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Counter Logic Gaming earned their spot in the LCS Summer semifinals by sweeping OpTic Gaming 3-0. This is the first top 4 berth for the organization since the 2017 Summer Playoffs, after spending the last three splits struggling as a mid-to-bottom table team.

While games 2 and 3 in the OpTic series weren’t particularly impressive and saw CLG easily outmuscle their opponents, game 1 was one for the tales. OpTic established complete map control straight from the early game and controlled almost every single objective on the Rift. CLG’s epic defense and stoic patience, however, pushed the match deep into the late game, and it went for more than 46 minutes. During that time, OpTic took four barons — which was more than the number of kills they got all game! — and even stripped CLG’s base to bare bones, but never got more than 3.3K gold ahead.

Despite having good champions to poke with, like Corki and Ezreal, OpTic faced difficulties breaking CLG’s own wave-clear composition, running Jayce and a late-game fed Sivir. In addition, Lee “Crown” Min-ho and Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon often found themselves out of position, giving CLG a free kill and delaying the baron push even further.

CLG are now looking to play Cloud9 in the LCS semifinals, after Team Liquid chose Clutch Gaming, who beat TSM in the other quarterfinal, as their opponents. The semifinal berth guarantees CLG at least a spot in the regional gauntlet, even if they don’t make it to Worlds straight from the playoffs, while OpTic’s Worlds hopes end here.

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