CLG Red have garnered quite a bit of attention since their acquisition last year. Though there is evident chemistry between the players on the team – stemming from the many hours of practice they have spent together – they have always harboured their fair share of shortcomings. But after assessing CLG Red’s performance at the Northern Arena Online Qualifiers this past weekend, it’s clear that the squad are moving in the right direction.
CLG Red were noted as one of the strongest performers on display, as the all-female squad finished in third place amongst some of the best up-and-coming amateur teams out there. Despite falling just short of qualifying for the Grand Finals, set to be held at the Fan Expo in Toronto this coming September, the team managed to pull out some great wins and showcase their individual skill head to head with formidable opponents. The result confirms the progression of the roster following the departure of one of their more consistent players in Catherine “CAth” Leroux.
To begin their run in the tournament,CLG Red faced off against the local up-and-comers, Insomnia eSports, featuring Roy “StrongLegs” Ahad, a streamer and player on the rise known for his on-stream lessons and great game knowledge. CLG started off slow, taking a 16-8 loss on Mirage. It was evident that there was a stark contrast between the lack of structure and low levels of fragging from CLG and consistency and communication of Insomnia on their T-side. Map number 2, being Cobblestone, would see much of the same story develop. Huge multi-kill rounds were racked up by both Stronglegs and Crux, securing a smooth 16-6 victory for Insomnia, closing out the BO3 and ultimately sending CLG Red to the lower bracket. Consistency is an attribute CLG Red have lacked over time and it was evidently their downfall here, dismantled so easily by one of the tournaments underdogs.
Having dropped down to the lower bracket, CLG found themselves facing off against Xfyr Gaming in a classic do-or-die matchup on Dust2. Despite both matches taking place on the same day, there is no question that a totally different CLG Red outfit showed up to play this one. Christine “potter” Chi went huge, capturing a total of 9 multi-frag rounds and posting the highest ADR in the server – her team had brought a far more consistent game plan into this one. The game with Xfyr Gaming proved to be the smoothest they would play in the entire tournament, for their next game was the ultimate Female NA-CS rivalry at its finest: a BO1 against Selfless Gaming (formerly Team Karma).
The all female match-off quickly grabbed the attention 0f many top level CS analysts and personalities, all tuning in to catch some of the action. To boot, the match took place on the heavily debated new rendition of Nuke, where seemingly the meta still remains somewhat unestablished. This time, CLG Red would see their star player Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey step up and drop a huge 30-bomb performance to push her team past their counterparts in an exciting clash. CLG’s CT-side was formidable and they were able to maintain their economy better than their opponents in this matchup, as they took the map 16-13 and moved on to a rematch in the next round with Insomnia eSports.
Evidently, CLG Red did some homework prior to this one. This match was anything but one sided, and once again it was clear to see a far different CLG Red come to play from the previous day. This time, it was Diane “Di” Tran who stepped up for her team, winning out 3 clutch situations for her team and dropping a huge 13+ efficacy in this overtime thriller. CLG Red would take Cache with a 19-17 overtime win and remove Stronglegs and the rest of Insomnia eSports from the tournament.
Despite having such good practice on Cache that same day, CLG Red would ultimately fall short to Synthetik Gaming who are currently dominating ESEA-Open. Despite how seeding fell into place, Synthetik were heavy favourites to make the LAN Finals going into this one, as they took the map 16-8. Not a single player on CLG was able to crack 10 efficacy, where their opponents all broke 12+ with ease.
Lost vs @synthetiKmtl, maybe next time! We were 1 win away from the playing the event 😉 GLHF !!!
— missharvey (@missharvey) July 24, 2016
CLG Red’s consistency has been a problem for a long time and ultimately this tournament proved to be no different. The all female line-up are showing signs of improvement however, a point that should not be ignored. While it’s true that there were a few stand-out individual performances that helped them win maps, there was clearly more rhythm to their game at certain points.
Moving forward, they need to find ways to channel the team that sent Insomnia, Selfless, and Xfyr packing. In other words, CLG Red needs to unite as a unit, limiting the number of occasions they come out flat in big tournament matches. At the very least, there were moments and maps in the Northern Arena Online Qualifier that showcased what the team can bring to the table. In time, CLG Red’s all female roster could pose a serious threat at significant Counter-Strike tournaments.