After a split that could only be described as a roller coaster, Clutch Gaming made it through roster swaps and an entire coaching staff overhaul to secure a fifth place playoff spot for the LCS summer split. Upcomer had a chance to sit down with midlaner Tanner “Damonte” Damonte to discuss the team’s journey to playoffs and his opinion of their quarterfinals opponent.
Shit, I mean it was surreal at the end. We’re conquered a lot of things this split, you know? At the beginning it was really rocky, and then Cody Sun came in for Piglet, and then halfway through the split we brought in two new coaches and got rid of our other one. It’s been a roller coaster, and to finish this season off with a 2-0 weekend is insane. You saw the emotions that were happening on stage and those were all real.
Yeah, obviously now it’s a feeling I want to feel again in playoffs. We just have three best of fives, and that means we can actually win NA. It’s a longshot, but we can definitely do it.
*Laughs* I don’t know. It would be pretty crazy, though. You know that would be the legacy of Clutch Gaming. For a while it was only CLG, TSM, and Cloud9 banners up there until TL starting winning the last three splits. I’d love to see something new up there.
I’m super happy. I don’t think it could have played out any better. We’re peaking right now, and TSM is doing the opposite of peaking. I don’t think there could be a better matchup for us. I know we can beat them if we play like we did today. Cody is just on fire.
Well, obviously the correct answer is it doesn’t matter because we’ll have to beat the best team to win anyway, but I’d like to avoid Team Liquid if possible *laughs*. At the end of the day it doesn’t faze me though. We just have to go on stage and get three victories. It’s as simple as that.
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*Laughs* Yeah I’m pretty sure we’d run full demons! You know, burn their mana so we don’t get CC’d.
Well, I feel like all of our struggles this year are a result of how we see the game and how we want to play the game. We’re not playing the playstyle that other teams are playing, where they just sit around and wait for things to happen. We’ve been focused a lot in these past months actually playing macro correctly and using side lanes to actually do stuff. Also, knowing your job when you can’t side lane as well.
For example, I played against Tristana today, and she was super far ahead of me, but at that point it’s not my job to go one-v-one the Tristana. Everyone is just learning their jobs and we’re still a very skirmish heavy team. You saw it this game, it was really bloody, but we came out on top in almost every skirmish. I think that’s because we practice that way every day and other teams probably don’t.
I don’t think it’s a necessity or anything. I think the way TL plays the game is extremely hard to punish right now. I would not be surprised if TL could take games off of IG and G2 right now in their current form.
I mean we saw it at Rift Rivals too, right? TL just has the style perfected and other teams are trying to do what they’re doing too. We’re just doing our own thing. But it’s not even like TL is a passive team. They still make proactive plays.
I think all three of our lanes can carry the game right now. Cody Sun’s been playing phenomenally and is fucking deathless the past five games. Huni is also coming on form again, and I’ve even had a couple of really good games too. Lira has been a huge leader for us, and Vulcan is just the one to start everything. The guy is fearless. Our strategy is just built around our synergy and ability to find fights from unique angles, and everyone contributes their part.
It’s Tanner time? *Laughs* but honestly it’s hard to say. Obviously they don’t know what’s going on with their roster right now, so I don’t want to shit on them right now. I’m just hoping we get some good games.