CLG Camp Blog: Day 2

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Hello again everyone. This post is going to be part 2 of the CLG Camp blog. It will be a little shorter this time since I don’t need to go over introductions and I’m only covering the activities and events of the second day of camp.

As a quick recap if you missed the first blog covering the camper’s arrival and day 1 events – we had 5 players come live in the house for this weekend to interact with the team. Day 1 was spent taking a tour of the Riot Games office and going back home to learn from the CLG team (via 1 on 1 lessons and arranged custom games).

Day 2 had a MUCH different pace than day 1. You could say it went slower because of the mere fact that we basically didn’t go anywhere at all. We stayed at home and had did scrims and lessons all day long. Objectively speaking, this can sound sort of boring. I mean, similar to a real pro player, they basically sat in front of a computer for ~8 hours. However, I believe that this was the most meaningful portion of the “CLG experience”. During the initial interview phase, every camper stated that they eagerly yearned for an opportunity to sit down and talk with a CLG player in order to learn everything they can about their role and how to better play this game. Due to the various coaching methods and lesson styles that went on throughout the day, it’s safe to say the camper’s goals were achieved.

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As opposed to day 1 where a lot of the lessons were 1v1 matchup focused which allowed the teacher to be a little more vocal towards the student (identifying and correcting mistakes), it seemed like today was more about Q&A. A lot of the teachers simply duo’d with their student or had them go into solo queue by themselves and observed from over the shoulder in order to be available to the student whenever a specific in-game question came up (what mastery do I take here, what ability do I get first in this matchup, etc).

Naturally, there were a lot of custom games as well. Like day 1, the campers and pros split up to do some in-house matches, but eventually the campers made their own ranked team and went straight into queue as 5 with all the CLG pros providing analysis for them all in-game. While this portion wasn’t specifically designed to help them climb the yolo-queue ladder, I believe this part was the best due to the fact this was the unique experience the campers wanted to get out of the weekend as a whole. These guys will (most likely) never again get the chance to play as a team in a gaming house environment and receive professional coaching unique to their needs, weaknesses, and goals.

These needs, strengths, and goals were all pretty unique. First off, the general consensus was that the camper’s bot-lane was probably the stronger portion of the team. I can only assume this was because the ADC of the campers is also the highest ranked (~20 LP Diamond 1), with the Support not being that far off in MMR. Doublelift’s teachings were evident here, as Jinx and Lucian were prioritized in terms of tutorial and match-specific knowledge. The Support was no different, as Aphromoo taught him the power of starting Doran’s Shield as well as why most cases are Ignite > Exhaust.

The camper’s jungle (who I affectionately just call Bobbyhankhill now) has a very CloudTemplar-esque jungle style, both in jungle methodology and champ picks (specifically Rammus). I had originally thought (as well as Hotshot confirming later) that Jungle can be somewhat hard to teach since everything jungle-related (route, gank opportunities, shot-calling, etc) have a lot of variables depending on how champ select goes and how the lanes progress in the early game. But it seemed like Hotshot had a fine time giving him pointers and helping him identify opportunities for map control.

I’m actually not really sure how Link and his student’s teachings went overall. It was obvious that Link was trying to emphasize that he was losing too much CS while trading/getting harassed, but other than that everything taught was sort of situational to what they went over in solo queue. The camper 9 times out of 10 favored picking Yasuo or Ziggs, so Link (as well as most of the CLG team actually) helped him fine tune his mid play with those champs.

The top lane camper was the obvious outlier of the team due to him being the only non-Diamond player, but I also think he got the most actual knowledge out of the day. Nien of course did most of the teachings here, but the 1 on 1 lessons got switched up eventually towards mid-day and Doublelift did a lot of help teaching the student about playing top-lane Yasuo and Kha’Zix. I can only assume these teachings paid off when during ranked 5s the student convincingly won lane with Kha’Zix against much higher Diamond opponents.

The last portion of the day was more in-house customs, but more importantly, this was where the campers and pros tried REALLY hard to prepare the campers for their tournament. For those who didn’t hear, Team LMQ is going to be attending, as well as a few other Challenger-tier names who were confirmed going. No pressure right? The CLG teachers took out some time to go over how they thought picks and bans would best go for the campers, as well as help them understand the mindset of a LAN game as opposed to an online match.

For sure the highlight of the day was when we actually did go out. We all went to dinner at a Japanese hotpot (aka shabu shabu) restaurant known as Yojie Japanese Fondue. It was definitely a welcomed change of eatery from the melody of McDonalds, Chic Fil A, In N Out, and Carl’s Jr we’ve had for our meals up until then. Myself being from San Diego, I’m no stranger to hotpot dining. However, you could see the small culture shock some of the campers who are from the mid east were having who weren’t accustomed to such meals, or some even using chopsticks. But the food was great and drinking beer and sake with Hotshot and MaTTcom is always fun.

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I’ll have the day 3 blog after the tournament tomorrow and after the conclusion of the camp activities. There will be a full highlight video compiling the camp experience that I’ll make and post next week. Again, I would love for you to follow me on Twitter at @ATB_FTW.

photos taken by Andre Butler and MaTTcom

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by andre butler, on January 5, 2014