In today’s match, Clutch looked to prove themselves against last split’s champions Team Liquid. However, TL aimed to control first place with a win over CG. This game would not be easy for Clutch, despite their upward trend in recent weeks.
Team Liquid began their draft by placing tons of pressure on Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon in the top lane. TL banned out his favorite champion, Rumble, as well as Irelia. However, Clutch wanted to put some pressure on the bot lane duo of Yilang “Doublelift” Peng and Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in. So, CG drafted the ultra long range duo of Caitlyn and Lux for Cody Sun and Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme. Furthermore, Clutch took away Team Liquid’s signature Jungle pick, Skarner, for Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo. Clutch then prioritized their late game chances by drafting Sylas for Huni in the top lane and Azir for Tanner “Damonte” Damonte in the Mid Lane.
Clutch started things off extremely well against TL in the early game. In the Bot Lane, Cody Sun caught out TL’s star, Doublelift, to claim a great first blood utilizing tons of CC to keep Doublelift stunned up. However, TL hit back by taking down Cody Sun after a Gank from Jake Kevin “Xmithie” Puchero . In the top lane, Huni took a relatively large CS disadvantage, however, he turned things around in a great solo kill against Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong. TL looked to turn things around by stealing the Drake from CG. Despite being successful with their steal, Clutch managed to stun up CoreJJ and trade his life for the Dragon. Clutch utilized their early lead to apply more pressure into the Bot Lane by attempting to siege the tier 1 Tower. Despite finding a kill onto Doublelift, Xmithie walked out of Bot Lane after killing both Cody Sun and Vulcan.
Immediately after the deaths in the Bot Lane, CG began to siege the Mid Lane Tower. While sieging Cody Sun found a great snipe kill onto Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen. Clutch seized their opportunity, and took down two towers in the Top Lane and a Tower in the Mid Lane. Jensen gave Cody Sun a taste of his own medicine just a minute later by taking a 1v3 fight in the Mid Lane and killing Cody Sun. Xmithie and the Bot Lane duo took their opportunity to find kills of their own by killing Damonte in the Bot Lane. Cody Sun and Vulcan held things down in the Bot Lane while Lira and Damonte sneaked away to burn down the Baron and gain back their lead over TL.
Despite the Baron disadvantage, TL moved into the Top Lane and proceeded to take the tier two Tower while finding a kill onto Huni. However, Damonte traded towers as he took down the tier 2 Mid Lane Tower, maintaining CG’s gold advantage. Things began to spiral out of Clutch’s control with a team fight in the Mid Lane where TL came out unscathed, but CG would lose Vulcan, Cody Sun, and Huni.
CG took a fight around Baron where they would come out on top killing three TL members and losing only Lira and Damonte. However, Xmithie and Doublelift utilized tons of stuns and healing to find two more kills after the team fight, giving TL the player advantage. TL utilized this opportunity to take down the Clutch base and come out with victory.
Clutch fans can still be excited about their upcoming matches in two weeks. Not only did CG nearly take down the LCS champions, but they proved that they have clear win conditions in their drafts. If Clutch can continue to play this well after the break, they’re sure to clinch a playoff spot.