Uzi makes his return to the LPL stage in loss to Invictus Gaming

The legendary marksmen is back after a near two-year hiatus from pro League.

Photo via Riot Games

Legendary LPL AD carry Uzi officially made an appearance in a professional League of Legends match today. But his return wasn’t enough to help Bilibili Gaming beat Invictus Gaming, who won this three-game series in the 2022 LPL Spring Split.

Bilibili Gaming and IG entered today’s match coming from different sides of the standings but on trajectories that made their matchup one of importance. Bilibili Gaming, who were 4-2 ahead of today’s match, had been on a cold streak as of late, while IG have looked remarkably better since the Lunar New Year. 

Bilibili Gaming surprised IG when mid laner FoFo pulled out his secret Veigar pick going into game one. Both teams battled closely in the first game up until the 22-minute mark when IG picked off Doggo in the mid lane, won the ensuing teamfight, and secured the Baron. IG began to snowball a gold lead, but Bilibili Gaming kept it competitive by winning teamfights that brought the game back to a near-even state at 34 minutes.

In one final teamfight at 36 minutes, Bilibili Gaming jungler WeiWei attempted to kill IG’s Ahn. This resulted in a won teamfight for IG that helped them finally close out the game shortly after.

In an important match for both teams, Bilibili Gaming then pulled out their other secret weapon in today’s series. They decided that today was the opportune time for Uzi to make his re-entrance back in pro play following his 2020 retirement. 

On Jinx, Bilibili Gaming set up their composition for Uzi to find success in the later stages of the game. And that’s exactly what he ended up doing. IG and Bilibili Gaming battled close once again as neither side wanted to give an advantage to the other. But then, IG began to pull away with the game once they found a pick onto Uzi.

In what was meant to end the game, IG made their push into Bilibili Gaming’s base. But just in the nick of time, Uzi respawned ready to kill the entire IG team. He grabbed a crucial triple kill to save the game and ultimately bring the series to a full three games. In his first game back, Uzi produced an 11/4/17 scoreline on Jinx.

In the final game of this series, Uzi was back on the Jinx pick that won Bilibili Gaming game two. Only this time, he was tasked with facing the dominant Zeri pick in the bottom lane. The two teams battled close once again and neither squad was able to press their advantage forward after a teamfight. At one point, Bilibili Gaming aced IG at the 20-minute mark off the back of Uzi’s masterful teamfighting, but they were only able to extend their lead to 3,000 gold over IG.

Every objective signified a fight that would take place and IG clawed their way back from the initial gold deficit after two victorious teamfights around the dragon pit and top jungle. It wasn’t until the final five minutes of the game that things really broke open for IG when they killed Bilibili Gaming’s two damage threats in FoFo and Uzi, which resulted in a Baron grab. IG then used this advantage to force one final teamfight in Bilibili Gaming’s base, where they killed four members and pulled off the upset. Uzi went 5/3/5 in game three.

This win for IG signifies a shift in performance for the rebuilt squad in 2022. After winning their first game of the season against ThunderTalk Gaming, IG had been unable to find success. They entered the Lunar New Year break on a four-match losing streak with a 1-4 record.

But since coming back in week four, IG have looked much more promising. They now have a 3-5 record and are a dark-horse team that could jump past their current placing of 11th. IG will look to continue to turn their season around when they take on the reigning world champions EDG on Feb. 20.

Bilibili Gaming’s loss to IG drops them down to 4-3, in seventh place. After starting the season 3-0, Bilibili Gaming have a 1-3 record in their last four series, with their only win coming against the last place ThunderTalk Gaming. 

Bilibili Gaming could have trouble trying to find their fifth win in their match against the surging Anyone’s Legends, who have looked much more promising since the Lunar New Year break. That match will be played on Feb. 19. But it seems like Bilibili Gaming could have more variety in their playstyle now that Uzi is officially back in the LPL. Many League fans will be curious to see which ADC Bilibili Gaming choose to field in their upcoming series.