Invictus Gaming kicks off 2021 LPL Spring Split with reverse sweep vs. Suning without TheShy

The substitute top laner filled in quite well after TheShy's departure to China got delayed.

Screengrab via Riot Games

Invictus Gaming picked up a 2-1 win over Suning to start off the 2021 LPL Spring Split. The series was intense and while Suning managed to win the first match of the series, they weren’t able to maintain their lead and fell against the former world champions.

The MVP votes were picked up by the solo laners, top laner Zhao “neny” Zhi-Hao and mid laner Rookie. TheShy couldn’t make it in time for the first week of the LPL, prompting IG to promote their 17-year old academy top laner to fill in. He managed to stand tall against 2020 worlds finalist Bin and had great ultimates to help IG secure the series. Over in the middle lane, Rookie had a great performance throughout the entire series, managing to secure priority and help his jungler’s aggressive invades through the early stages of the games.

The first match of the series opened up with impressive plays from both teams. Both teams traded blow for blow through the game–a kill in the top lane was replied with with a kill in the bottom lane, a Rift Herald was traded for a dragon. The gold was even for most of the game until Suning managed to secure the Baron. With it, they outmaneuvered IG and backdoored them to finish the first game of the series. Bin’s Gnar was the main reason why IG could not compete, since he was always prepared to combo the former world champions and put a stop to their aggressive moves.

Going into the second game, IG adjusted their draft and banned Nocturne, which was a difficult pick to counter in the first game alongside Twisted Fate. The double global ultimate alongside a strong frontline shut down IG’s plans for pushing their lead in the first match. To counter the Twisted Fate, Rookie picked up Galio, which proved to be crucial in equalizing the series. The game was decided in the early stages of the match after Rookie kept roaming around the map and snowballing his teammates. Suning had no answers for a fed Ezreal backed up by Galio and lost the game.

With high morale riding from the second game win, IG used it to secure a better draft going into the third game and outplayed Suning on all fronts. Though Suning maintained the gold difference at about at about 1,000 gold, they were gradually ceding map control. They minimized the gold difference by farming better, but that didn’t matter in the end when IG picked up all the major objectives and pushed Suning into their own base in the 18th minute for a quick victory.


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