The 2020 LPL Spring is off to an exciting start, and the first series of the year saw Invictus Gaming facing FunPlus Phoenix. Invictus Gaming got its revenge over FunPlus after their encounter in the 2019 World Championship semifinals.
Invictus Gaming jumped into the rift with a new bottom lane that consists of former Vici Gaming duo Ding "Puff" Wang and Su "Southwind" Zhi-Lin. On FunPlus’ side, the team added former T1 star top laner Kim "Khan" Dong-ha.
Game one of the series was FunPlus’ game to lose. Jungler Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang on Jarvan IV had the perfect early game. Four minutes into the game, Tian had already ganked three times and secured two kills. As the game progressed, FunPlus grew restless and started forcing plays they had no business starting. A critical play around the elder dragon changed the direction of the game irrevocably.
FunPlus already had the dragon soul and one baron buff. Instead of playing the pushing side lanes, the team gathered around the elder dragon. Khan on Ornn used his ult and Southwind on Braum repelled the initiation. Invictus saw the opportunity to attack while FunPlus kept targeting the dragon. Invictus slaughtered the enemy in the river and took control of the game.
In game two, it was time for Khan to pull his weight on his signature Fiora. Tian once again had a stellar performance that enabled his new top laner from the start of the game. FunPlus showed a tendency to focus on the neutral objectives that would secure them the majority of the dragons in the series.
This time around, FunPlus took full advantage of Tian’s prowess and the team played around its jungler. A more decisive FunPlus tied the series at one victory each and prepared for the final game.
Invictus learned from games one and two and decided to funnel more resources into its new carry. Given FunPlus tendency to attack Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok, Invictus decided to stop protecting him and play around Puff.
TheShy had to fend for himself while jungler Lu "Leyan" Jue and the rest of Invictus enabled Puff. The bargain paid off and after a series of costly mistakes by FunPlus, Puff guided the team to victory.
Puff proved to be a good fitting for Invictus that recently parted ways with star bottom laner Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo who remains missing in action.
Invictus gaming will play on Wednesday against Dominus Esports. FunPlus returns to the stage on Friday when the team faces the newly added eStar.