CLG Thinkcard: “For a lot of [players], the hardest part is getting that first win to make yourself slightly more comfortable on stage” cover image

CLG Thinkcard: “For a lot of [players], the hardest part is getting that first win to make yourself slightly more comfortable on stage”

CLG secured their first LCS Spring Split victory in Week 3. The team’s Head coach believes the team’s results will get better and better as weeks go by.

After three weeks of LCS Spring Split, Counter Logic Gaming has not had a very successful start. But the team's Head coach, Thomas "Thinkcard" Slotkin is taking it step by step with the goal of going to Worlds in sight.’s Devin “PiraTechnics” Younge caught up with Thinkcard shortly after their victory against Cloud9, the team's first in the 2022 Spring Split.

Pira: You guys got your first wins on the Split. Congratulations on that. How does it feel to pull out the W after a couple of weeks of losses?

CLG Thinkcard: It feels good, just as a team that is getting experience on the stage. For a lot of them, the hardest part is getting that first win to make yourself slightly more comfortable on stage.

So that's the thing I'm most happy about that now going into tomorrow and going into next weekend, we don't have the feeling in the back of our head that we haven't got that win yet. So it's mostly for comfort and being able to stay focused in the future.

Pira: I want to talk about the massive elephant in the room. Just before the match we all heard that the opposite team, Cloud9, their coach LS had been let go. Presuming you just found out about that as you took the stage. How did that change the calculus for you doing the pick and bans. 

CLG Thinkcard: So we actually heard about that after we got on stage. They actually announced it during the draft. So we actually had no idea until we left the stage.

To be honest, we don't know how the inner workings work at Cloud9. We don't know how much of the draft LS was able to do before. So it's hard to say from the outside how we changed our preparation.

Pira: So for you it actually didn't really make a whole lot of difference. And you ended up drafting a super composition. I know things like the Hecarim had been planned before. I believe it's been banned against you guys. But was this a draft that has been designed to shut down the Jinx lane, was this something that you prepped as a general counter? It seems like it's against the grain of the meta overall. 

CLG Thinkcard: It has to hit a few different checkmarks for us to lock in a comp like that. And as the draft was playing out, it definitely does seem like we are getting all the pieces necessary to run a comp like that.

And so we just went with it. We had confidence in our players and on Contractz that he is going to make the right choices and we would be able to use the spells of Hecarim to full potential.

Thinkcard joined CLG as their LCS Head Coach in November last year.
Thinkcard joined CLG as their LCS Head Coach in November last year.

And we saw that in game. Hecarim did a really good job, Contractz, of course, is a solid player. I think one thing that surprised me was how well Palafox was playing early on in the game. He seemed really really aggressive. Is this something you have been working on to try to give him more plays or it's just the right opportunities for him to show how he is as a player?

CLG Thinkcard: I think week by week we are working on our communication as a team. We just need to make sure of the conditions that are being laid: What type of options do we have? We communicated super-well today, so I'm really happy about that.

And I don't think it's going to be an outlier performance by Palafox. I think he is capable of making the most out of those windows basically in ever game. It just so happens to be that he got all those kills this game but his communication, it's always active.

Pira: Talking about CLG and generally speaking the expectations that you guys have right now. You talked about how the team has been building up, you are looking to get better each week and you've now got the win for the confidence boost.

How do you feel about the team's current level of development and what is your aim for the end of the split? Is it just playoffs, is it beyond that? What is the realistic goal do you think?

CLG Thinkcard: I think it's hard to say what our placing goal is going to be in terms of standings. We are just taking it week to week. In the long run obviously summer is going to be a lot more important for us because those are going to be qualifiers for worlds and playoffs.

That's really where we get to see how much we grew in the Spring Split. Honestly, this Spring Split, I just want us to get comfortable playing on stage, get some more wins and then wherever we end up, we end up. As long as we are improving I'm going to be happy.

Pira: You have a tough game coming in tomorrow. It's going to be Team Liquid. But of course coming into today, the expectation would have absolutely been that C9 is also a very tough team and you managed to win despite it. Is there anything special you have prepared for Team Liquid? I know you can't talk about what it would be.

CLG Thinkcard: "Of course we have some more tricks. If the draft is going in a certain direction, we can take it and use one of those tricks then we are going to do it. But if not, then we are just going to just draft whatever is optimal. But honestly, tomorrow, we don't have much to lose, so we are just going to come out and play our hearts out.

And if we get an early lead, the game could get interesting."

Despite their best attempts CLG lost the match against Team Liquid.

Pira: For CLG fans, it's an organization that is very storied. It goes a long way in NA LoL. Is there anything you want to say to the fans after this win?

CLG Thinkcard: It's been hard. I know you guys are frustrated, we said that before. We are still not where we want to be so you guys might still be frustrated. But I'm glad that we are able to get our first win. I promise that on the inside, we are doing everything we can to keep improving. It's just going to be better and better as weeks go by.

Pira: Is there anybody else you want to shout out after that game?

CLG Thinkcard: My coaching staff has been working super hard. Shoutouts to my coaching staff croissant, Apollo, and Damonte, and all our players for showing up and giving 110% everyday. Tons of respect for the effort they've been putting in. I know things will just keep improving.

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