Clutch Gaming came into week one ready to bounce back from a weak Spring Split with a match against OpTic Gaming. During the Spring Split, OpTic swept CG, however, Clutch were ready to take their revenge. The featured match up was between CG’s top laner, Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon and OpTic’s former world champion, Lee “Crown” Min-ho. Read below to see how the match unfolded.
Similar to almost every team except 100 Thieves, Clutch Gaming began their draft by banning out League’s newest champion, Yuumi. They utilized Jayce’s flexibility to force OpTic to take Poppy in the top lane in a losing matchup against Huni’s signature champion, Rumble.
While the draft seemed rather normal, for the final pick, Crown drafted the relatively uncommon, Twisted Fate, into Tanner “Damonte” Damonte’s Jayce.
Huni shined in the top lane as he melted Niship “Dhokla” Doshi as often as he could giving himself an extremely early cs advantage. However, despite Huni’s effort to gain an early gold lead, both midlane and bot lane were either in a cs disadvantage or equal to their lane opponents. OpTic kicked off the first fight by taking two kills in the botlane with a gank from both Crown and William “Meteos” Hartman. Despite taking first blood, a crucial TP from Huni and a roam from Damonte allowed Clutch Gaming to give OpTic a taste of their own medicine, giving Clutch a 4-3 lead before 10 minutes.
Another team fight broke out near the Baron pit where Optic managed to make a pick onto Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo. Yet again, Optic overstayed their welcome and Cody “Cody Sun” Sun utilized his three man advantage to get a kill onto Crown. Finally, after passively letting OpTic take their second drake, Clutch engaged OpTic to take make their lead 6-4 at 15 minutes.
In addition to their kill lead, Clutch managed to turn things around in the bot lane and the mid lane and took a 14 cs advantage in both lanes.
The story of Clutch and OpTic’s late game was little engagement and a lot of split pushing. In fact, fans wouldn’t see another kill from either team for another 12 minutes after the 15 minute mark. However, during the 12 minutes Clutch manage to take all three outer turrets. Despite their slight gold disadvantage, Optic turned things around in a dragged out team fight where they flipped the score to 9-8. Optic snowballed their kill advantage in another team fight where they would come out on top with a scoreline of 11-8. CG began to fall apart as their base was invaded and they would eventually lose the game.
Its clear that this Clutch team has lots of kinks to work out before they can find success on the LCS stage. Their passive play in the mid to late game just won’t cut it against more aggressive teams like TSM and Team Liquid. CG have a clear understanding that early game leads snowball into wins as shown by their aggressive roaming and teleports during their first team fight. However with little to no pro-activity and aggression they’ll fall flat time and time again if they don’t change their mid and late game play style.