Soon after being founded by the owner of the Houston Rockets, Clutch Gaming became one of four new teams to be invited to the 2018 League of Legends Championship Series. With a few ex-Team EnVyUs players on their roster, LCS viewers had high hopes for the new team. It soon became clear that CG could easily beat the teams considered to be below them, but had some trouble beating any team that was considered better than them. In the playoffs, Clutch surprised everyone by becoming the first team to defeat Team SoloMid in the quarterfinals. The underdogs also managed to go toe-to-toe with 100 Thieves, but eventually admitted defeat.
In the 2019 season, Clutch Gaming entered with even more well-known players. This included Tanner “Damonte” Damonte from Echo Fox and Heo “Huni” Seung-Hoon, an ex SK Telecom T1 player who had attended the World Championship representing both Europe and Korea. But despite a promising roster, Clutch Gaming found themselves cast as the underdogs once more, fighting to maintain their mid-tier status in the 2019 Spring Split.
Midway through the 2019 Summer Split, it was announced that Clutch Gaming’s parent company had been bought out by Dignitas. Possibly re-energized by this news, CG replaced their coaching staff and immediately saw improved results. Once known for their off-meta compositions, Damonte told WIN.gg that the new coaches had made them take practice more seriously. The newly found structure and guidance led Clutch Gaming to rise up the ranks throughout the second half of the split. Former CG Academy player Cody “CodySun” Sun proved himself as one of North America’s best bot lane carries when he returned to the LCS with Clutch.
Clutch Gaming found themselves in the gauntlet. After clawing their way to the final round, Clutch Gaming took down the favorites to win, TSM, qualifying themselves for the 2019 World Championship with a 3-2 victory. Despite being known as the underdogs of the LCS, Clutch Gaming managed to become North America’s third seed at Worlds.
Next year, Clutch Gaming will enter the LCS playing under the Dignitas brand. This will be that organization’s return to the LCS after years of absence.