The second vicinity within the NA LCS was on the road while Cloud9 met Clutch Gaming in Riot Games’ Los Angeles studio earlier these days. But it seemed like plenty more became at stake. Cloud9, erstwhile contenders, desired to show their dominance over the upstart Clutch Gaming. Clutch, however, wanted to show that their document isn’t any fluke in opposition to pinnacle-tier opposition.
But any phantasm that this will be near, tough-fought fit changed into speedy erased. Cloud9 surely steamrolled their fighters, and the game was essentially over in 10 mins. We idea that Clutch would need any other equipment to overcome Cloud9, but they were by no means given the time to find it.
We predicted that the key matchup in this sport could be between the pinnacle leaders, and that became indeed the case. Cloud9 top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie came into the season with tons more hype than Clutch Gaming’s Colin “Solo” Earnest. On Sunday, he confirmed why that was the case.
Licorice took Kled, a matchup that turns into a nightmare if he receives ahead. Both junglers emphasized the pinnacle lane of their pathing, exemplifying how crucial that facet of the map changed into. But it was Cloud9’s Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen who helped Licorice discover first blood.
That play became set up by using Licorice’s professional lane manipulate. Not handiest did he have a CS lead towards an Ornn that, in the idea, can stay in lane and construct gadgets indefinitely, but he also had Solo overextended with an in-depth freeze.
With Solo behind, Clutch made even more of a try to shut him down. But it just wasn’t intended to be.
That play is brilliant for any variety of reasons. How Licorice used Kleid’s passive mount function to stay away from attacks and gain health turned into a laugh to watch. But careful viewers will notice wherein the lane changed into when the play started out: Frozen on Cloud9’s side of the map, with the Ornn overextended without flash.
With that lead, Licorice just began abusing Solo. Clutch fought lower back some somewhere else, but they never stood a threat each time Licorice zoomed into the play, and Cloud9 ended the game in below 25 minutes.
For Cloud9, this became a shot at other NA LCS teams in an effort to try and close down their Rookie of the Split candidate. For Clutch, many questions that followed them heading into this healthy stay.
Before the begin of the 2018 NA LCS season, we had been quite sure what we might get out of Cloud9. They’re a smart organization that recognizes a way to play as a group, a relative rarity in NA, and have been expected to be championship contenders once more.
On the other facet of the spectrum, you had Clutch Gaming. Not handiest have been they new to the LCS altogether, however, this is a team that took some time to come together in the offseason. Clutch has been one of the losing teams to announce their roster, and once they did, it became full of question marks. Nobody knew how they had performed together.
The groups’ differences showed in their first meeting a pair weeks in the past. Cloud9 put together a few scripted early game plays to snowball out of manage, even as Clutch gave the impression if they had been playing solo queue.
But of their remaining numerous series, Clutch have hit any other equipment. Jungler Nam “LirA” Tae-you is eventually playing nicely once more and the group has gained five instantly following that loss to Cloud9.
But is that sufficient for Clutch to get revenge on Sunday? Chances are Clutch will have to hit an even higher degree to tug off some other dissatisfied.
What we recognize, what we don’t
Over the first half of the season, Cloud9 has played as expected. Propped up by way of superstar contains Nicolaj Jensen in the mid lane and Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi at ADC, Cloud9 are a risk within the late game. And with guide Andy “Smoothie” Ta coming into his personality as a possible MVP candidate, Cloud9 is firmly inside the top three in the place.
Even Cloud9’s new gamers were predicted to be top. Jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen has been criticized earlier than, however, he is nonetheless a three-time NA LCS champ. And rookie top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie seemed poised to do brilliant things after a dominant run within the Challenger Series.
But Clutch Gaming? Nobody knew how that they had look. Sure, three-fifths of the roster came from remaining year’s Team Envy, however, even that crew changed into a bit of a mystery. They were terrible in the spring before turning it on overdue in the summer season. A difficult playoff goes out meant they hadn’t certainly proven us what they could do.
LirA became presupposed to be the man that would carry all people collectively. But for the first few weeks, he struggled. He turned into punished for mindless invades whilst his laners regarded the other way. Clutch appeared like a solo queue group.
Their saving grace was pretty appropriately, a penchant for seizing plays. ADC Apollo Price might also be a jungler in some other life, due to the fact his goal steals have outright received Clutch a couple video games. But that is not going to be enough against Cloud9. To beat them, Clutch will find some other tools.
Clutch’s largest question mark going into the season was pinnacle laner Colin “Solo” Earnest. Unlike Licorice, Solo wasn’t anointed as an LCS-prepared big name. He had loads to show to pundits who questioned if he might be Clutch’s susceptible hyperlink.
So some distance, his lane has been quite hard. He frequently suffers deficits, even in stable matchups. But he is proper in fights. Clutch’s focus in fights has been pretty precise, which has allowed him to deal foremost harm.
If Clutch can accelerate Solo and get him to a lead over his fellow rookie, it would cross a protracted way to helping him deliver fights. Getting him a champion like Camille, who is completely damaged in this patch, would be perfect. But Solo has to preserve he give up on the bargain. He has to communicate with LirA, to assist his jungler to invade and installation ganks.
Last week, in Cloud9’s loss to Echo Fox, we saw what can appear when Licorice receives camped. It wasn’t his fault absolutely, and Cloud9 have survived him getting at the back of earlier than. But it is something that warring parties can use towards them.
Finally, Clutch will probably have to pull something special out of their hats. Even if Solo receives a lead, Cloud9 is right enough to recover. This is where there is an advantage to being the group shrouded in mystery. If Clutch has a few special scripted play or Baron rush that they’ve been hiding, this is the time to apply it. This is the time to peer how to seize they are.