Melany M. August 26, 2019
Current World Champion Invictus Gaming got knocked off early in the 2019 LPL Summer Playoffs.
Invictus’ summer run was cut short by none other than LNG Esports, formerly known as Snake Esports. Despite the team's shortcomings during the regular season, analysts predicted Invictus as the winner of the series. The players were confident they would bring it once they played best-of-fives. Invictus indeed surprised the LPL audience, but it was for all the wrong reasons.
Invictus Gaming's cruel summer in the LPL
The summer has not been easy for Invictus. The LPL Spring champion had a poor finish at the Mid-Season Invitational and it was all downhill from there. They lost Song "Rookie" Eul-jin for a couple of weeks. At Rift Rivals, they were okay, but nothing special. In the domestic season, Invictus struggled to find wins.
Invictus finished the season with nine wins and six losses. The result put them in sixth place, just above LNG Esports and Suning. Invictus punched its ticket to playoffs in the final week of the regular season, as the squad had to win its two final games to opt for one of the lower seeds.
In the first round of playoffs, LNG Esports destroyed Invictus in a clean 3-0 victory. In the series, the team was disconnected and didn’t have a clear plan. In game one, Invictus started Lee "Duke" Ho-seong over Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok, despite TheShy being the only player from Invictus to make it to the All-Pro team.
Invictus later subbed in TheShy and rookie jungler Lu "Leyan" Jue. The combination was ineffective for them, so Invictus brought back Gao "Ning" Zhen-Ning in game three.
The constant changes didn’t help Invictus’ case, and the team was knocked out of the competition early. LNG Esports went on to face Royal Never Give Up, and RNG that took that series 3-1. RNG is now heading to the semifinals where they will face Top Esports.
The summer is not over for Invictus, as the team still has one more chance to qualify for the 2019 World Championship through the regional finals. Only three teams will play in the regional finals, and Invictus will face the third and fourth-place teams coming off the LPL summer playoffs.
The LPL regional finals start on September 7.