Clutch Gaming has surprised many people by taking down TSM in a great comeback win. This also means that Clutch has gone 2-0 in their first week of the LCS Spring Split, while TSM goes 1-1.
— Clutch Gaming (@ClutchGaming) January 27, 2019
TSM was coming off of a great win over 100 Thieves yesterday. Their bottom lane of Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Andy “Smoothie” Ta had a shining game, while the rest of the lineup performed great as well. People were not sure how Zven and Smoothie would fit together, as Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez was Zven’s partner for three years. However, they proved that they could be a deadly duo just the same.
On the other hand, Clutch Gaming was coming from a great first game against Echo Fox. They were looking pretty good as a team, with some good decision making in the later stages of the game. However, this match against TSM should be a better challenge than Echo Fox.
Early in the game, TSM would dictate the pace, especially in the top lane. Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik was a monster pre-ten-minutes, grabbing up a two solo kills on Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon. Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham also grabbed up a couple big kills in the top and bottom lane, pushing TSM to a 5-0 lead before 23 minutes. However, the game would stagnate for TSM after their strong early game. This would give Clutch a chance to claw back into the game.
— lolesports (@lolesports) January 27, 2019
Although Huni was getting stomped on in the top lane, Tanner “Damonte” Damonte was playing well against Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg. Although no kills would be exchanged between the two, Damonte would farm extremely well on Akali. As a result, as the match moved towards the mid-game, he would surprise TSM with his damage output. Additionally, Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin would play quite well on Ezreal. It seemed like TSM just underestimated the damage and team fighting skills of Clutch Gaming.
TSM got a really big lead but never did anything with it. It also didn’t help that Broken Blade did not know how to play in a 1-3-1 formation too well. As a result, Echo Fox would battle back and end up taking the win on the back of their mid lane and ADC. It is a surprising end to their LCS week, as not many people had them going 2-0 for week one.
For TSM, they have plenty to work on for next week when they face Echo Fox and FlyQuest. However, there are still some bright spots to praise on this team as well. For example, Broken Blade showed that he has the mechanical prowess to go toe-to-toe with the best in the league. First, he got a solo kill on Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, who is widely considered the best top laner in the region. Now, he has killed Huni multiple times solo. All he needs to work on his is macro skills, which is completely teachable. They also need to change their mindset as a team. They may have more aggressive players in Broken Blade and Akaadian, but their passive mentality as a team hasn’t changed.
As for Clutch Gaming, this week must have been a great boost to their confidence as a team. Taking down TSM should be a good building block for synergy, but they have tougher competition ahead. Next week they are facing off against OpTic Gaming and the best team in the region, Team Liquid. If Damonte and Piglet can stay consistent, watch for Clutch Gaming to creep into the top five of the LCS standings.
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Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.