Invictus Gaming took a big win over OMG on Wednesday, securing the 3-1 win to advance to the semifinals in the League of Legends Pro League playoffs in Shanghai.
Throughout the regular season, Invictus Gaming could be best described as mercurial. Sometimes, IG showed flashes of brilliance, revolving around its bottom lane duo of AD carry Chen "West" Long and support Wang "Megan" Liu-Yi. Sometimes, IG struggled against the worst teams in the league, getting outpaced and outclassed in the macro game. Against a powerhouse team like OMG, most counted IG out as it didn't have the track record to suggest it could make this upset happen, but IG came into Wednesday's series with something to prove.
In Invictus Gaming's wins in this series, the bottom lane came up big, capitalizing on the pressure created by mid lane star Song "Rookie" Eui-jin. From West's Kalista taking over Game 1 to Megan's niche Brand having an exceptional performance in Game 4, IG's bottom lane gave the team a reliable win condition in every game, even if OMG drafted back line destroyers such as Cho'Gath and Maokai. That isn't to say that IG's win was necessarily the West and Megan show, though. Jungler Gao "Ning" Zhen-Ning was solid in his role as a playmaker, getting Rookie and the West/Megan duo lane ahead throughout the series through clever pathing and flashy ganks. In all honesty, Invictus Gaming simply looked like the better team throughout the series, which is alarming to say the least for OMG.
Amidst a disappointing end to the season for a team with high expectations, one thing is clear: something was off in OMG's communication. Considering this team was tapped to represent the LPL at the 2017 World Championship, it's alarming to see just how far OMG has fallen. Ever since the squad struggled at Rift Rivals earlier in the Summer Split, it seems that the rest of the league has discovered the secret to taking OMG down. If anything, rather than OMG's problems circa-Rift Rivals getting solved by the team, new ones have arisen like a flood of mediocrity, bringing OMG down and giving a surging Invictus Gaming a ticket to the next round of playoffs.
Invictus Gaming will next take on EDward Gaming on Friday at 2 a.m. ET.