In the match versus Clutch Gaming, MAMMOTH struggled to find their footing. The team was coming off a decisive victory over Unicorns of Love and was surprised to find a very different Clutch Gaming than the LCS team that had been upset earlier in the day.
Clutch Gaming slowed down the tempo of the game and didn’t fall for MAMMOTH’s aggressive game plan. MAMMOTH was quickly running out of options, and they couldn’t openly contest the baron so their players waited at a safe distance.
It all started when jungler Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo used smite two seconds too early. The baron still had 140 HP after the smite, so Lira and Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme kept hitting it with auto-attacks. MAMMOTH’s top laner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami threw one auto-attack of his own and the baron was still at 1 HP. From max range, k1ng shot Void Seeker and the baron was finally dead.
After that miraculous baron steal, MAMMOTH took down two turrets in the mid lane. It wasn’t enough to stop a Clutch team that had established a significant gold and item advantage.
The community immediately reacted, pointing out that losing baron in that way was “the most Dignitas thing to do”. Dignitas was known in the NA LCS for having significant advantages and throwing the game by letting the enemy team steal the baron. Dignitas acquire Clutch Gaming franchise earlier this year and will return to the LCS in 2020.
The baron steal was one of the highlights of the day, but unfortunately for MAMMOTH, it didn’t change the result of the game. Clutch went on to take the elder dragon and proceeded to finish the game from there.
Clutch, MAMMOTH, and Unicorns of Love are tied with one victory and one defeat each in day one of the World Championship play-ins. The teams will meet again on Friday for the second half of the group stage.