League of Legends star Tanner ‘Damonte’ Damonte has issued a warning to Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming ahead of Clutch Gaming’s campaign to qualify for Worlds, dubbing his team “favorites” in most best of fives.
CG shocked the LCS with a 3-1 victory over North American darlings TSM, before pushing CLG to their limits in the postseason in a 3-2 loss. Their run to the semi-finals earned them enough championship points to enter the regional bracket for potential Worlds qualification.
Now star mid laner Damonte has locked his sights on defeating TSM again, and claiming revenge against CLG. He told Dignitas he felt they were better than every team they faced in the bracket, and said he’s ready to show that on the Rift this weekend.
“I would say that we were favorites in every best of five, except against CLG and even then we as a team thought we were better than them,” Damonte said.
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“I think TSM is kind of similar to FlyQuest, they lost pretty early and have had a lot of time off so it’s just the same thing where they can either be much better, or they could get frustrated, and if they come back the same as before it shouldn’t be too difficult to beat them.”
There were not many that expected Clutch to shine the way they did in the LCS playoffs. After finishing second last in Spring, the Dignitas-backed team improved to a .500 record and scraped into the postseason. There, they flipped their year’s script on it’s head.
While it was a shock for most NA fans, Damonte said the new coaching system changed everything for the players.
“Our new (Dignitas) coaches did an amazing job of coming into the team with only four weeks of LCS left to play and they kind of turned everything on its head,” he explained.
“Since then, we’ve been winning a lot. Their approach to atmosphere and how they were handling the team helped take all five of us and make us click. I think everyone wants to prove (now) that we are not worse than CLG. That rematch is going to be super important.”
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If the team can run the gauntlet of three best of five series, the LCS’ fifth-placed team from Summer could be headed for an international event in Europe. It would be the first time since Cloud9 qualified in 2015 that a first-round gauntlet team won all three series.
Clutch Gaming begin their run at qualification to the 2019 World Championship on Friday evening when they face FlyQuest.
CLG and TSM have been seeded second and first respectively in the king of the kill regional gauntlet.