Clutch Gaming and Damwon Gaming have secured their places in the League of Legends World Championship main event in Berlin following victories over Royal Youth and Lowkey Esports, respectively.
Despite finishing top of its group, Clutch Gaming made difficult work of its run through qualifiers. Showing signs of complacency and a lack of discipline, Clutch was twice bested by Unicorns of Love and forced into a tiebreaker situation before going on to face Turkish outfit Royal Youth in the play-in knockout stage. A convincing 3–0 victory put to bed any fears that Clutch may not qualify but did raise questions as to how strong they will be in Berlin. Following the victory, Clutch Gaming will be placed into either Group B or C at the main event, as they cannot be in the same group as another LCS team.
“Our boys [have] played over 50 games since the start of the year to qualify for #Worlds2019 group stages,” Clutch tweeted after the match. “This miracle run has been absolutely insane, but we aren’t done yet. See you soon.” Clutch will have to wait and see if it is placed in the so-called Group of Death with Fnatic, SK Telecom T1, and Royal Never Give Up. Group B, which is considered the easier of the two, will feature FunPlus Phoenix, J Team, and GAM Esports.
Damwon’s route through the play-ins was a little more straightforward than Clutch’s, with the third-seed team going undefeated in the group stage. This meant it faced VCS’ Lowkey as huge favorites in the knockout, who met the challenge well by inflicting Damwon’s first defeat in the Worlds during game one. Damwon Gaming recovered strongly and went on to win the series 3–1 despite the earlier scare. The game one victory was somewhat of a landmark moment for Lowkey and the VCS, as no Vietnamese team had ever taken a game off a Korean squad.
Damwon and Clutch Gaming will be back on stage on October 12 when the World Championship main event group stages kick off in the Verti Music Hall, Berlin.
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