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Counter Logic Gaming solidified its hold on a top-three finish to the North American League of Legends Championship Series regular season with a 2-1 win over Team Dignitas on Friday in Los Angeles.
The victory was a critical one for Counter Logic Gaming (12-5, 27-17 match record), which was coming into the day looking to solidify its place in the standings. This win helps reverse Counter Logic Gaming's downward trajectory, and while the team can still be overtaken by Cloud9 (10-6, 24-17 match record) this win gives CLG a healthy amount of breathing room that was lacking previously.
Team Dignitas (10-7, 27-21 match record), on the other hand, is now locked out of the coveted top half of the playoff seeding, as it needed a slip up to overcome Counter Logic Gaming and take third place for themselves.
The match itself was one of the few this week to actually go the full three games. Counter Logic Gaming took the first game of the series on the back of some impressive early and mid-game skirmishing, all of which grew Jae-hyun "Huhi" Choi and Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes to such proportions that Team Dignitas couldn't endure their onslaught.
Team Dignitas got its chance to strike back in Game 2, as some brilliant early game pathing by jungler Lee "Shrimp" Byeong-hoon paid huge dividends, helping chain kill Zaqueri "Aphromoo" Black and Stixxay all throughout the early game. That advantage led to a complete streamroll by top laner Johnny "Altec" Ru.
Game 3 proved to be the most interesting game by far, however, as it was the only one in which the momentum was decidedly reversed. Team Dignitas exited the early game with a slight lead but threw it away needlessly during a huge teamfight in the top lane that started out as an easy 3-for-1 trade for Dignitas. That wasn't enough, however, and the team's greed ended up being its downfall; Dignitas donated three kills to Huhi while futilely trying to chase down both him and Stixxay, a mistake that totally turned the game on its head and allowed Counter Logic Gaming to take the series.
The MVP was, without a doubt Huhi, who was outstanding in the mid lane during CLG's two wins. While his performance was much less impressive during Game 2, where he was barely a factor, he trounced Dignitas both Games 1 and 3, earning himself a 10/0/16 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) across those two games. When Counter Logic Gaming needed someone to make a big play to keep itself competitive in teamfights, Huhi was the man who came to the rescue, whether it was with a Command: Shockwave or a perfectly placed Seismic Shove.
Counter Logic Gaming will go on to face Team SoloMid at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday for its last match of the split. Team Dignitas will find itself facing the much less formidable Team Liquid at 3 p.m. ET that day.