Clutch Gaming’s future in Worlds 2019 is under question after the start of day 3 of the Play-Ins stage. Although they were meant to be the clear favorites of Group A — and prime candidates to join the deathly Group C of the Main Event — Clutch might not even make it there.
Clutch Gaming finished day 1 at 1-1, tied with the other two teams in their group in Unicorns of Love and MAMMOTH. Still considered the better of the trio, Clutch returned on stage for day 3, only to score another loss against the LCL champions of UoL.
For CG fans looking to find someone to blame, jungler Nam “LirA” Tae-yoo qualifies as one such target. LirA had a great early game and at one point was two levels up on Kirill “AHaHaCiK” Skvortsov, but teamfight mistakes in the mid and late game were among the many contributing factors to Clutch Gaming’s second flop of the Play-In stage.
Down 1-2, Clutch now need a win against MAMMOTH, but the way the group has been developing it won’t be easy. While CG beat the Oceania team on day 1, MMM came back strong on day 3 to turn around a practically lost game against Unicorns of Love, with AD carry Calvin “k1ng” Truong showing big in the late game on his Xayah. If MMM show the same resilience and overpower Clutch Gaming, that will be all for LCS’ third seed and we’ll have the first major upset of Worlds 2019.