Team Liquid defeats Invictus Gaming in massive upset at MSI

Melany M. May 17, 2019

Team Liquid has achieved what seemed impossible, as the LCS champion took down reigning world champion Invictus Gaming and is advancing to the Mid-Season Invitational final.

It’s a great day to be a TL fan, as the three-time LCS champion asserted its dominance over IG in a series of four games. The general consensus was that TL could get perhaps one game but that IG would take the entire series. TL proved all of the analysts wrong with a dominant performance.

TL and IG arrived at Taipei with two very different storylines. The North American champion qualified after an underwhelming performance in the group stage. Conversely, the LPL representative broke the record for the most wins at the MSI group stage with nine total victories.

Games one and two were defined by the proactive approach from junglers Jake “Xmithie” Puchero and Gao “Ning” Zhen-Ning. The junglers were everywhere on the map, impacting the lanes and contesting neutral objectives.

TL played a slower game, focusing on the dragon control and taking towers. IG, true to their style, went for skirmishes even if they were outnumbered. Those mistakes, plus the incredible playmaking from support Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in, allowed TL to punish IG and get two consecutive wins.

Game three would be a different story. IG went for two comfort picks, Rakan for Wang “Baolan” Liu-Yi and Leblanc for Song “Rookie” Eui-jin.

Baolan went for hard engages, jumping in and starting plays. Behind him, Rookie was ready to deal the damage and erase his enemies. TL ran out of answers quickly and IG rolled over them with a fed Leblanc.

TL recognized the possibility of a reverse sweep, and still at match point, it was Skarner time. In the mid lane, Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen surprised with a Lux pick, the same champion that Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg used against him in the LCS final.

Xmithie kept the momentum going for TL. While the jungler and support duo roamed across the map, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng kept Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo stuck in lane. Doublelift was confident and ready to fight one versus one. JackeyLove was then forced to group with the rest of his team.

In the top lane, Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong went head-to-head with Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok. Impact continues to be one of the best performing members of the team at MSI. TheShy grew a small gold advantage but couldn’t transform it into anything relevant for the team.

TL secured one baron buff and sieged IG’s base. TL showed an immense amount of patience and discipline. IG tried to force them to fight and make mistakes, but TL didn’t fall for their traps. Liquid then went for a second baron and continued the siege.

The IG structures kept falling and the LPL representatives went in for a final fight. It was all too easy for TL to kill the enemies and push for the win.

In the end, TL didn’t need unorthodox compositions or flashy plays to take down IG, only confidence and a proactive game plan.

TL’s next opponent will be the winner between G2 Esports and SK Telecom T1.