NA LCS Roster Moves: Clutch Gaming announces new roster

Clutch Gaming, the Houston Rockets’ NA LCS team, has announced its innagural roster for the 2018 Spring Split. Let’s take a look at what’s to come.

by Brandon Ridgely

Clutch Gaming has hit the NA LCS running as an extension of the Houston Rockets, and while we don’t have any James Harden-level facial hair going on in this lineup, it certainly has some similarly deadly talent. 

The Spring Split arsenal

In the top lane, Clutch Gaming have signed Solo, a player with a long history just at the precipice of LCS competition. A former member of Team Liquid and its Academy team, Echo Fox, Gold Coin United, Cloud9 Challenger and Cloud9 Tempest, Solo has gotten close to that starting 5 faith from the top lane a few times before. But with Clutch Gaming, it seems it’s finally time to prove his mettle with the big dogs. 

In the jungle, Clutch Gaming have made one of the most sought after jungle signings in the region by signing Team Envy’s LirA. LirA was the backbone to a Team Envy that scraped by for most of its life and managed to capture one split banner before failing to qualify for franchising. He was perhaps the only reason it managed to survive so long. And while LirA has seen better times than his most recent split on Team Envy, he enters this roster as one of the most dangerous junglers in North America, and perhaps the strongest weapon Clutch Gaming have for the 2018 Spring Split. That’s not a bad spot to be.

In the mid lane, Clutch Gaming have shocked the world and signed Febiven. The former H2K and Fnatic midlaner was heralded as one of the best in the EU LCS. He now is the anchor to a dangerous midlane/jungle pairing, but we’ll get to that in just a second. Febiven himself is a young player with only a few splits under his belt as a 21-year-old, and he’s sure to make his NA LCS entrance with a bang on this roster. 

In the AD carry position, another Team Envy puzzle piece is found, as Clutch gaming have signed Apollo. Apollo had many bright spots in his time on Team Envy, but none seemed to fully come to fruition like they should’ve. Alongside a strong playmaker in Hakuho, Apollo did decently as a bot lane pairing. But Clutch Gaming is hoping for much better than that in its reuniting of the two.

That’s right, in the support position, the final piece to the Team Envy triumvirate, Clutch Gaming has signed Hakuho. Hakuho was a strange support to watch grow as a player. In moments he shines like no other, and others he blends in like a melee minion. While his pairing with Apollo wasn’t the worst in the league, Clutch Gaming’s decision to reunite the two is a bit puzzling. While it seems like there should be no drought of bot lane talent available in the wild talent market, Clutch Gaming have landed a bot lane that fell short on a team that routinely did the same. 

One unit

Picking up more than half of the players from a so-so roster (Team EnvY) feels strange for the Houston Rockets’ first extension into League of Legends, but getting LirA as part of that package and equipping them with Febiven in the mid lane seems like a solid threat. While our predictions for Clutch Gaming in comparison to star-studded rosters like that of Team Liquid aren’t quite that bright, it’s a fairly strong roster that we can see putting together more than a few wins. 

But if the Houston Rockets are expecting anything more of Clutch Gaming’s 2018 as-is, they’re sorely mistaken. 

What do you think of Clutch Gaming’s roster for the 2018 Spring Split? Let us know in the comments below!

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Brandon Ridgely

US Editor - Covering all things sports with a bit of everything else. Current favorite games: NBA 2K21, Madden 21, and Football Manager 2020.

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