Melany M. April 22, 2019
Invictus Gaming is the 2019 LPL Spring Split champion, as the current world champion took down JD Gaming in a quick series.
IG achieved its first domestic title in a convincing series against JDG. Since its founding in 2011, IG has struggled to find ultimate success in the LPL. In 2018, the organization signed young bot laner prodigy Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo and the team’s look changed completely.
The team came close to the title during the 2018 summer split, only to go down against Royal Never Give Up. The championship points won still earned them a pass to the World Championship, where they would go down in history as the first Chinese team to win the event. Now, after a shaky spring season, IG has achieved its first LPL title.
Game one would set the tone for the rest of the day. In the early game, mid laner Song “Rookie” Eui-jin pushed Zeng “YaGao” Qi under turret, immediately putting him behind. The side lanes played out in a similar situation with IG in total control.
JDG, having drafted losing lanes, could not recover from what was a disastrous early game. The squad tried to find picks but IG punished every such attempt and IG secured the first win at 27 minutes.
The second set would end even faster. IG kept its momentum going and was quick to turn around every attempt by JD Gaming to aggress on the map. JDG’s aggro approach added up to nothing.
Top laner Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran on Sion went all in without his team’s support and died more times than was necessary. IG rolled over JDG in game two and took the nexus at just 25 minutes.
In game three, JDG was ready to put up a better fight. Jungler Sung “Flawless” Yeon-jun on Rek’Sai was assertive and helped YaGao get ahead. JDG kept its strong tempo going from the early stages through the mid-game.
A team fight in the middle lane turned the match around. While contending the position around baron, IG lost jungler Gao “Ning” Zhen-Ning. JDG went in for more kills, but IG immediately took down Flawless. Without either jungler on the map, IG went for the baron while JDG tried to split to harass IG’s baron attempt while also getting to an exposed inhibitor in the mid lane.
IG killed the JDG members near the baron pit and began a push of their own. Inside the JDG base, top laner Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok on Vladimir burst down the remaining JDG members and JackeyLove’s signature Draven sealed the deal.
IG raised a domestic trophy for the first time and now are setting their eyes on the Mid-Season Invitational. At the first international event of the year, the world champions will meet G2 Esports, Team Liquid, and SK Telecom T1.