Counter Logic Gaming are hotly contesting a top three spot in the LCS summer split regular season.

Not many would have predicted Counter Logic Gaming to be a wildcard as the playoffs approach. At the time of writing this article, CLG sits tied for third with Cloud9 and Team Liquid at an 8-5 record. Following their victory over Golden Guardians, CLG’s Contractz spoke to Esports.gg’s Piratechnics for an exclusive interview.

Pira: First of all congratulations on the win! How did it feel to be running around the rift as Poppy getting kill after kill? 

CLG Contractz: Honestly, this kind of felt like a scrim game in the early game. A lot of action, a lot of kills and a lot of dying. This is the most kills I’ve ever gotten in the first 15 minutes of an LCS game. I’m pretty sure, so definitely always fun.

Pira: You made sure to insert a lot of excitement in the draft as well – that last pickup LeBlanc which allowed you guys to have a lot of roaming around the map. How were you feeling going into the game from minute one, when it seemed like you solidly out-drafted GG?

CLG Contractz: Yeah, I mean, we were pretty confident we definitely felt like our last pick would enable our team comp, they didn’t really have many answers into LeBlanc, they don’t have a lot of hard CC so LeBlanc can just do her thing with Yuumi. When we get past 30 minutes, 20 minutes whenever they scale. So yeah, definitely a pretty easy win condition for us.

Photo by: Chris Bet/Riot Games via ESPAT

Pira: And speaking of your support, it is Poome’s birthday! Did that add any extra pressure to win?

CLG Contractz: Definitely a little bit [laughs]. Obviously, try not to let things like that affect this, but we all wanted to win it for Poome so I am glad we got the win.

Pira:  That’s awesome! moving onto CLG, you’re 7-5 which is a very respectable position to be in – how are you feeling moving into the final two weeks of the regular season in terms of your confidence?

CLG Contractz: I think we’re pretty confident, especially after beating TL last week as well. I think we’re definitely a team that strives off like, like mood and how things are going. So you know, winning, winning makes it easy, but I mean, we’re all really close with each other. We’re all very open-minded just makes it easy to work with each other.

Pira: And you’ve been with this squad for not just this split, but also in the spring. And as somebody that has a lot of experience on LCS squads and Academy squads, how has it been to kind of be on the same roster for a while now and be in what looks like a very good position heading into the postseason?

CLG Contractz: You know, honestly, when I was on this roster in spring, we were definitely not as close especially since we were losing as well. Definitely, things got rough at times. And, you know, from those experiences, grew and improved. But we had this Korea trip, in the middle of the offseason that really bonded us, we were just in the same room for a month. So there’s lots of bonding, we explored Korea together, we played a lot of soloque together.

And honestly, that was probably the biggest thing that changed within us, I’d say that Korea trip definitely helped us, you know, be more open-minded with each other, you know, be more like, just be able to take criticism from each other without knowing or without, like, feeling that they’re like being aggressive or someone’s out to like, get another person right. At the end of the day, we all know like, you know, we’re friends, we’re teammates, and we’re just trying to do it.

Pira: Right –it’s really important to develop those interpersonal bonds when you’re playing together for yourself, a very experienced player, I think you said at the start of spring when you first started in a CLG jersey that you were hoping to bring your experience as a potential leader on the squad. Do you feel like you are one of the if not the team leader in the game?

CLG Contractz: I wouldn’t say I’m like a leader or I wouldn’t say we have like one distinguished voice of our team. I think we all put in our collective effort, but I do definitely think I’m a big voice, and how we play the early game and what we’re playing for and just overall trying to get my team on the same page is my goal, as long as we’re on the same page, and we’re doing one thing and get it together and we’re not like split on calls or, you know, that kind of leads like hesitation and like low confidence. So as long as we’re on the same page, and we’re making one play and one plan together, then I’m happy and that’s what I’m trying to do.

Pira: Yeah, today it definitely seemed to pay off. Looking at the playoffs – how important is it for you, as someone who’s been in multiple teams and multiple playoff runs to get the better seeding heading into the playoffs?

CLG Contractz: Yeah, I definitely do think it is definitely an advantage when I was on C9 and having that one-week bye definitely helps for you know, scouting and just seeing what people are playing and have a feel how they play on stage. So there are definitely some advantages but I’d also say playing multiple best-of-five series is a good kind of like, momentum swing for that team if they’re able to keep winning. You know, they feel more comfortable on stage investor fives rather than maybe one team that was off for the week. Right? So I think both sides have strengths and weaknesses. And honestly, I’m not. I’m not too worried about seeding for us.

Pira: Okay, fair. But you did mention your C9 days and I believe back in 2017 that was the last time that you got to go to Worlds. How important is it for you to be able to make the big event this year with CLG?

CLG Contractz: Yeah, it’s pretty important for me, I think. Especially since last year, I was one game off of worlds on EG, we took 100 Thieves to game five and we couldn’t pull it off. So part of me is like just really disappointed. I want to make another run for it for sure.

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piratechnics - LoL Commentator

piratechnics

LoL Commentator | Twitter: @PiraTechnics

Devin "PiraTechnics" Younge is a League of Legends PBP caster who rose to prominence during his time on the EU LCS from 2015 to 2017. Since then he has also branched out into other esports titles. He is currently a caster for Riot Games' PCS 2022 Spring Split.