Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming are two of the oldest North American esports teams in the history of League of Legends. These teams also have one of the most storied rivalries in esports. And it all started because Andy “Reginald” Dinh and George “HotshotGG” Georgallidis couldn’t get along.
In April 2010, Reginald was one of the first players that HotshotGG started CLG with. The two did not get along and Reginald ended up leaving the team and co-founding TSM with his brother Daniel “Dan Dinh” Dinh. Later, the two players reported their polar opposite personalities and lack of compatibility.
It was created around a community website called SoloMid.net and boasted of some of the best players in NA. The fact that Reginald and HotshotGG didn’t get along was quite public. It didn’t help when TSM and CLG became the top two LoL teams in NA. They would embark on a rivalry lasting to this day, though the intensity has waned.
There was often smack talk between the two teams, as they verbally jousted even on the LCS stage. Fans often tuned in to watch two of the best and oldest teams make their clashes. TSM vs. CLG soon became the most important esports fixture in League of Legends NA, no matter what tournament.
Both teams even had opposite images in the fan’s minds. Though both teams practiced hard for tournaments, TSM was perceived as a fun-loving family goofing off, or as they would call it, living the Bay Life. This image only grew when they lived in a gaming house, unheard of at the time, and did vlogs chronicling their misadventures. On the other hand, CLG held a public image of straight-laced nerds constantly practicing. The two vastly different ways the teams presented themselves led to rivalry even among fans.
One of the games that shows off how heated their rivalry got was the 2015 LCS Finals. CLG beat TSM three games to zero, breaking a period in their storied history. Before this match, they failed to take a single game against TSM in over a year. HotshotGG cried in the post-game interview. And fans cried watching him.
CLG also beat TSM in the 2016 LCS Spring Split the year after. But this would be a much more competitive match. They did not win against TSM for 1,176 days after that event, breaking the streak this July. It was another passionate affair, as CLG vs. TSM games often are.
It’s been 1,176 days… #LCS pic.twitter.com/eCkFe0kS5r
— CLG (@clgaming) July 7, 2019
This rivalry became the stuff of legends in esports. It holds the same status in esports as great rivalries from other sports. Similar to the Yankees versus the Red Sox in Baseball or Real Madrid versus Barcelona in Soccer. Though neither team now reaches the peak of the League of Legends world, their passion influenced many. Players around the world try to go pro with this rivalry inspiring them.
TSM and CLG will probably remain rivals forever. Their passion may not be as intense, but is a fact of life now. Reginald and HotshotGG have all but retired, but the feud will never die, and esports as a whole is better off for it.
Written by Navid Imtiaz
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