Despite maintaining a high level of play throughout the World Championship, IG ended the last day of the group stage with two defeats at the hands of Fnatic. Moving into the quarterfinals, IG was given the undesirable task of going up against Korean superteam and tournament favorite KT Rolster.
KT took the lead early in game one after jungler Go “Score” Dong-bin picked up two kills in the bottom lane. But an effort by KT to take out mid laner Song “Rookie” Eui-jin backfired, resulting in two kills for roaming IG top laner Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok. Following an ace and a successful baron buff, Invictus Gaming quickly took game one.
IG continued on to win game two and force match point. As game three began to unfold Invictus took an early advantage with TheShy finding first blood and a tower only 10 minutes in.
The match turned after TheShy and Rookie split pushed bot to destroy the blue team’s inhibitor while KT Rolster skirmished with the rest of Invictus around baron pit. Now desperate, KT decided to take the baron buff to relieve IG’s constant pressure.
The match match evened out as late game approached and at around 37 minutes KT decided to push mid to end the game. Seeing an opportunity, TheShy snuck through the jungle to split push bot. What ensued was a heart-pounding base race as IG fell one by one without the strength of their top laner, and TheShy pushed all the way KT’s nexus.
In the end it was KT Rolster narrowly securing victory as the Korean side managed to beat down IG’s nexus mere moments before TheShy could do the same to theirs across the map.
TheShy sat out game four after a devastating defeat for him and his team as IG substituted Lee “Duke” Ho-seong in for the top lane. KT Rolster secured an early lead after taking first blood and tower and refused to give it up for the remainder of the game. KT proceeded to win game four after a decisive team fight.
IG swapped TheShy back in as the Chinese side entered game five staring down a potential squandering of what had been a 2-0 lead. Invictus managed to secure an early gold advantage, but KT’s draft scaled well enough that the Korean side didn’t fall far behind. Both teams played cautiously, each knowing one bad play could turn the tide.
The match came down to a crucial flash by Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo during a full team fight which earned the bot laner a quadrakill and an ace for his team. IG then secured the Baron buff and took the mid lane inhibitor. KT was unable to defend against the ensuing waves of buffed super minions.
KT Rolster succumbed to defeat at 42 minutes into the fifth game, securing Invictus Gaming a slot in the World Championship semifinals.