Counter Logic Gaming came into Week 4 of the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series summer split with mixed signals. After losing first place in the LCS after an 0-2 Week 3, the team wanted to show that was a fluke, in large part because jungler Juan “Contractz” Garcia played through a COVID-19 infection.
The extra week off couldn’t have come in a better time, as with the break, Contractz was able to get healthy and bring his all into CLG’s match against Immortals. The resurgence met with some stumbles, though. The first couple of minutes went well for CLG, but the entire mid-game against Immortals was a disaster with seemingly no end in sight.
“I think we the team were a little too panicked and were getting very desperate at times, which led to us clouding comms,” Contractz said.
However, CLG finally caught their breath after trying to do too much in the mid-game. After the team started to get back on the same page, support Philippe “Poome” Lavoie-Giguere found a brilliant engage at Baron, which let CLG to wipe the majority of Immortals off the map and allowed CLG to march down mid-lane to steal a win and put themselves back into third place in the LCS.
Contractz said the sloppy communication by CLG could have come from the jitters of returning to offline competition.
“It could be because we’re onstage for the first time in three weeks, but overall I think we need to be a little bit calmer and be able to listen and talk to each other,” Contractz said.
sorry for this weeks guys 🙁 didn’t play well and much to improve on. currently dying from covid but no excuses I definitely could’ve carried both games this week. Ready to rest up and come back in 2 weeks
— Contractz (@Contractz) July 3, 2022
Contractz said in Week 3 that he was very ill, and when action kicked off with CLG going up against Team Liquid Honda and Cloud9, the hype around CLG deflated. Although the results might have an asterisk, losses count the same. Contractz said on Twitter that he accepted no excuses for himself, but the coronavirus case was tough on the six-year LCS standout.
“I felt like I had a lot of brain fog and had a pretty bad fever and cough,” Contractz said. “In those games specifically, I was able to focus really well for the first six or seven minutes, but after that, I was not able to focus at all, and it kind of fell apart.”
After a winless Week 3, Contractz said the team morale was unfazed but was very glad to have a week of extra rest.
“I think we were able to realize our circumstances, and you really don’t want to take that to heart because we also played decently in those games in the first half,” Contractz said. “A lot of sleep for me, a lot of rest, but we just continuing practicing as we didn’t want to really take any time off,”
Around the beginning of the week, Contractz was finally over COVID and was able to return to the office. He said it took him time to get back on track and felt that he had regressed during his spell with COVID. But with Contractz feeling better, it seems like just a matter of time before CLG hit an even greater peak than they had back in Weeks 1 and 2.
“I think we just want to keep steadily improving week by week,” Contractz said. “I think ideally we will hit our peak by playoffs so we can perform well and go to Worlds.
“We just got to keep grinding at it and it will come.”