The play-in stage kicked off on October 2 with an opening match between Unicorns of Love from the LCL and Clutch Gaming from the LCS. Clutch came into the match as the favorite but Unicorns of Love had another thing in mind.
In picks and bans, Unicorns of Love surprised with Heimerdinger in the bottom lane. Clutch went for a standard composition, with the small twist of putting jungler Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo on Ekko.
The fight for first blood would set the tone for the rest of the match. Lira and Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon teamed up to get Vladislav “BOSS” Fomin under the turret. The play was unnecessarily aggressive and Unicorns of Love was able to punish both players.
Huni would continue to make costly, over-aggressive plays. Around the rift herald, the top laner went over a wall to chase out the enemy jungler. Huni found himself surrounded by enemies and gave up a kill, forcing Clutch to give up the objective.
Unicorns of Love kept punishing every play from Clutch. The North American team then looked towards securing a dragon. Unicorns of Love erased Clutch inside the pit, took the dragon, and the baron on their way out.
After that baron play, Unicorns of Love had total control of the game and never gave it back. The superior vision control allowed Unicorns of Love to move between lanes and apply as much pressure as possible.
Clutch still tried to go for flanks and find picks, but couldn’t find anything that could swing the game. Sun “Cody Sun” Li-Yu managed to keep Clutch alive and drag out the game.
Unicorns of Love seemed hesitant to push for the win, and were planning to wait a bit longer to secure a third baron. That changed when when they caught Tanner “Damonte” Damonte out of position. That kill was enough for them to go for the win and there was nothing that Clutch could do about it.