After a middling Spring Split that saw them end group play in fourth place and get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by FlyQuest, CLG decided it was time for a change in the roster they had used for almost a year and a half now. So, a trade was made with Immortals that had the teams exchange junglers.
The new addition of Dardoch adds complication to a roster that had stayed the same longer than any other current NA LCS organization. Namely, what exactly is the dynamic going to be like? In the past, Dardoch has been benched for issues relating to his attitude, and to say that Immortals’ end-of-split promotional video painted him in a bad light would be putting it kindly.
But this is also an entirely different kind of roster than any Dardoch has played on before. Rather than joining a relatively young team that doesn’t have experience together, this CLG lineup know each other well, and have had proven successes in the past. If this familiarity can provide some stabilization for Dardoch that helps him focus on his game, it is conceivable that he could jump into the role of the best jungler in the NA LCS.
A question that has seemed to hang over the head of Dardoch for his entire NA LCS career is how good could he be if given the right situation? In his first split, back in 2016, he was named Rookie of the Split, and last split he earned 12 Player of the Game accolades. That’s more than any other single player in the LCS and more than the rest of the Immortals roster combined. It seems that Dardoch still hasn’t quite hit his ceiling and has still been searching for the right roster to pair with his talents.
Aside from how well everyone on CLG will fit with Dardoch is how Dardoch will fit with CLG. In terms of style, he is a massive departure from previous jungler Xmithie, who has steadily built a reputation as a consistent jungler who was at his best on utility champions and in a supportive role. That’s not how Dardoch plays.
Second in average kills per game and fourth to last for average assists, it’s fair to say that Dardoch plays a bit more like a carry than Xmithie. And while that may not be what CLG are used to out of a jungler over the last several years, it may not be a bad thing for the team.
While Stixxay and Darshan are both more than capable of carrying games, neither of them is likely to do it in a traditional way. For Stixxay, he is best off in a damage over time situation, which almost always requires someone else to play a bit of a distraction role. Meanwhile, Darshan has always made his name as North America’s best split pusher, something that is best facilitated by threats in other parts of the map. Both of these things are right in Dardoch’s wheelhouse and could help add a whole new type of threat to Counter Logic Gaming.