Good day! After a rather long break, the "Story from LoL" heading returns to your screens. Today we are going to tell you about Invictus Gaming. The team that stood at the origins of the League and developed along with this game. Let's begin!
A humble start
The first composition of the Chinese organization consisted of 2 Chinese and 3 representatives from Hong Kong:
Ranking 5-6 at IEM Season VI Guangzhou, the roster also competed at the Worlds Cyber Games. They earned the right to represent their country, beating Team WE in the regional qualifiers, but lost to CLG Prime.
IG roster in 2012 and 2013
In 2012, the team entered with a new roster, and XiaoXiao changed its position from top to support:
The team managed to qualify for IEM Kiev and IEM Hanover, but due to visa problems, they could not attend any event. IG performed brilliantly in the regional qualifiers for the World Championship, and earned themselves a ticket to Los Angeles.
At the tournament itself, the team also continued to play well, but Azubu Frost cooled the ardor of the Chinese. Invictus Gaming started that game well, aggressively squeezing the opponent off the map, but AF were able to steal Baron Nashor and win the meeting because of this. IG reached the playoffs from second place in the group, but got to the Moscow Five, which at that time were the favorites of the entire tournament. The Chinese finished their performance at the quarter-finals stage and earned $75,000.
Roster survived in 2013. The team performed well in the regular season of the spring split, but unexpectedly lost in the semifinals, taking 3rd place. The summer split didn't go according to IG's plan and they missed the 2013 Worlds.
In 2014, PDD retired from competitive LoL. He was replaced by a Korean YongSoo. XiaoXiao also left the team, being replaced by Kitties.
The new roster met the first difficulties: IG took 2nd place in the spring, but in the summer they were in for a complete failure.
The replacements were not long in coming, and already in 2015, Invictus Gaming renewed their roster. Now it consisted of 10 people:
IG performed successfully both in the spring and in the summer, finishing in 3 places in both splits. This success guaranteed them participation in the regional qualifiers for the Worlds. Having lost to EDward Gaming in the final of the upper bracket, they swept away the Qiao Gu Reapers 3-0 and guaranteed themselves a ticket to the Worlds.
At the main event of the year, Invictus Gaming got into an extremely difficult group with Fnatic, Cloud9 and ahq e-Sports Club. In a bitter struggle for the playoffs, they finished in last place with a record of 2-4.
The poor performance at the Worlds hit the organization hard and again large-scale replacements were made. This time, the composition consisted of as many as 13 people:
Such a large number of players did not help to climb the pedestal in any of the splits. The team finished 4th place in a cummer split, losing in the first round of the playoffs.
IG roster in 2017
In 2017, the organization decided to experiment and recruit 2 more Koreans: TheShy and Duke joined the team alongside JackeyLove, Ning, Rio and West.
The victories did not come immediately to the team: IG took 3rd place in the regular season of the spring split, failed the playoffs, earned a bronze medal in the Demacia Cup, but then lost in the final of the Worlds regional qualifiers to the Team WE. At the end of the year, the long-awaited success came to the roster: Invictus Gaming won NEST 2017 without losing a single map in the entire tournament.
Kid and Rio left the lineup before the new season. The success at the end of last year forced the management not to resort to radical changes in the roster.
IG took first place in the Eastern Conference of the Spring Split and took 4th place in the end. Before the summer, Invictus Gaming had a chance to meet Korean teams at Rift Rivals. The meeting went well: in the group stage IG managed to beat SKT T1, but lost to KT Rolster in the final.
IG roster at Worlds 2018
Invictus Gaming got into group D, which also included Fnatic, 100 Thieves and G-Rex. The group stage is over for the team with a 5-1 stats. IG had to play a tiebreaker for first place with Fnatic, but unfortunately they lost.
In the quarter-finals, KT Rolster was waiting for them, to which they already lost this year. IG took the lead 2-0 thanks to great play, but on the third map they were disappointed.
The teams presented the fans with one of the brightest moments in history and transferred the game to map 4. A secret weapon in the form of Urgot on the mid lane knocked IG off the track and KT Rolster evened the score. The final map of the confrontation increased the degree of tension to the maximum, but JackeyLove managed to cope with it and at the decisive moment made a quadrakill. Invictus Gaming goes further. Many will say after the tournament that this game was worthy of the grand final.
The next on the way of the Chinese were G2 Esports. One of Europe's two hopes of triumph was shattered 0-3. The second semi-final was scheduled for the next day, so both Cloud9 and Fnatic knew what to expect if they won.
Invictus Gaming vs Fnatic in the 2018 World Cup Final
On the day of the final, the whole stadium was against IG, but it did not bother them in the least. It took Invictus Gaming 85 minutes and 3 maps to become World Champions. The dreams of all European fans were shattered: many thought that there would be a close fight, but Fnatic's strength was not enough even for one map.
Invictus Gaming - 2018 World Champions!
At the end of this triumphant year, IG won the Demacia Cup Winter. In 2018, the League of Legends roster brought the organization $2,658,691 in prize money.
Sweet aftertaste of victory
In the new season, West completely lost the position to ADC JackeyLove, leaving the team, and in the forest, Leyan came to replace Ning.
At the tournament itself, the team dominated the entire group stage. Invictus Gaming took 1st place with 9-1 statistics, losing only once to SKT T1. Many expected to see them in the final, but all of a sudden they lost to Team Liquid 1-3 and took 3-4 place.
They also suddenly failed the summer split, but the points earned this season allowed them to compete in the regional qualifiers for the Worlds. In a bitter struggle, they were able to defeat first JD Gaming, and then Top Esports, thereby getting a ticket to the Worlds.
IG at Worlds 2019
The World Championship started well for IG: the team was able to pass the group stage sieve, finishing second in Group D, in which, in addition to them, were Team Liquid, DAMWON Gaming and ahq e-Sports Club.
The opponents in the quarter-finals were Griffin, who gained excellent shape for the whole year, but they were not destined to go further: Invictus Gaming, surprising everyone with Yasuo's pick to the top in the first map, outplayed the Koreans 3-1 and their rival in the semifinals was the team FunPlus Phoenix.
Doinb caught IG off guard with his non-standard mid picks. Invictus Gaming tried to oppose their forces and they even managed to win one map, but in 2019, FunPlus Phoenix could not be outplayed by anyone and with their unusual approach to the game they were able to earn the title of world champions.
JackeyLove, Duke and Leyan left the roster after the 3rd place on the Worlds. The departure of these players greatly influenced the style and results of the team: the best result for 2020 was the 4th place in the spring split. IG lost to LGD in the regional Worlds qualifiers and finished the year with 16th in the Demacia Cup.
This year, Ning left the roster. Invictus Gaming finished 9th in the spring split regular season and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
IG was unable to adapt to the new meta and current conditions of the game. A team that once instilled fear in the whole world cannot overcome the squads from the middle of the standings in their region. What conclusion can we draw from this story?
To always be a winner, you need to adapt to the situation and you need to do this as soon as possible.
This was the history of the Invictus Gaming team, and the next team whose history we will look at will be Moscow Five.
See you at the Rift!