After going down 0-2 to one of North America’s most recognizable League teams in Team Solomid, Clutch Gaming won three in a row to make it to Worlds. It will be the organization’s first appearance at the end-of-season tournament, set to be held in Europe in October.
Off the back of a late-season resurgence, Clutch Gaming stormed home through the Regional Qualifier Gauntlet to face off against TSM for the final spot at Worlds. The experienced roster was expected to qualify for their eighth Worlds after missing out in 2018, but the rising stars rose up to the occasion.
Veterans Sun ‘Cody Sun’ Li-Yu and Heo ‘Huni’ Seung-hoon shone for the Dignitas-affiliated team throughout the postseason.
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In the final series on their run to Worlds, Cody Sun’s Ezreal and Kog’Maw proved to be a nuisance for TSM, drawing multiple bans. This freed up the map to allow Huni to shine on some signature picks like Gnar and Irelia, with jungler Nam ‘Lira’ Tae-yoo helping keep the pressure up across the map.
The LCS tweeted out the final moments of the five-game series, saying “They’ve done it! @ClutchGaming reverse sweep @TSM and qualify for the 2019 World Championship!”
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) September 9, 2019
Mid laner Tanner ‘Damonte’ Damonte was left speechless after the upset in an on-stage interview with Ovilee May.
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“Holy shit. This is surreal. I feel like this split there’s been so much shit that us as a team has had to go through, so much shit I’ve had to go through, and this feels crazy,” he said.
Damonte was able to match star mid laner Søren ‘Bjersen’ Bjerg, negating his influence across the final three games.
Clutch played 27 games across both the LCS Summer 2019 Playoffs and the Regional Finals to make the run to Worlds. After finishing the Spring Split in ninth, the team changed the way they approached the game, allowing for a miracle run like Cloud 9’s last year.
For TSM though, the loss is the end of a bitterly disappointing 2019 season. They lost to Team Liquid in the Spring Playoffs in a reverse sweep and missed out on MSI, while they didn’t make it past the quarters in Summer.
Clutch will join Team Liquid and Cloud 9 as North America’s hopefuls at the tournament. North America have never won a world championship, but Cloud 9 got to the semi-finals in 2018, while Team Liquid lost to Europe’s G2 Esports in the final of this year’s Mid-Season Invitational.
You can keep up with who has qualified for Worlds via our League Worlds 2019 hub.