Counter Logic Gaming announced they will substitute Eugene “Pobelter” Park into their starting lineup starting in week five. Pobelter will replace Lee “Crown” Min-ho, CLG’s big off-season acquisition, who has failed to live up to expectations.
Starting this weekend, @Pobelter will be stepping into the midlane for CLG. We know we have a lot of work to do but we are not giving up on this split. Please support Pobelter & the team this weekend. #WeAreCLG pic.twitter.com/2ioE2x4p5Q
— CLG (@clgaming) February 19, 2020
Pobelter has spent the first four weeks of the 2020 Spring Split working as a top and mid lane position coach for Team Liquid. His veteran status as a respected LCS player had TL excited about him working with Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen. It was also Pobelter’s fifth stint with the Team Curse and TL organization.
Pobelter expressed a desire to continue competing professionally when he accepted the position with TL. He stated that he saw the new job as less of a career change than a temporary stopgap for his next starting role. That opportunity comes from CLG, who are currently sitting in last place in the LCS with a 1-7 record.
This is Pobelter’s second stint with CLG. He and CLG won the 2015 Summer Playoffs over TSM in his only split with the team. Following a disappointing group stage exit at 2015 Worlds, Pobelter left the team to join Immortals. This was amid rumors that CLG wanted to promote Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun to the starting lineup.
Pobelter hasn’t been known as a dominant laner in his last few stints in the LCS, but CLG have nowhere to go but up in mid lane performance. Crown put together an elite 2019 Summer for OpTic Gaming in the organization’s first playoff appearance. However, his first four weeks on CLG have been a disaster. A slow start in week one could be expected given that he arrived to the team late due to visa issues. Unfortunately, he and the team have not shown improvement.
Crown has some of the worst stats among LCS mid laners, including most deaths (26), lowest KDA (1.7), and lowest damage per minute (365). Though the team around him has struggled too, his low gold difference at 10 minutes (-110), XP difference at 10 minutes (-111), CS difference at 10 minutes (-0.8), and team damage share (25.3%) indicate issues on an individual level.
Even coming off one of the worst splits of his career, Pobelter had better laning stats across the board for a ninth place FlyQuest. He will be tasked with stabilizing CLG’s mid lane and forming a better tandem with jungler Raymond “Wiggily” Griffin. Wiggily was coming off a third team all-pro 2019 Summer performance but struggled to coordinate with Crown, leading to a decline in performance.
CLG open week five by facing the undefeated Cloud9 on Saturday, February 22nd at 3 p.m. PST.