When talking about eSports, one has to be aware that we are talking about a fairly young discipline that only came to life with the rise of personal computers, or PCs. The modern form of eSports came to be with the launch of the 2000 World Cyber Games and the Electronic Sports World Cup. These are two major international tournaments that are still held each year. These tournaments set the tone for the kind of events that would define the world of eSports.
Thus it is only appropriate to talk about one of the oldest and still active eSports organizations, namely Counter Logic Gaming. Coming to life way back in April 2010, the organization changed many members and coaches. Through all the changes, they continued to prosper, compete and succeed at tournaments over these years. Their original discipline was League of Legends, but since the start, the team has divided its efforts among various other games as well.
Nowadays, besides LoL, CLG competes at Halo, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Super Smash Bros., and Call of Duty. They also used to compete at Dota 2 as well. CLG was one of the very first organizations to have multiple teams dedicated to multiplayer online battles arenas (MOBA). Currently, their headquarters cover all major disciplines and have a permanent management staff taking care of everything. So let us take a look at the team that has helped shape the face of eSports.
The Birth of Legends
When League of Legends was developed in late 2009, George Georgallidis, better known as ‘HotshotGG’, and Alexander Beutel, known as ‘Voodoo’, founded what is now known as Counter Logic Gaming in April of 2010. Their first executive move was to unite forces with the Absolute Legends organization. This organization would soon come to an end, but a group of players from Absolute Legends chose to stay with CLG as CLG Europe. In May of the same year, Georgallidis formed a League of Legends B team that was known as Counter Logic Gaming Black.
Autumn of 2012 saw the organization disband their Dota 2 team, with its members leaving well before the official announcement. This was not the end of their troubles, as their European team CLG.EU decided to side with Evil Geniuses. Several other teams left the organization too, leaving only the original League of Legends team on the roster after many changes in management.
While all these circumstances occurred, the team still managed to form a core group of players that revolved around ‘HotshotGG’. They were able to claim a victory at the 2010 World Cyber Games, defeating the Swedish team SK Gaming on their way to the title.
In June 2011, the CLG team attended the Riot Games Season 1 World Championship. Even though they lost to Team SoloMid in the group stage, they advanced to the next stage, ultimately losing to FnaticMSI in the finals and taking the 5th place in the end.
In August 2011, CLG participated at the IEM Season VI Cologne. This was their second LAN tournament, and they managed to avenge their loss to Team SoloMid in the group stage of the Riot Games Championship, defeating them in the finals and taking home the overall victory.
At the 2011 World Cyber Games, the team formed an all-Canadian squad that represented the organization in the tournament. Several key players returned to the roster for this event and players from Team Solomid joined as well to complete the lineup. Unfortunately the team was beaten in the semifinals, but made up for this when they took the 3rd place by defeating the French team Millenium.
This proved to be the team’s last major victory in a League of Legends tournament, though they continued competing at events, with different teams under the monikers CLG Prime, CLG.EU and CLG Black, with varying degrees of success.
In February 2012 the organization formed a DotA 2 team under the name CLG Dota that comprised of former eXperience Gaming players. This CLG team had mixed results and minor successes before they received an invitation to the 2012 International. They only managed to place 9th and 12th in the overall rankings at the end of the tournament, but returned home emptyhanded. In October 2012, CLG announced it would disband the Dota 2 CLG team for good.
A Shot At Halo
In November 2014, the CLG organization decided to form a team for the Halo tournaments. They recruited several promising talents, like Matthew Fiorante aka “Royal 2” and Halo veteran Tom “OGRE2” Ryan.
The team was completed prior to the beginning of the HCS (Halo Championship Series) and immediately found success, with victories at the ESL HCS Pre Cup events 1 and 2, defeating accomplished teams like OpTic Gaming, Cloud9 and, Evil Geniuses.
During 2015, the CLG’s Halo team had varying degrees of success, being able to compete in the HCS Cup Season 2. They did this despite losing several times, but securing victories in the Losers Bracket. With several accomplished members leaving and new members arriving, the team’s success became increasingly questionable. It is worth mentioning that OpTic Gaming acquired the CLG Halo team in 2016.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
The Counter Logic Gaming management was vying for an expansion into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive territory, with Georgallidis stating in interviews that the organization is keeping all options open. In early 2015, CLG signed a number of players from other teams and formed their CSGO team under the name CLG.CS.
Their first appearance was at the 2015 ESL One Katowice, where they dropped out during the group stage of the tournament. Again, the CLG.CS team had mediocre success at CSGO, taking 5th and 6th place at the ESEA Global Finals Season 18. They also made it to the semifinals of ESL ESEA Pro League Season 1, before being knocked out by Cloud9, one of their old rivals.
One amazing fact is that CLG is one of the few organizations that has an all-female Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, called CLG Red. The team’s first success came mere 6 days after the team was formed, at the 2015 ESWC CSGO Women tournament, where they won the final.
What’s Ahead for CLG
The team continued to successfully branch out into Super Smash Bros. and Call of Duty territory, with Counter Logic Gaming remaining the premier eSports organization in North America and players competing at the highest levels of competitive video games.
The organization trains and supports athletes that compete at League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Super Smash Bros. Wii U and Melee. They are intent on continuing to compete at the highest levels of eSports, with a strong desire that for new victories that never goes away.