After their narrow escape of the upset-minded Team EnVyUs in the opening round of the 2017 North American League Championship Series Summer Playoffs, all eyes are on Counter Logic Gaming’s rookie jungler Omar “OmarGod” Amin.
With their series against Immortals for a spot in the Finals looming, OmarGod’s ability to handle the pressure of this pivotal series could swing the result either way for Counter Logic Gaming.
During the first eight weeks of the Split, OmarGod had made spot appearances with the main roster, proving he could handle the increased pressure and responsibilities of the LCS.
With starting jungler Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett failing to integrate into the team-centric culture CLG is known for, CLG was confident enough in OmarGod’s abilities to trade Dardoch to Team Liquid and promote OmarGod to the starting position.
— Counter Logic Gaming (@clgaming) July 26, 2017
As a starter, OmarGod’s potential but lack of polish shone through in the first few weeks of the season. With a mixture of mistakes and brilliance, OmarGod very much embodied what is expected from a rookie in their first few weeks of professional play.
Gifted an extra week to prepare for their opening round series against Team EnVyUs, CLG hoped to utilize this time to refine some of OmarGod’s issues and help prepare him for his first playoff series.
Facing off against one of the NA LCS’s most talented junglers in NV’s Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo, OmarGod was placed in an unenviable situation for a rookie’s first piece of playoff action.
Instead of protecting OmarGod in the first game of the series, CLG chose Zac with their first pick, a choice that was quickly countered by NV, placing Lira on Elise.
With one of the best early junglers against what could be the worst (Zac), Lira and the rest of Team EnVyUs were able to significantly pressure OmarGod in his own jungle and put him behind for most of the early game.
In the second game of the series, CLG stubbornly returned to the Zac pick and experienced much of the same result. OmarGod was ineffective in the early game and NV was able to create another early lead upon which they were able to capitalize up and even the series.
Abandoning the Zac pick, OmarGod would play the more comfortable Gragas pick in the final three game of the series as CLG was able to secure a comeback victory.
— lolesports (@lolesports) August 21, 2017
After their series against NV, it is clear there is still much room for improvement. OmarGod himself has commented on the potential for growth in his play and that of the team in a recent interview with Inven Global;
“I didn’t have a lot of time to practice, so my synergy with the team and myself as a player have a lot to improve on.
“If I started the split with CLG and worked really hard, we would be really stronger than now.”
Omar “OmarGod” Amin
OmarGod’s struggles extended beyond drafting issues, as he appeared hesitant or nervous for multiple plays in the series. Whether through slight mechanical misplays or questionable decision making, OmarGod did not appear fully comfortable in his first elimination series.
GGs envy. Some of the hardest pressuring early game strats I've ever played against. So happy and excited we clutched and made it to Boston!
— CLG OmarGod (@omargod) August 21, 2017
Looking ahead to their series against Immortals, it is clear the spotlight will be on OmarGod and how he is able to match up against former CLG jungler Jake “Xmithie” Puchero.
OmarGod has given high praise to Xmithie, crowning him the “most dangerous type of jungler” for his creativity and decision making.
Just as NV was able to exploit a poor early strategy from Counter Logic Gaming, Immortals should be even more capable of capitalizing on any advantages they are able to secure against OmarGod and CLG.
For OmarGod, the pressure in their series against Immortals will be higher than he has ever experienced before. With a trip to the Finals and a chance at a guaranteed spot at Worlds on the line, OmarGod appears to be the most vulnerable link in an otherwise veteran Counter Logic Gaming roster.