Game 1: Unicorns of Love vs. Clutch Gaming

Day one of Play-Ins began with a disappointing start for the American representatives. The Unicorns had steadily established a lead of 4000 gold by 20 minutes through skirmishes and missteps from Clutch. The key team fight for the Unicorns occurred around the mountain drake at 22 minutes. Clutch attempted to contest at a significant gold deficit resulting in 3 kills and the mountain drake for the Unicorns. Damonte’s Renekton had little impact during the game, finishing with a total of 5.1k damage to champions. Despite Cody Sun putting up a solid performance on Xayah, it wasn’t enough to carry the team. UOL secured the upset victory in 38 minutes, defying predictions across the board.

 

Game 2: DetonatioN FocusMe vs. Splyce

DetonatioN FocusMe came out swinging in their first game at Worlds 2019, locking in the Nocturne mid. DFM drafted an early composition with an aggressive bot lane duo of Lucian and Thresh. However, it was Splyce’s Xerxe on Hecarim that dominated the early game, picking up 2 kills before 5 minutes. Splyce began to take over the game, acquiring a 9000 gold lead by 20 minutes. DFM and their Nocturne mid were unable to snowball the game. Splyce took the victory in just under 27 minutes dominating the Japanese representatives.

Game 3: MAMMOTH vs. Unicorns of Love

Game 3 of Play-Ins was decided in the team fights as UOL and MMM clashed. MMM’s top laner Fudge absorbed an enormous amount of pressure in the early game on Gangplank. The young top laner is showing promising confidence for a 17-year-old rookie during his first international performance.

UOL failed to dive the top laner, giving a kill to MMM. This also transitioned into a mountain drake for MMM as they had priority over the bot side of the map. Consecutive teamfight wins lead to MMM picking up the victory in just over 37 minutes.

Game 4: DetonatioN FocusMe vs. Isurus Gaming

DFM vs ISG remained a relatively even bout throughout the game. Kills were exchanged back and forth during the early game keeping the gold close. A botched dive from ISG at 13 minutes gave DFM a positive trade of 2 to 1 in kills. At 30 minutes the gold remained completely even with each team playing around their respective carry; Kayle for DFM and Ezreal for ISG. The deciding teamfight occurred at 35 minutes where ISG’s AD carry Warangelus took over the teamfight on Ezreal, clearing up the DFM roster. This lead to an ISG victory in just under 40 minutes.

Game 5: MAMMOTH vs. Clutch Gaming

After a slow start to the day, Clutch Gaming looked to pick up their first win against MAMMOTH. The Clutch lineup looked like a different team from their first game of the day, focusing on finding skirmishes into objectives. Clutch executed a surprisingly controlled victory over their opponents, only giving away two kills. MMM managed to steal the baron with a void seeker after a failed smite from LirA. However, the damage was already done with Clutch securing the victory in 39 minutes.

Game 6: Splyce vs. Isurus Gaming

Both teams entered the game looking to initiate early pressure with a Jarvan for Splyce and a Lee Sin for Isurus Gaming. Both junglers ganked heavily in the early game, with Splyce’s Xerxe performing successful; ganks in both bot and top. This proactivity was matched by ISG’s Oddie, however, a number of wide Q’s on Lee Sin lead to multiple missed opportunities. The bot side pressure for Splyce allowed them to secure 3 infernal drakes. This lead to the baron and then the victory in just over 30 minutes.