Two of Europe's finest League of Legends teams just can't seem to stay away from each other. Moscow Five and CLG.EU employ some of the brightest League talent not only in Europe, but the world. One's a seemingly unstoppable powerhouse, the other, an upstart determined to be their foil. And next weekend in Poland, the two will meet once more for what's sure to be a thrilling grudge match (or two).
To call Moscow Five a skilled team would be like calling the Titanic a rather large boat. Their roster is stacked with fantastic players and the team has been on an absolute tear in 2012. They've dominated two IEM events, winning in both Kiev and Hannover. In circuit standings they have double the points of the next closest competitor, which just so happens to be CLG.EU.
No matter how great Moscow Five may be, there's no greater thorn in their side than CLG.EU. The team was formed barely seven months ago by Counter Logic Gaming, who assembled Europe's mightiest heroes into one über-team meant to dominate the region. Right out of the gate they managed to slug Goliath right in the forehead as they won Kings of Europe over M5 in January. Since then, the young team has faced off against the Russians time and time again, and there's just something about them M5 can't seem to get a handle on.
This summer's Dreamhack was where things really came to a head. Early on in the group stage, CLG.EU managed to execute possibly the greatest comeback in League history over Moscow Five. The sixty minute slugfest had CLG down 30K gold and trapped in their base for practically the entire game, but a fantastic defense and well-initiated fights allowed them to come roaring back for the win against all odds. The match was one of the most thrilling ever broadcast, and was a lesson that no matter how lost a game may appear, there's always hope for a victory through patient and skilled play.
CLG.EU went on to meet M5 again in the final, and took the series decisively 2-0, securing their biggest tournament win to date at the expense of the Russians. Curse's SaintVicious caused a bit of a stir for publicly suggesting that M5's problem is their aggressive counterjungling. It's a strategy he called "extremely flawed," and pointed out how CLG.EU consistently takes advantage of the tactic to beat them.
Now, at next weekend's European Challenger Circuit event in Poland, CLG.EU and Moscow Five are among eight teams competing for $40,000 in prizes. But when the two meet in group play (and possibly the finals), it will likely be about more than the cash reward. Pride is on the line as M5 tries to show they can stamp out the pesky upstarts, while CLG.EU will see if they can slay the giant yet another time. Whatever happens, their matches should not be missed, nor should the rest of the tournament. Tune in Saturday, July 28th where the sparks will fly in Poland.