League of Legends World Champions will defend their title! With great struggle, Rookies and his teammates manage to snatch the victory against Top Esports — and thus prevailed in the League of Legends Pro League Gauntlet (LPL) — the Chinese equivalent of the Regional Finals. Thanks to this victory, they qualified as the third seed of the China region.
Within a Bo5 that was longer than it should have been, Invictus Gaming is cornered by Top Esports.
Yes, that's a victory, but that was not an easy one. Such struggle was definitely not the signature of a team which stayed undefeated during months. Overall, this last game — the one that decided everything — was won only because of the incredible job of Leyan and Rookie. Without this synergy with the players, Invictus Gaming would probably have fallen.
Last May, at the dawn of MSI 2019, Invictus Gaming was considered the best team in the World. Crowned in November after the stomp they inflicted to Fnatic in Finals, Invictus Gaming then proceeded to dominate the LPL during the entire Spring Split. They obliterated FunPlus in Finals, and flew to Vietnam with confidence — they just had won LPL Spring Split, the MSI was just a formality.
However, the story went completely opposite to their predictions. Facing Team Liquid, Invictus Gaming felt apart and went home with the bitter taste of their 1 - 3 loss.
Back in China for the Summer Split, Invictus Gaming collapsed. Baolan was immediately sent to the bench as if IG had decided that he was responsible for the team meltdown. For the first time since 2017, the core of the team is changing. Lucas replaced him for a few matches, but with only four victories and three defeats during the first half of the split, this change didn't seem to bring the performance that it should have. At the same moment, Rookie was forced to go back to South Korea to take care of his family.
He quickly came back to his team, but the situation didn't get better. Somehow, Invictus Gaming went from being the global dominating team to a bandwagon one. They had lost their lane control, their actions were crippled with mechanical mistakes and doubt. They hardly qualified for Playoffs and were immediately eliminated by LNG. This time, Ning would be the one to pay the price of this loss. His game style that pushed aggressivity to its paroxysm made him earn the MVP title several times, but it wasn't fitting Invictus Gaming anymore.
To compete at the Gauntlet, Invictus Gaming recruited Leyan — a young jungler coming from their academic roster, that previously played one match against LNG. His arrival was harshly criticized by fans, especially since it didn't prevent IG from losing against JD Gaming and Top Esports.
The story of Invictus Gaming is one of a journey, from the top to the bottom. Will they prevail at Worlds? Will they defend their title? Will the Champions rise from their ashes?
Well, the answer remains to be seen... in November.
Written by Julien "Imso" Hubert. Translated from French by Millenium.us.org