According to prophecy, NA and EU 3rd seeds will always be saved at some point throughout Worlds. One year ago, G2 Esports met their savior, mr buffalo. Their fates would forever be intertwined, and their debt was repaid 6 months later in their second meeting at MSI. But when Clutch Gaming found themselves in a bind, who would save them? Who would come to right their Destiny?
Well, you see, some 21 and a half years ago, a k1ng was born…
In actuality, Calvin "k1ng" Truong, Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw and MAMMOTH were knocked out after losing their game to Clutch and then their tiebreaker match to UoL. Though K1ng continued to play well, his individual performance nets him an honorable mention. And one more honorable mention worth giving out goes to Kirill "AHaHaCiK" Skvortsov. In his four games, he played four different champs, bringing him to five unique champs in only six games. Along with that, he turned around an incredibly bleak start in his opening game after Nam "Lira" Tae-yoo and clutch Gaming were able to four-buff him, and he was able to carry his team to a victory. AHaHaCiK was also instrumental in keeping his team alive, leading them to victory in their first tiebreaker against MAMMOTH, who had beaten them twice in the head to head.
But of course, when it comes to the actual MVP, there was only one real option, Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon himself. After losing the first game, with his back against the wall on the face of disqualification, Huni put his carry pants on and busted out two incredibly dominant games ensuring his team would finish victorious. In their game against MAMMOTH, Huni pulled out the Ryze, which he hasn’t played the entire summer, and went 3/1/8 on the pick doing an impressive 44% of his teams damage. After dominating his lane, he continued applying side pressure and kept the Oceanic team on the back foot. Clutch played around his lead and used all that pressure effectively to close out the game fast, securing a bye for the three-way tie.
In their final game, they had to defeat UoL, who had beaten them in both matchups previously. The UoL topside camped Huni hard, but multiple times, he outplayed the ganks and survived long enough for a Clutch teammate to assist him in taking down the over aggressive UoL duo. After garnering a lead, he rotated with his team and they won skirmish after skirmish. AHaHaCiK, who had
had such an incredibly dominant day otherwise, fell behind after all the failed ganks, and eventually became no more than a moving ward for his team - which Clutch Gaming has great experience in shutting down. In the final moments of the game, Clutch overstayed their welcome in UoL's base, losing most of the team and allowing the Unicorns enough time to step out and grab Baron during the death timers. Little did they know, Huni had TP ready, and upon respawning, teleported straight into the empty UoL base and ended the game, claiming first seed for the NA squad.
Huni’s “Now-or-Never” buff came on in full effect when his team needed the wins, just as it did in the gauntlet and when down 0-2 against TSM. The only question is whether he and the team will retain that momentum going into the knockout phase, or if they’ll wait till they fall behind in a series to start playing the game again. Huni said he really wanted to face his former teams, SKT and FNC, in Group C, and he'll have to maintain this level of performance if he wants to do so.