There are certain names in the history of Halo esports that will outlive many of us. Names like Final Boss from the days of Halo 2, and Evil Geniuses from Halo 2: Anniversary. These names are cloaked in a powerful aura of words such as dominant, greatness, and legacy. Since solidifying their new roster of Paul "Snakebite" Duarte, Matthew "Royal 2" Fiorante, Bradley "Frosty" Bergstrom, and TJ "Lethul" Campbell, Counter Logic Gaming have been knighted with some of these words as well.
The road to recognition didn't start smoothly, though. Lethul sent shockwaves throughout the competitive Halo landscape this past January when he decided to leave champion team Evil Geniuses to join persistent runner-ups CLG. His decision was surrounded with doubters questioning whether or not that was the right move. The new roster's first event, X Games Aspen, only fueled those doubts when CLG lost to EG in Game 7 of the Gold Medal match to earn a Silver Medal.
CLG would not lose a series again for the next six months.
They dominated the North American Regionals, then established their dominance on a global scale at the Halo World Championships. Not only did they make their way to the grand finals with relative ease, but they made a statement by sweeping their opposing finalists, Team Allegiance, 4-0. When many did not think that this team could get any better, it did. CLG went through the entire offseason without dropping a single scrim, and entered the first season of the Halo Championship Series Pro League as clear favorites to win yet again. The season went on as many expected; CLG only dropped one single map in the first three weeks of the season and swept Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, Team Allegiance, Enigma 6, and Cloud9 along the way.
Many among the community were making comparisons to some of the great teams in Halo history, and some were going so far as to ask, "Will CLG ever lose again?"
CLG's schedule for Week 4 included a new opponent in Team EnVyUs and a rematch against Enigma 6. nV was on a four-series win streak and was getting into a good rhythm when they clashed against the CLG juggernauts, and that momentum showed when they played. CLG found themselves in a Game 5 scenario for the first time all season and survived the scare. CLG won Game 5, but the cracks in their armor started to show. The next day, CLG went on to play Enigma 6 again and had its first loss of the season.
Although CLG bounced back after their loss to E6, their performance was not nearly as dominating as it was at the beginning of the season. CLG has lost nine maps since week 1, and eight of those nine have come since the beginning of week 4. Still, CLG is very likely to successfully defend the legacy they have been building upon for months.
Behind the winning record is, of course, a top-notch team. The leader of the defending world champions, Snakebite, started competing at a very young age and has a deep roster with him that seems to understand Halo in a way that's well beyond that of other teams. Snakebite and the rest of CLG have an aggressive playstyle and an emotionless demeanor that overwhelms opponents. Royal 2 has a knack for highlight plays and coming in with the lowest number of deaths on his team by a landslide; he backs these achievements with a team-leading 1.4 KD. Frosty is well known for his deep knowledge of the maps and using it to his advantage, while Lethul is not far behind with a 1.2 KD of his own and leads the team with 451 assists this season. Although fully capable of doing so, CLG does not make their living with flashy highlights and plays. CLG asserts their dominance by having complete methodical control from beginning to end.
Counter Logic Gaming takes on the newly acquired Cloud9 roster to kick off their Summer Finals weekend. CLG has a 2-0 record and an overall 6-1 map record against C9. If their previous performances are any indication of how this weekend will go, the question people will be asking will not be "Did CLG win?" but "Who finished second?"