CLG Academy announced this morning they will take their roster in a different direction ahead of their last chance qualifier, which kicks off Monday. For the last tournament of the spring season, Ryan Keel will start as the team’s jungler instead of CLG mainstay Raymond Griffin.
CLG’s poor tournament performance demanded roster change
The change comes off the heels of disappointing performances in back-to-back tournaments for the CLG b-team. At the Unified Grand Prix, Zoos Gaming upset CLG.A in the first round, and then the eventual tournament winners No Org knocked them out of the losers bracket. With only the top four teams qualifying for Proving Grounds, CLG.A failed to claim an invite. The next opportunity to qualify again was at the Giant Slayer Gauntlet.
The Giant Slayer Gauntlet featured the same woes for CLG.A. After winning a close set with Wildcard Gaming in the upper bracket, CLG.A lost a three game series to Evil Geniuses Academy and immediately fell to Golden Guardians Academy in the losers bracket. Just as with the Unified Grand Prix, only another four teams qualified for the Proving Grounds tournament, meaning CLG.A missed out once again. CLG.A is currently the only academy team to not have a qualifying spot.
Griffin chosen as scapegoat for poor performance
Griffin, who was once a top three finisher in LCS MVP voting, had a rough start to the 2021 LCS season. He tried to fill the jungler gap on CLG’s main roster while Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen was stuck in Europe with visa issues. After a 1-4 start to the season, Broxah finally joined CLG and relegated Griffin back to the academy team.
After Griffin’s woes continued with poor Academy team performance, CLG decided their best chance at winning would not involve him. Keel, who is replacing Griffin, joined CLG.A in January after a four month stint with Columbia College in the back half of 2020. Keel made nine starts for CLG.A, all of them before Griffin was demoted. CLG.A went 3-6 in that time.
Nerd Street Power Play, The last chance qualifier for next week’s Proving Grounds Spring tournament, is CLG.A’s last shot. The eight team LCQ, which runs from March 22-25, will determine which final three teams will qualify for the 16 team spring invitational. Keel and CLG.A will immediately be tested against Cloud9 Amateur in their first round of competition.