations the team had for him. When he continued to refuse to move into the team’s gaming house, CLG finally benched him in favor of Link. Interestingly, bigfatlp would then go on to lead a challenger team (one rank below pro) that would go on to fight CLG for their spot in the League Championship Series – and lose.
bigfatlp also built his reputation in a role other than the one that CLG intends to have him play, and his matchmaking history also seems to suggest that he is having trouble with his new position. This move really looks like bigfatlp has decided that getting paid to play LoL trumped just streaming with his cats in his basement, and so he begged CLG to take him back. Hotshot might say otherwise in his interview, and for the sake of the team, I hope there’s more to it than what I’m guessing.
Chauster’s move to support is probably the only instantly positive move for CLG. Chauster is an amazing support who has great synergy with DoubleLift, CLG’s amazing ADC. I look forward to seeing these two back in the bot lane together and hope it will allow Doublelift to flourish beyond what he was able to accomplish in the first half of year.
Only time will tell if these moves will help propel CLG back to greatness as it will depend a lot on how Nientonsoh and bigfatlp handle their new positions. I wouldn’t have said that it was obvious that the team needed to make changes as their previous roster had really not been together for THAT long. It is clear that management viewed their latest LCS showing as unacceptable and decided to pull the trigger. Nientonsoh and bigfatlp are both talented players, but so was Aphromoo. I can’t wait to see if Nientonsoh and bigfatlp can thrive at their new positions or if, like Aphromoo, they struggle with their new roles and ultimately move on from CLG.
A lot of insight on these changes is still yet to be provided. When it is, it will be offered up by the man himself, HotshotGG. I will definitely write a follow up once that interview has been posted. I really do not think this is the last we will see of Hotshot. I picture him as one of those players turned coaches who will love to meddle with his team. Unlike in most pro sports, this will include the option to easily jump back in and play with his team, something that most retired athletes do not get the chance to do. In the meantime, here is a humorous tribute to Hotshot. The language is not the cleanest, so resist watching at work.
For those of you who have not committed body and soul to the pro scene, here is the promised Thresh video. It is definitely well worth the time and use of your mouse wheel, and I thank you for taking a look. I promise I will get back to writing about non LCS LoL very soon. Changes at CLG are always a hot topic, and I just couldn’t resist adding my two cents.