The 2019 LPL Summer Split began on June 1. Invictus Gaming, a top-tier team in the majority of past splits and tournaments, made a roster change. The previous 2018 World Championships winner replaced support player Wang “Baolan” Liu-Yi with Li-Tan “Lucas” Pan-Ao. Baolan joined Invictus Gaming’s roster in the summer of 2016. The only player that has played with him since the start is Song “Rookie” Eui-jin.
Invictus Gaming currently consists of Lee “Duke” Ho-seong, Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok, Gao “Ning” Zhen-Ning, Song “Rookie” Eui-jin, Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo, Wang “Baolan” Liu-Yi, Chen “West” Long, and Li-Tan “Lucas” Pan-Ao. The roster has stayed relatively the same since the 2017 season. However, Ge “Kid” Yan transitioned to a substitute role during the 2017 Summer Split.
The team achieved a 2nd place finishing in the 2019 LPL Spring Split after coming back from a 1st place at both Worlds and the Demacia Cup. However, the team did not secure a similar result at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational. Invictus Gaming was predicted by the majority of analysts and community as the team most likely to win the event.
However, they ended up losing to Team Liquid 1 – 3 and tied with SK Telecom T1. This was surprising because the team won 90 percent of their games during the group stage. They only lost one of their games to SK Telecom T1. Team Liquid later lost to G2 Esports, and G2 Esports became the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational winners.
Support player Lucas was formerly on Invictus Gaming’s Academy team, which is known as iG Young. The Invictus Gaming Academy roster lost to Bilibili Gaming’s Academy team during the 2019 LDL Spring Playoffs to end the season. This will be Lucas’ first time playing in the main LPL scene as his previous competitive history is all on the Academy team.
Many attributed the loss to being overconfident in their success against Team Liquid. The team chose to play against the North American team rather than against the LEC or LCK powerhouses. Some have also described Baolan’s performance at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational as problematic, which is why he might have been benched.
Invictus Gaming plays their first match against Dominus Esports and LNG Esports this week. Dominus Esports was formerly known as SinoDragon Gaming. LNG Esports was also recently rebranded last month from Snake Esports, to fit in with the Li-Ning athletic apparel company.
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