Clutch Gaming crushed Team SoloMid’s dreams of reaching the 2019 LCS Summer Split finals with an incredible 3-1 win over the weekend to secure a flight to Detroit and a semi-finals appearance.
It will go down as a poor split for TSM, who struggled to keep up with the expectations put on them. Finishing outside top two was always going to be a disappointing result, and while Tony “Zikz” Gray and his man disappointed in that regard, they still managed to climb their way to the playoffs by finishing fourth with a 10-8 record.
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A fourth-place finish meant TSM had to go through the quarter-finals. There they got paired with Clutch Gaming, who impressed everyone when they finished fifth in the standings with a 9-9 record.
Still, CG entered the playoffs as heavy underdogs, as they finished the summer split with an underwhelming 0-8 record against top-four teams throughout the nine weeks. Yet they showed a completely new face in the quarters and came out the other side as alpha dogs.
Throughout the whole series TSM struggled with bad decision-making, poor timing and too many mistakes, which disrupted the flow of their game and put them on the back foot in both macro play and team fights.
Clutch, on the other hand, looked like a proper playoff team with a very clean and organized approach. Each player knew what his job was and executed accordingly. That translated into exceptional team fighting, which served as CG’s most efficient tool and exposed TSM’s communication problems.
Sun “Cody Sun” Li-Yu emerged as the MVP of the quarter-finals series with 24 kills and only two deaths throughout the whole series. On the other side, Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo failed to live up to expectations in his first LCS playoffs appearance, seemingly succumbing to the pressure of the quarter-finals.
Saturday’s match, however, was not the first time Clutch Gaming dismantled TSM in the quarter-finals, as they won by the same margin back at the 2018 LCS Spring Split playoffs.