Cody Sun says Clutch Gaming can beat Team Liquid in semifinals

By Olivia Richman


Aug 11, 2019

Reading time: 6 min

Clutch Gaming defeated Team SoloMid in the quarterfinals of the LCS Summer Playoffs. 

The majority of analysts were confident that TSM would dominate the underdog team, despite their improvement throughout the LCS Summer Split. While Sun “Cody Sun” Li-Yu started off the season wanting to shake up his team’s comps and picks, they started to truly shine when they began to take the game a bit more seriously.

The 3-1 win earns Clutch a spot in the semifinals and punches them a ticket to Detroit. But Cody Sun doesn’t care where they are, or who they are playing. All he wants is for his team to play their best.

If they can, he told, they will be able to take another victory.  

How do you feel about making it to the semifinals? 

Cody Sun: It feels pretty good. Also, we were so far away in the standings people didn’t expect us to rise up and make the playoffs. They didn’t expect us to win in the playoffs. We’ve been through a lot of hardships the last two splits, so it feels good to do this for our fans and the people who trusted us. 

Only one of the four analysts predicted that you guys would win. 

It’s hard to vote for us because of our reputation compared to TSM, who you don’t expect to fall to us. But we were feeling really confident. They had so many roster issues, and were panicking a lot throughout the split. They were doing a lot of weird stuff. 

You guys defeated TSM in the quarterfinals last year. Why was it important to beat them once again? 

It’s important for us to show the fans that we are better than last year’s roster. If last year’s CG roster could beat TSM, this year’s had to do it as well. Hopefully we’re going to take it a step further and make finals, and then the whole thing. 

Did the match go as you expected? 

We were really confident. I expected that we would go 3-0 or 3-1, although Huni thought 3-2. They came out swinging in the third game. Zven was popping off. I was happy for him because he was having so much fun. That’s why in the fourth game, I didn’t want to play Sivir anymore. I wanted to play something that would pop off too, so I picked Kha’Zix. I wanted to do even better. 

Earlier in the split, your team said you were definitely making it to the semifinals. What has made your team feel so much more confident recently?

As the coaching staff always says, we peaked at the right time. The first few weeks we didn’t have the same coaches. We got a lot of motivation from the early split. We were able to transition that energy into playing well the past couple of weeks when it really mattered.

We’re definitely on an upward trend, and still improving a lot. We don’t have to scrim against bottom tier anymore. We scrim against playoff teams, so it feels really good. Those teams were ignoring us the whole split. 

How were you able to completely dominate in those first two games against TSM? 

For us, we are really confident in the way we’re playing right now. We know we have better teamwork and better mid to late game macro. Even if we fall behind in early game, we are still really confident in our team fighting. We can still take fights, even with a gold deficit. 

Speaking of, your team came out on top of team fights more often than not. Why do you think those were so successful for you?  

One thing that attributes to that is, for us, we are just fearless. When Huni has a turn, we are really aggressive. Even in a 50/50 fight, we’re confident we’re going to win if we go first. That’s always been one of our biggest strengths. We all play well mechanically and individually, as well as in a team setting. 

How were you feeling when TSM took game three? 

Honestly, we were pretty chill. We knew that even though they took the game, we were the better team. We knew that if we stayed strong mentally we could win the next one. When they did win game three, it wasn’t them doing something crazy. It was us fucking up ourselves, and misplaying in team fights. 

What do you think had gone wrong for you guys?

It was that one team fight when Broken Blade killed me. We were focusing on different targets. That was the only teamfight we played wrong. But we always came out on top in every other team fight. We played every other scenario pretty well. 

That game had your only deaths of the whole series. And it ruined your five-game no-death streak. How were you feeling when that happened? 

Honestly, when I’m playing, I don’t think about my K/D or damage dealt. I felt we could still win, but we’d just have to focus and play well in the next couple of fights. 

What was your strategy going into the fourth and final game? 

We knew that we were going to get blue side. As long as we kept things chill and kept playing our game, we would come out on top eventually thanks to our teamwork. We also have a better understanding of the macro. They played the early game pretty well, and were up a little bit. But we were able to come back pretty easily. It was a pretty smooth game. 

Team Liquid will be choosing who they play in the semifinals. Do you think they may pick you for that game? 

Yeah, I think they probably will choose us. I want them to choose us. We would be able to fight against them in the semifinals. If we win that match, we’d probably win the whole thing. They’re looking like the strongest team in the LCS.

It’ll be a fun match regardless. The last time I was about to play TL was when I was with 100 Thieves in summer of last year. But I got subbed out, and wasn’t able to play. This time, I’m on a completely different roster. They have a completely different roster as well. I’m pretty confident if they do pick us. 

Do you think your team has what it takes? 

Yeah, they’re going to come out cold in the playoffs. They haven’t played a game for two weeks now. We will have that momentum. As long as we focus on what we do best, it doesn’t matter who we play against. I think it will be pretty close, but I think we have a pretty good shot. 

What will your team be doing to prepare for the semifinals? 

We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing the last couple of weeks. Our team atmosphere is great. We’re still improving a lot day by day. It’s going to come down to how much we can improve in the next few days. We just want to play the best we can against whoever we’re playing against. 

When you’re not playing, is there anything you’re hoping to do in Detroit? 

Not really. I’m not thinking of it as traveling or vacation. The only goal for us is to play as well as we can, and put on a good performance for ourselves and for our fans. Everyone is really focused and motivated.

Is there anything you wanted to say to the fans out there? 

Whether it’s my fans or fans of the whole team, both CG and me had a rough past couple of months. It was hard for me. I was in CG Academy and not doing too hot there. Then we also got 9th place last split. For the fans that kept supporting us and had faith, we’re really confident right now. Things are looking good, and I think we have a bright future ahead of us. 


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