Former League of Legends world champions Invictus Gaming kicked off their start to the 2021 LPL Spring Split in a convincing fashion by defeating last season’s spring champions JD Gaming 2-0 earlier today.
IG and JDG played this series in traditional LPL style with many early skirmishes and bloodbaths around the drake as soon as it appeared on the Rift. IG made the most out of those risky moves, however, by taking the lead in both early games.
Unfortunately for JDG top laner Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran, IG bullied him tirelessly in both games, pushing out jungler Seo “Kanavi” Jin-Hyeok of his top jungle in the process. Even IG support Wang “Baolan” Liu-Yi abandoned the bot lane to roam numerous times on the Rift’s topside with his Galio and Leona.
As a result, Zoom failed to show much during those games, while Kanavi struggled to stay afloat and find some gold in his shattered jungle. JDG mid laner Shu “xiye” Han-Wei also showed an underwhelming performance against the veteran Song “Rookie” Eui-Jin, who is admittedly no small opponent.
Rookie played a crucial part in IG’s dominant victory. He suffered no deaths, ending the games with a 6/0/8 record on Orianna and 5/0/14 on Zoe, and won both MVP titles.
His Sleepy Trouble Bubble enabled many picks on enemy players at crucial moments, while top laner TheShy comfortably reached the backline as Mega Gnar to lock down his targets. He showed no mercy to Zoom, even proxy farming to get a significant CS lead while XUN secured the top jungle.
IG brought in rookie jungler Peng “XUN” Li-Xun into the roster for this series, and he proved to be the right choice by showing strong performance in both games.
Although JD Gaming were the favorite team to win this series, according to their strong results throughout the 2020 season, IG fans hoped to see their team at the top once again. IG ended both LPL Splits in the top three rankings last year, even if they faltered every time in the playoffs.
“We managed to get the victory for the first time since a long time over JD Gaming, it should be around two years I think, so it’s a very memorable moment for all of us,” Rookie said in the post-match interview. “[It] will maybe give us confidence as well.”
IG will be busy next week by competing in two series. They will face off against LNG on Wednesday, Jan. 13 and Team WE on Sunday, Jan. 17, both at 5am CT.
JDG, on the other side, will look for a chance to bounce back when they face off against Bilibili Gaming on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 3am CT.
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