Invictus Gaming victorious at IEM Singapore
Some remember when invictus Gaming and CJ Entus Frost faced off in Group A of the Season Two World Championship. Both teams advanced from their group, but Azubu Frost took the advantage in the head-to-head. Since then, both teams failed to qualify for the Season Three World Championship, so they had to wait for IEM Singapore for their long awaited rematch.
Both teams are somewhat known for their strong hold and potential in late game team phases. iG and CJ Entus Frost would like to farm it out and use their superior coordination to crush competitors. Recently, however, CJ Entus Frost has changed two of their fundamental players—MaKNooN now on mid, and Helios in the jungle—and some of that coordination has seemed shaky in their latest Champions Winter matches. It may be for this reason that the Korean team went for a composition designed to crush the opposition early.
Helios picked up Evelynn, but struggled to find any gank opportunities for almost ten minutes because of impressive pink ward coverage on all ends of the map by invictus Gaming. At about ten minutes, however, CJ Entus finally found a weakness, as Helios managed to find three kills in each lane in quick succession. It did not take long for invictus Gaming to retaliate, however, as LoveCryBoy landed a max range Crescendo on Madlife at fourteen minutes, securing invictus Gaming the first dragon.
Roughly three minutes later, things were looking grim when, despite a three kill lead, Helios' Evelynn lost a duel to kid's Ezreal. Then, at nineteen minutes, desperate to pick up more traction, Evelynn ganked mid, and PDD's Shen ult and a well-timed shockwave from Zz1tai resulted in a turn and the first tier mid lane turret for iG.
From there, victory wasn't seemless. CJ Frost attempted to wedge themselves back into the game, but iG had accumulated a ten thousand gold lead, and the Korean fan favorites were unable to turn their luck around.
CJ Entus Frost started off the second game by first-picking Helios' favored Nunu, but it seemed invictus Gaming came more than prepared for the Yeti. They answered Frost's first pick with Lucian, whose Relentless Pursuit serves as a direct counter to Nunu's slow effects. They also picked up Gragas and Rumble in the remaining lanes, relying on gap closes and speed increases to nullify slows. CJ Entus Frost selected some more comfort picks, including MadLife's famous Thresh and Space's Twitch. Tanky Rengar has been a bit of a flavor of the month in Korea, and Shy decided to bring him to Singapore.
The most notable pick, however, was illuSioN's Fiddlesticks, which he had played against TPS already at IEM Singapore. Against a Nunu, one might expect the blue-dependent Fiddlesticks to get invaded upon early, but illuSioN met no resistence upon securing his buffs, and both he and Nunu farmed rather than looking for ganking opportunities.
From there, Shy's Rengar fell behind early to PDD's Rumble, while Space and Madlife zoned out kid and LoveCryBoy in the bottom lane. MaKNooN, still new to the mid lane role, took quite a bit of harrass from Zz1tai's Gragas, and Fiddlesticks exacerbated MaKNooN's struggle by sitting mid and using his first ultimate to set Fizz even further behind. Fiddlesticks was able to become trully terrifying by ganking the lanes iG was already winning, consistently returning to pick up kills after a flash was burned.
At around twenty four minutes, it was looking as if CJ Entus Frost might be able to find the comeback they failed to secure in the first game. They caught Rumble top lane and took the first tier turret while MaKNooN was able to solo Zz1tai while Gragas was significantly ahead. The combination of Gragas, Fiddlesticks, and Rumble ultimates proved too powerful next to CJ Entus Frost's more disorganized lineup, and invictus Gaming took the second game of the series and first place at IEM Singapore in a convincing fashion.
Though invictus Gaming couldn't get their revenge against CJ Entus Frost on Riot's world stage, they were able to do so at IEM Singapore, more than a year later, taking two games from the Koreans for the price of one.