Clutch Gaming’s run in the League of Legends World Championship may have already come to a close, as has its final season under that team’s branding, but the competitive year was still a pivotal one for Tanner “Damonte” Damonte’s career. The mid laner for Clutch Gaming said shortly after the team was eliminated from the tournament in October that 2019 had been the best year of his career, and during an interview with ComicBook.com, he looked back on the competitive season and where he feels he stands in North America’s scene.
Damonte played for various teams in the LCS while being subbed in for others before eventually moving to a starting position in Echo Fox last year. As the 2018 season came to a close, he took the starting mid laner position with Clutch Gaming and helped take the team to Worlds as one of three North American teams who made it to the later stages of the tournament.
Clutch Gaming was ultimately eliminated from the tournament after going 0-6 in a challenging group that consisted of SK Telecom T1, Fnatic, and Royal Never Give Up. Damonte echoed his comments from Twitter after the team’s elimination by telling us about his 2019 season and how he never anticipated he’d make it to Worlds during his first full year of play.
“Well, 2019 was the first full year I got to play in the LCS,” Damonte said. “Before this, I was only really a substitute for other players, and luckily, Clutch Gaming gave me a starting spot in the LCS. I feel like I made the most out of what I got. Going to Worlds was a really crazy experience and it’s something I didn’t really expect to do in my first full year of playing.”
As for his own standing in the North American scene, Damonte said there’s nothing putting him behind Team Liquid’s Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen or Cloud9’s Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer.
“I think that based on the Worlds performance, there’s nothing really to put me behind Jensen or Nisqy,” he said. “Just because the other two I don’t think really play out of their minds or anything, so I could definitely argue that I played really well at Worlds.”
Looking ahead to the next competitive season, Damonte said he wants to focus on performing better in North America. He added that he learned a lot from going to Worlds and that he feels he’ll be rated highly next year among the other mid laners.
“I just want to prove that I learned a lot in Europe, and I learned a lot from going to Worlds, and that I’m going to get rated pretty high next year,” he said.
Damonte will have the chance to prove that in the 2020 season when he takes to the mid lane again under the new Dignitas team following the merger between the two esports organizations.