Invictus Gaming have decided to bench their main support player Wang “Baolan” Liu-Yi. For the time being, former iG academy player Li-Tan “Lucas” Pan-Ao will take his place as Invictus Gaming prepare for their first matches in LPL Summer.
Baolan has long had a rocky relationship with the iG fans. Even after winning Worlds 2018, the support player was underappreciated by the Chinese community who saw in him iG’s biggest weakness. As a result, Baolan almost left the team altogether, but was convinced by iG’s boss Wang “WXZ” Si-Cong to stay.
Unlike Worlds, iG’s more recent international campaign was disappointing. After winning the group stage of MSI 2019 with a 9-1 record, the world champions lost the semifinal to Team Liquid 1-3 in what’s considered to be one of the biggest upsets in LoL esports history. Baolan once again came under scrutiny from the fans back home, who expected iG to return with the Worlds-LPL-MSI hat-trick.
Whether Lucas will be a better partner to Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo in the bot lane remains to be seen. This will be the first LPL season for the former iG Young player but at least he has somewhat easy match-ups at the start of the split. In week 2 of LPL Summer, iG will play Dominus Esports (formerly SinoDragon Gaming) and LNG Esports (formerly Snake Esports), both of whom ranked far below iG in the spring split. Even with a rookie support, iG are expected to do well, which will be a good warm-up for Lucas.