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How Faith Led to Shanghai: CLG's Road to MSI

Finishing second in the regular reason was a statement enough to NA LCS and their own fans -- You don’t need superstars to succeed. However, this was only the regular season and the postseason has a tendency to properly weed out the incompetent. Their merits were first tested against Team Liquid on a hot streak, led by young guns in Dardoch and Matt, while also bolstered by veteran carry, Piglet.

TL’s thrashing of NRG esports in quarterfinals had CLG looking outmatched, but the series was incredibly close and would eventually tip in CLG’s favor -- Their level-headed early game and decisive team fighting had them edging out the series 3-2, as they were nearly taken out. Beaten and battered, there was only one test left for the faithful lineu, and that would be facing off against their longtime rival, Team Solomid, in the final.

Much like the rest of the season, CLG was seen to be outmatched overall and it’s hard to argue against it -- Team Solomid had relative All-Stars at nearly every position and defeated Immortals handily, while CLG has less experienced players and had a close series with Team Liquid. Bjergsen and Svenskeren were playing some of their best League of Legends, but CLG showed that names only mean so much when it came to Finals day in Vegas.

As the two original NA franchises battled it out, the series was as close as ever, with both teams being able to swing their weight around no matter the situation. CLG’s lane management and objective control crashed against TSM’s aggressive jungle invades and teamfighting, with the former coming out on top 3-2.

In the end, their teamwork prevailed, as they had Stixxay carry them on a six item Tristana, sending them to the Mid Season Invitational. While it was a messy series, it was a CLG series, as they battled the odds and eventually came out on top with every player playing their part.

Regular season and postseason tests domestically are one thing, but international play is a whole other monster. The faithful are set to battle against some of the world’s best, as they once again come in as a relative underdog, given the strength of their region and LCS Finals performance. In North America, they were at a supposed disadvantage positionally, but made up for it with teamwork -- Internationally, the teamwork is at another level, especially when it comes to South Korea’s representative, SK Telecom T1. Counter Logic Gaming doesn’t come in as a world beater by any means, but have the stuff to keep the groups interesting.

They are profiled by most to be mere fodder at the feet of SKT, G2, RNG and FW, but CLG is no stranger to being the underdog, as seen in the past. Besides, it’s clear at this point that the roster would rather come in without all the expectations and let their play do the talking. CLG is going into MSI hoping to make North America proud and as long as they play the way CLG does and remain competitive, that should be just enough.

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