Reigning world champions from Invictus Gaming defeated Topsports while FunPlus Phoenix sweeps a renewed Rogue Warriors lineup.
LPL Pro League
The 2019 LPL season is officially on. Day 1 of the spring split saw the reigning world champions from Invictus Gaming kick off their campaign with a sweep over Topsports Gaming. In the second matchup of the opening day, Rogue Warriors’ new roster suffered a 2-0 defeat against FunPlus Phoenix, led by former RW mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang.
Invictus picks things up where it left off, sweeps Topsports
The first ever Chinese team to win the League of Legends World Championship continued its run, sweeping Topsports Gaming to officially start the 2019 LPL season,.
Game 1: Invictus wins a chaotic opener to take the series lead
In classic LPL fashion, IG’s jungler, 2018 World Championship finals MVP Gao “Ning” Zhen-Ning went for an unusual Kayn pick. And Ning made it count, going for an early top lane gank three minutes in and drawing first blood on Bai “369” Jia-Hao (Urgot). While Topsports tried to get things even by securing more kills. IG’s better lane setup allowed the team to build an early lead by securing the gold from the turret plating.
Top turned the fight around, down the bottom side which was started by IG. Superstar mid laner Song “Rookie” Eui-jin (Lissandra), along with star AD carry Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo (Sivir), support Wang “Baolan” Liu-Yi (Thresh) and Ning found a solid engage onto Topsports’ jungler Xiong “Xx” Yu-Long (Sejuani). However, Top’s new signing, AD Carry Lee “LokeN” Dong-wook (Kai’sa), turned things around with his positioning. A well-executed teleport by 369 allowed Top to secure three kills, halting IG’s momentum. The 2018 world champions would still grab the first turret gold from the bottom lane. Top responded by moving its resources towards the top side of the map, He secured a turret and picked off Rookie to grab the Rift Herald while keeping the gold difference close to one thousand.
Feeling the momentum swing, Topsports won a fight for the Infernald drake and proceeded to take down IG’s mid lane turret. With no outer towers remaining on either side, Xx and LokeN went for a Cloud drake. This decision proved fatal, however. With the three remaining members crowded in the mid lane, Baolan executed a perfect Flash-Flay combo to start the fight. The follow-up saw IG clear the fight, securing the three kills it needed to go for a Baron call. The buff was exactly what the team needed to pull ahead, taking down another three turrets while building a solid gold lead.
With the game now almost out of reach, Topsports tried to take it back with two fights. IG, however, won both skirmishes and went for a second, game-deciding Baron. The buff was more than enough for the team to complete the final push into Top’s base. Taking down the Nexus in just under 35 minutes.
Game 2: Invictus takes the opening series with a sweep
Ning (Zac) went for an early mid lane gank trying, but Xx (Sejuani) was there to respond. While the 2-on-2 trade did force Topsports’ Zhuo “Knight” Ding (Irelia) out of the lane, 369 (Camille) made good use of his early priority. He roamed all the way from the top side of the map and joined Xx. The duo went for the all-in and managed to take down Rookie (Jayce) for the first blood.
Both teams then quickly turned their attention towards the top side of the map, with Topsports taking advantage of its river control to secure the Rift Herald. With plenty of pressure coming from an aggressive bottom lane duo consisting of Ezreal and Thresh, Top released the Rift Herald to secure the first turret gold. Knight managed to make an amazing play, taking down three of IG’s players down the river to create enough space for an Ocean drake. The team built a solid two thousand gold lead, with four turrets to a single one on Invictus’ side.
2018 World Championship winners
The 2018 World Championship winners however found an opening go for the Baron following a pickoff on Xx. Topsports tried to contest the objective, but IG took its time securing the buff before going for the fight. The team scored an ace while losing two players, meaning that it still walked away with three buffs. This turned out to be enough, as IG went for a hard push, taking down most of Top’s base. Ning found another good engage, taking down Xx and allowing his team to clear out the final fight inside their opponent’s base. At the 31 minute mark, IG destroyed the Nexus to complete the sweep.
Doinb helps FunPlus Phoenix’s sweep over his former team Rogue Warriors
In what was a rather frantic free agency period for the major leagues, FunPlus Phoenix came out with one of the most prized players in the LPL, Rogue Warriors’ mid laner Doinb. And the team’s new signing had to face off against his former team, leading FPX to a sweep over RW.
Game 1: A textbook snowball by FunPlus Phoenix
Doinb decided to show off his mechanics with a Yasuo pick, going into a relatively favorable matchup against Tian “HuaTian” Mai’s Irelia. FunPlus’ jungler Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang (Sejuani) realized the team’s win condition and built his camp around the mid lane, going for an early gank just short of the three-minute mark to help Doinb’s first blood. Three minutes, Tian was back for another gank, the pair making good use of the synergy between Yasuo and Sejuani’s passive ability. Down bottom, meanwhile, AD Carry Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang (Varus) and support Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song (Tahm Kench) won a 2-on-2 trade, taking down RW’s support Liu “Killua” Dan-Yang. With both lanes securing pushing on FPX’s favor, the team seized control of the river to go for the Ocean drake.
A poor engage by FPX inside their opponent’s jungle with limited vision control resulted in four kills going to RW’s side. But FunPlus Phoenix still had a decent gold lead thanks to the early pushes, with the team taking down some of Rogue Warriors’ turret plating. As such, the team still secured the first brick down bottom. Also, they were rotating towards the top side of the map to secure the Rift Herald. RW tried to contest, but FPX’s superior laning phase paid dividends as the team easily cleared out the fight and destroyed another three turrets.
Both teams kept dancing around the Baron pit, but RW eventually had to choose between the buff and defending its territory. This give FPX the space it needed. Rogue still tried to contest, but FunPlus grabbed another two kills and the buff. RW still put up a valuable effort, surviving the Baron push. But with the entire base already exposed, there was little left to do, and FPX didn’t even need to wait for a second buff to go for the win in just over 30 minutes.
Game 2: FunPlus Phoenix wins a back-and-forth fiesta
“Doing” once again took the spotlight with his signature Kled pocket pick. But it was the RW classic bottom lane combination of Kalista and Thresh that got the upstart. This won the 2-on-2 trade with Killua drawing first blood on Crisp (Braum) and later on an Infernal drake. Tian (Gragas) then turned his attention towards the top side of the map, helping Kim “GimGoon” Han-saem, repeating his Urgot pick from game 1. It created enough space for a Rift Herald, which the team released down at the bottom lane. Rogue Warriors fully committed to defending its turret, which led to a massive LPL-style team fight between the ten players. FPX were the clear winners, taking down four members without losing a single one. The cherry on top – Lwx (Kai’sa) secured three kills.
What had been a relatively close game until then instantly snowballed into a massive five thousand gold lead in FPX’s favor. RW responded by forcing a fight around the mid lane, and Mei “ZWuJi” Hong-Hui (Kalista) led his team to an ace by securing three kills. And when FunPlus tried to contest Rogue’s second Infernal drake, the team responded well by taking another four kills and all but whipping out FPX’s gold lead.
FunPlus managed to pick off Rogue’s bottom lane duo, taking Killua out and going for the Baron. While the team did secure the buff, RW forced a massive team fight right away. They lead to four deaths on each side and essentially resetting the map. Both teams went for an extremely important third Infernal drake. And in the fight that followed, Lwx positioned himself perfectly to secure a quadra kill and the drake.
However, FPX did not manage to finish the Baron on time, which led to yet another massive team fight once RW’s five members came back. Despite Rogue getting a better start, executing a solid engage and even securing the man advantage. FunPlus found enough damage to turn things around and forcing Rogue Warriors back. The team finally secured the Baron. RW went for a desperate attempt, which worked out perfectly at first as the team took down Lwx and Crisp without losing a single player. But a beautiful outplay by Doinb combined with GimGoon’s resistance turned what looked like a certain loss into an unthinkable ace. The pair rushed down mid, making use of Kled’s Ultimate. While RW still managed to take GimGoon out, Doinb destroyed the Nexus to complete the sweep over his former team.
The 2019 LPL spring split continues this Tuesday with powerhouse EDward Gaming facing off against Sinodragon, while LGD Gaming and Bilibili Gaming close out the second day.