What was expected to be an easy 3-0 in favor of Invictus Gaming (IG) started with a bang.
Game 1: Team Liquid victory
Team Liquid (TL) starts off the game ceding two kills to IG. But when Xmithie finally found a good gank in the Top lane alongside Impact, they managed to grab Rift Herald control. IG stubbornly decided to contest said objective and gave TL the Rift Herald as well as multiple kills in the scrappy teamfight.
Things started looking up for TL as they decided to speed up the pace against IG. Unfortunately, a misstep for TL taking a Cloud Drake lead to an IG trade for Baron. IG finally felt in control as they continually pushed into TL’s base with their Baron Buff.
Key moment: Impact landed a 3-man Root and allowed TL to pounce on IG, finally turning the game around for the last time. TL eventually took the Elder Drake with a Sivir comp, resulting in the quick wipeout of IG and TL grabbed their first win.
Game 2: Team Liquid victory
Doublelift on Vayne, splitpushing for days while Impact stole Neeko’s Pop Blossom.
Contrary to popular belief, this game was close. IG and TL fought tooth and nail for a lead. However, TL drafted Orianna, which was tough to deal with for IG’s composition.
Jensen’s massive shockwave swung one of the fights to TL’s favor, resulting in TL’s Baron vision control over IG. But TL eventually took a 50-50 against Baron but won the bet, and the ensuing teamfight, resulting in yet another win for the LCS squad.
Game 3: IG finally fights back
TL’s focus on objectives was spot-on. Grabbing the Rift Herald, then the Ocean Drake was crucial for them to accrue advantages while they scaled.
Key Player: Rookie, the Veteran
Rookie, however, had other plans, assassinating Xmithie in picture perfect fashion and also single-handedly winning their teamfights against TL.
Yet another assassination on Doublelift would seal the deal as it led to a Baron and an easy close out of Game 3.
Game 4: TL upsets the defending champions, wins series 3-1
TL pulled out their big guns in this one. With Skarner and even Lux in the mix, the curve ball against IG’s poke was too much for IG to handle.
Even with Tahm Kench in tow, IG was finding it hard to survive TL’s unchained aggression. As IG tried to fight back, Jensen’s shields and bindings found their mark, making sure IG could not retaliate whatsoever.
The fourth seed of Groups just knocked out the number one seed to bring NA into the MSI finals since 2016. This is also TL’s first appearance in any international final.