Clutch Gaming make big roster moves in bid for playoffs

Nick Geracie • July 27, 13:23

Clutch Gaming will be making some big substitutions this week.

Jungler Nam “LirA” Tae-yoo, AD carry Apollo “Apollo” Price, and support Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent will not be on the starting roster. Clutch Gaming Academy jungler Galen “Moon” Holgate will be debuting on the main roster alongside academy bot lane duo Chae “Piglet” Gwang-Jin and Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme.

This is the first time Clutch Gaming has adjusted its roster in its inaugural NA LCS season. Sitting tied for eighth place at a record of 4-6, now would seem a perfect time to shake things up. Clutch’s main roster has not been able to reclaim their 2018 NA LCS Spring Playoffs form, and the new starters have plenty to prove.

Moon was one of the strongest junglers in North America just over a year ago while playing for FlyQuest. Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin is a former world champion, and found a home on Clutch Gaming Academy after leaving Team Liquid. Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme was drafted by Clutch Gaming out of the 2017 NA Scouting Grounds. This will be his first game in the NA LCS.

Thanks to a fourth-place finish in the 2018 NA LCS Spring Playoffs, Clutch Gaming has a bit of breathing room. Even if the team miss playoffs, it will still have a chance to qualify for Worlds through the 2018 NA Regional Qualifier.  

LirA has looked nothing like his old self, consistently struggling to have an impact in the early game. Apollo and Hakuho were a revelation in the spring, but have been underwhelming in the new bottom lane meta.

While Piglet is not known for his flexibility, his experience combined with the young talent of Vulcan could be the spark Clutch Gaming needs. Moon’s early game on FlyQuest was very active, and he will be looking to bring an aggression the team has sorely lacked in recent weeks.

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