For every failing dynasty, a new one takes its place. With the fall of the Korean powerhouses in League of Legends, their successors turned out to be the Chinese.
Writings on the wall
IG’s monumental win wasn’t so surprising given that the team has seen some success in the season leading up to Worlds. With the addition of the ADC prodigy Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo to their roster, iG went on a winning spree at the early days of 2018. For both the Spring and Summer splits, they finished with an 18-1 record in the season, only being denied by Royal Never Give Up on the top spot. They earned their place in the Worlds Championship 2018 after securing a second place finish in the Summer Split playoffs.
Invictus Gaming’s strong performance in the Spring and Summer splits may have been spoiled by RNG both times. For their performances, both teams earned a spot in the World Championships. Both iG and RNG reached the playoffs in a convincing fashion, as they both finished with the highest records in their respective groups. (iG tied with Fnatic‘s 5-1 record, with a 1-1 record between the two teams.)
Rough Beginnings to Smooth Sailings
Thanks to their favorable standings in the group stages, all three Chinese teams reached the playoffs. For the whole of the playoffs picture, the quarterfinals was the bloodiest, the part of the tournament that had the most competition. With the exception of Cloud9‘s thrashing of Afreeca Freeks, all of the matches were played with at least four matches. Fnatic edged out Edward Gaming with a 3-1 score, while RNG and iG were both involved in Game 5’s.
RNG and their opponents G2 Esports traded blows in their matchup, with RNG securing the first game. However, it was G2 who won at match point, taking away Game 5 from the grasps of RNG. The opposite happened in iG’s side, going 2-0 against KT Rolster in the first two matches they had. It wasn’t the first time these two teams met. KT Rolster had previously defeated iG in the Rift Rivals Grand Finals. Their matchup in that tournament seemed to have taught iG the secrets to KT’s strategies. However, KT didn’t let go of their chances so easily. KT Rolster defeated iG in the next two succeeding games, forcing a Game 5. But iG would eventually emerge as the better team, defeating KT Rolster once and for all, extinguishing the last flames of the Korean dynasty.
The rest could be said to have been an easier route for iG, as they rushed through the next two stages with ease. They faced G2 Esports in the next round, and showed the European darlings who’s boss, sweeping them in a 3-0 series. For the Grand Finals, iG made millions of SEA fans weep as they also swept Fnatic 3-0.
A merging of worlds
Dota 2 and League of Legends continue to be the two biggest competitive esports scenes in the world. Invictus Gaming happens to be the first and only team to take home the World Championships of both games. In 2012, iG became the first Chinese team to hold Dota 2’s Aegis, and this year, in 2018, they also become the first Chinese team to take home the Worlds Championships. This unique achievement cements iG as one of the world’s most successful esports organizations. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to be the last we’ll be seeing from them.