Melany M. August 25, 2019
Counter Logic Gaming pulled off an incredible reverse sweep against Clutch Gaming.
That locks up a third-place finish for the team in the 2019 LCS Summer Playoffs. Clutch had them against the ropes with two consecutive wins but CLG was able to settle down and win their way out of the tricky spot.
Clutch Gaming opens the series with a win
Clutch Gaming took game one in convincing fashion. In pick and bans, CLG took Qiyana in the first round in order to deny Tanner “Damonte” Damonte one of his strongest champions. Damonte took Renekton in response, a counter pick to Qiyana that was first played by Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok in the LCK.
Clutch showed its intention to play through the mid lane in the early game. Three minutes into the game Raymond "Wiggily" Griffin and Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage chased Damonte, with that pursuit transforming into a five-versus-five team fight.
Through the mid game, Clutch took control of the neutral objective while CLG attempted to contest. Unfortunately, they were behind in gold and items so Clutch could turn the fights around.
Damonte kept Clutch ahead and he was more than capable of fighting multiple enemies at the same time. He was aggressive and had his team to back him up. The fights moved to the area around the baron buff. CLG took one and Clutch took the second.
The push from Clutch was relentless, keeping the pressure on in all three lanes. CLG was able to drag out the game with trades around the mid lane, but could not turn the game around in any real way. In the final fight around the top lane, Sun “Cody Sun” Li-Yu took out four CLG players for a quadra kill and the win.
Damonte dominates with Qiyana
CLG let Qiyana slide in picks and bans and took Diana as their own counter. This is the first time the champion has seen the LCS stage since 2015.
In the bottom lane, Cody Sun and Philippe "Vulcan" Laflamme started the game by drawing first blood. That early advantage changed the game plan for Clutch, who decided to play through the bottom lane.
Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo rotated to the bot lane and found a kill, which was enough for him to snowball out of control. Lira and Vulcan partnered up to roam across the map, with the duo finding kills, setting vision, and taking CLG’s jungle camps.
CLG took a page out Clutch’s book and went for the recently spawned rift herald. Clutch was not going to allow that and chased them out of the pit. The objective went to waste and CLG had to reevaluate their approach to the game.
Lira took over from there. Wherever he went, he slaughtered CLG players. PowerOfEvil didn't prove to be an effective counter to Damonte's Qiyana and by 18 minutes, Clutch had absolute map control.
The vision allowed Clutch to move around the map and push multiple lanes. CLG didn’t give up, forcing fights and taking whatever they could get their hands on. But ultimately, they could not grab enough.
Clutch Gaming took the first baron buff, scored an ace in CLG's base, and advanced to match point.
CLG fights back in game three
Game three was the start of CLG’s comeback. The team drafted a composition with strong engaging tools and enough burst damage to destroy the enemy team. Damonte and Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon swapped lanes in an attempt to get better matchups, but CLG followed their opponents in every rotation.
The early game was determined by the engages from the supports. Vincent “Biofrost” Wang on Thresh was the key for CLG’s victory, catching Clutch players when they tried to run from the fights.
CLG's teamwork was on point in game three. The squad was consistently better in team fights, with each player using their individual advantages to benefit the entire team.
The lack of vision control gave CLG multiple kills and two baron buffs. Clutch retreated into their base and watched from the death chamber as CLG started the reverse sweep.
CLG and Clutch Gaming go for comfort
CLG kept the momentum going in game four.
Ruin and PowerOfEvil switched lanes to get better matchups, but neither side was especially aggressive. The early game was slower than expected, with both teams playing patiently.
Through the mid game, the gold was even between the teams. CLG’s composition had better scaling options so they played for items and got the kills to come online.
CLG took control of the map with better vision and better rotations. Clutch was disorganized and failed to match CLG’s movement around the map. The Clutch players engaged in fights that ended with them dying and giving away more gold to CLG.
CLG was decisive in the late game. Flanks from Kim "Ruin" Hyeong-min Ruin neutralized Cody Sun and kept him from attacking in team fights. The strategy paid off in the end, as CLG slaughtered Clutch outside their base and took the win.
CLG wins the series with a perfect game
With victory within reach, CLG jumped into game five full of confidence. They started the action with early roams that saw the team group up and pressure Clutch.
CLG kept a high tempo and denied Clutch’s attempts to get back in the game. One play after another, Clutch perished at the hands of CLG. At 20 minutes, CLG broke into the enemy base through the top lane and Clutch couldn’t do anything to stop the attack.
Every single player on CLG was ahead of their counterpart. Clutch couldn’t stop the bleeding and tried to force fights that only made the situation worse.
CLG sneaked the baron while two members distracted the five Clutch players. The buff was enough for CLG to close the series with a perfect game.
Clutch and CLG are heading to the regional finals where they will fight for a spot in the 2019 World Championship. FlyQuest and Team SoloMid are also competing at the regional gauntlet.