CLG’s LCS spot has officially been transferred to NRG, ending a decade-long legacy of North American League of Legends.

After rumors, leaks, and speculation, it’s now confirmed that Counter Logic Gaming's (CLG) League Championship Series (LCS) spot has been acquired by NRG Esports. The move was made official late on April 6, with posts across social media from former CLG and an official post from the LCS.

CLG has become the latest victim of both the general lobal economic downturn, and the industry-specific issues that esports currently faces.

As reported by Travis Gafford, it appears CLG has also been rocked with layoffs as part of the acquisition. Judging from multiple posts, it seems the entire CLG staff has been let go, while the players for the organization's various rosters are now with NRG.

The acquisition and transfer of slots marks the return to the LCS for NRG, who competed in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons of North America's (NA) LCS. The organization also acquired GAM Esports in 2021. 

But sadly, the acquisition also marks the end of CLG, one of the founding fathers of League of Legends esports in NA.

CLG’s legacy

CLG members (Image via <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Huhi</a>)
CLG members (Image via Huhi)

CLG was founded in April, 2010 by George "HotshotGG" Georgallidis. In the halcyon days of early League of Legends, CLG were one of the best teams in the world, taking victories and podiums at Intel Extreme Masters (IEMs), and a fifth-place finish in the first League of Legend world championships. 

The organization was on the forefront of streaming, with HotshotGG being at the time the most popular League of Legends streamer in the world. In 2012, the team moved to Korea, along with several other NA teams, to participate in Abuzu The Champions Spring 2012.

In 2013, CLG became one of the founding members of the NA LCS, Riot Games’ own league. However, CLG’s international-level talent started declining almost immediately. With the help of superstar player Yiliang “Doublelift" Peng and legendary support player Zaqueri "aphromoo" Black, the team had some success, notably in Summer 2015, and Spring 2016.

In 2017, Riot Games initiated franchising for the LCS. One of the last holdouts against venture capital-backing, CLG was acquired by Square Garden (MSG) in 2017, the company behind the stadium of the same name. This is primarily to meet the exorbitant $10 million dollar franchising fees levied against teams for a spot, $5 million paid up front, and $5 million deferred.

What followed was years of mismanagement for CLG who struggled competitively and financially under the MSG banner. While the team expanded into multiple games, it never matched its former glory. In 2021, the CLG organization seemed to be revitalized under new management within MSG. But it appears it was too little too late.

What happens next for CLG and NRG?

CLG esports (Image via <a href="">Thinkcard</a>)
CLG esports (Image via Thinkcard)

As mentioned, all current CLG LCS talent appears to have been transferred to the NRG banner. But roster changes aren’t out of the question. CLG will seemingly still operate teams in other games.

For CLG itself though, this appears to be its end in the LCS. Although, in the past, we’ve seen legacy brands, such as Dignitas, rise from the ashes, it seems hard to fathom that CLG will make a return.

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