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Invictus Gaming shook Team WE to its core on Saturday in a 2-0 sweep to close out Week 8, Day 3 of the League of Legends Pro League in Shanghai.
Two sub-30-minute wins are tough to accomplish against any team in the LPL, let alone the defending regional champions Team WE (8-4, 18-11 match record), but Invictus Gaming (7-6, 16-16) demolished its opposition. WE got stuffed repeatedly in Games 1 and 2, due in large part to iG top laner Kang "TheShy" Dong-geun, who picked up two MVP performances in the series.
In Game 1, TheShy's Camille play was anything but his namesake as he snowballed hard on WE top laner Ke "957" Chang-Yu's Jarvan IV. TheShy took on split-pushing duties while dealing a game-high 15,600 damage to enemy champions. He only got better in Game 2 as Rumble, landing huge Equalizers to melt WE under its towers. After abusing 957 again, TheShy finished with a spectacular 4/0/5 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) for 90 percent kill participation while again dealing the most damage to enemy champions in the game with 15,400 damage. TheShy took over the series in a way that would (one would assume) give him the full-time starting top lane position for Invictus Gaming going forward.
Still, the story of the series has to be Team WE's complete implosion. When other teams get blown out of the water, they still manage to put up a semblance of a fight. WE, for lack of a better term, rolled over and died throughout the series, and 957 got exposed in the top lane, looking uncomfortable as TheShy repeatedly took him to school. Mid laner Su "xiye" Han-Wei got silenced by iG's mid lane ace Song "Rookie" Eui-jin, and the rest of WE fell behind its respective iG counterparts. Team WE, having now lost two series in a row, needs to go back to the drawing board and figure out a new play style since, as of Saturday, Invictus Gaming has handed the rest of the league a blueprint of how to take WE apart.
Invictus Gaming played extremely well, but it's still fair to ask if it can play this way against a team that doesn't suffer from weak early games. Regardless of what the future holds for iG, Saturday's win is one that the team should brag about, as it's hard to imagine any other team styling on the defending LPL champions quite as hard as iG did.
Team WE will next face I May at 5 a.m. ET on Friday, and Invictus Gaming gets I May in its next match as well, at 5 a.m. ET on Aug. 13.