CLG’s Finn ‘Finn’ Wiestal is one part of the historic organization’s big rebuild in LCS Spring 2021. While the European Top Laner is yet to register a win, he’s not losing sight on what matters most — silverware, and a spot at Worlds 2021.
While he bowed out in Groups, Finn showed he had the potential. He has a wide champion pool, and isn’t afraid of going toe-to-toe in lane.
That skillset may seemingly make him the perfect fit for the LCS, but it hasn’t clicked yet. CLG’s early season has been plagued by visa issues. Without their full roster, they’re winless in LCS Spring 2021, sitting alone at the bottom of the ladder.
“We have a lot to work on; how we want to use our side lanes and how we progress the game. We set up the map quite slowly, and we make a lot of minor mistakes that slow down the game that add up. That’s why we have these results where we do well early game and then just collapse,” he told Dexerto after their loss against 100 Thieves on Saturday.
That has been a trend with CLG’s 2021 so far. In their match on Sunday against TSM, they were up by 8,000 gold. However, after Baron went the way of TSM at 30 minutes, the game went south. All of their games have been early game leads into late game chokes.
The American experience
Finn is only just getting the first taste of the LCS. After missing Lock In, he played the opening weekend in quarantine. He is now free, finally meeting his teammates in person.
So far, North America is treating him right. Even solo queue is not as bad as he thought it would be.
“I guess my expectations were very low regarding the solo queue, but so far it’s been pretty good — except we’ve lost three games. I’d have preferred to have won those,” he laughed.
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Comparing it to his three years in Europe alongside the likes of Martin ‘Wunder’ Hansen and Gabriel ‘Bwipo’ Rau, the LCS doesn’t feel too different to the LEC. He did admit European Top Laners are better, but the NA competition isn’t bad.
“I think the best tops in Europe are better, but at lower levels they’re pretty similar. It’s always hard to tell though because it’s a different team and a different atmosphere. I don’t think Top Lane is that bad here.”
“I’m very confident in myself and I can play very well. I have a very high ‘high’. It’s rough for me because I haven’t really met them, so I can’t build that out-of-game bond which is really important. I’m sure that with time I’ll become a lot better, because I know I can be better than what I’ve shown.”
The Broxah waiting game
Finn is the first to admit that CLG’s flaws are deeper than just one player. However, without Mads ‘Broxah’ Brock-Pedersen in the squad, it’s made things a whole lot worse. Raymond ‘Griffin’ Griffin has been serviceable, but he doesn’t bring the same level of experience Broxah — a Worlds finalist and multiple LEC winner — does.
“Maybe some of his calmness will help us make better decisions in the mid-game, [but] it’s always impossible to tell how changing one member will change the dynamic of the other four players,” he stated.
The Swedish Top Laner did have some consoling words for his Danish compatriot in the jungle though.
“I feel very bad for him. His situation is very mentally taxing. It’s not a very fun situation to be in. I was in it for a long while as well, stuck getting my visa. I wish him the best and I hope he is able to come here as soon as possible.”
Only one way for CLG: up
There’s only one way CLG can go from here: up. It’s a long road, but what matters is playing the long game and peaking when it matters most — near Worlds.
“Our biggest hold-back is there’s a lot of chaos when we’re playing, and it makes it hard for us to structure what we want to do and accomplish in-game. It makes it hard for anyone to step up and say ‘we do this’ because it’s hard to navigate what’s going on when there’s so much talk.”
Finn is confident CLG can bounce back in style. He doesn’t believe one team is better than the rest. It might just take some teams more time to “find their groove.” For CLG, those growing pains are the hardest-felt, but they don’t feel out of the race yet.
“I think the LCS right now is an open field. Whoever is able to find their groove as a team is just able to dominate, and I think that could be us for sure if we finally figure out how to play and how to win games,” he said.
“Right now we’re still figuring out a lot of stuff, and I know that sounds like a PR answer, but that’s the reality. I’ve been scrimming with the team for like five days, so it’s not going to be the easiest start for us.
“For me, I want to win the split and go to Worlds. That’s the only goal. I don’t think there is any team that is unbeatable at all.”
CLG’s next game is against Team Liquid in LCS Spring 2021 on February 12.