Even though the season may not be over for Counter Logic Gaming, the split is done for long time CLG coach Tony “zikz” Grey.
In a statement via their Twitter, Counter Logic Gaming would announce his release:
— CLG (@clgaming) August 7, 2018
This news comes after a tumultuous 2018 Summer Split, where CLG finds themselves on the outside looking into the playoffs scene. The current meta has thrown many players and teams into disarray, forcing people into unique compositions and tactics. It seems that coach Zikz was one of the coaches that could not find his footing this split. Currently, CLG is one of the worst teams in the league with a 5-9 record. They have also just come off their third 0-2 week in a row. However, the news is still shocking to many fans and players alike.
Zikz led this team through multiple tough times and would help them reach two NA LCS championships. He and former team leader Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black were two people who looked absolutely essential to CLG’s success. However, it seems like this past season was enough for the organization to look for change.
CLG’s Decline Since MSI 2016
It has been tough for Counter Logic Gaming these past few seasons, but we must remember the dominant stretch CLG had in 2016. The old CLG squad that consisted of Darshan, Xmithie, Huhi, Stixxay and Aphromoo was brilliant. Coach Zikz was an integral part of their success that year, such as their back-to-back season titles from Summer 2015 to Spring 2016, to their incredible run through that year’s MSI. However, after 2016’s MSI, they would never find the same results as before.
CLG would take fourth in Summer 2016, and would be eliminated in the group stages at Worlds. Again, they would take fourth place in the 2017 Spring regular season, but would lose to FlyQuest in the quarterfinals. The next split, they would take third place in the regular season, only to get swept by the dominant Immortals in the semifinals. They would not even make it to Worlds that year, losing to Cloud9 in the 2017 North American Regional Finals.
Therefore, this team has not had the most success in recent memory, but they also have not been the worst team in the NA LCS.
What Does Zikz’s Departure Mean?
Many people expected this year to be tough for Counter Logic Gaming. They had just lost arguably their most important player on the roster in Aphromoo. He was someone that the whole team relied on for knowledge and shotcalling, and so early season struggles were not a surprise. It seems that CLG will have to adapt once again, losing another key figure on the roster. It will be hard for the team to change their playstyle, especially for longtime members Darshan, Huhi and Stixxay, who have worked with Zikz for almost five years.
CLG is replacing Zikz with their Assistant Coach, Zach Goldman. This will probably be a short term fix while the team finishes off the season, but we will need to see how Zikz’s absence affects the squad. Could this change bring a much-needed breath of fresh air to a team that has been drowning in underachievement for a few splits now?
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