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Reigning LPL champions Invictus Gaming played their first match in Rift Rivals today — and almost lost it.

iG were scheduled to play Flash Wolves, which had their own harsh day one. The best LMS team of all team, apart from struggling domestically, got destroyed by SK Telecom T1 in the opening match of the tournament, losing 2-12 in kills, 15K gold behind.

So when Invictus Gaming went on stage, now with Song “Rookie” Eui-jin back from hiatus, fans expected a clean victory for the LPL. Only, Flash Wolves wouldn’t let it be so.

The match became the perfect representation of action-packed game between struggling teams. Albeit exciting to watch, LoL pundits would find a lot of wrong within both teams. Shin “Rather” Hyeong-seop struggled in the mid lane and besides doing great damage overall on Taliyah, he couldn’t swing any teamfights around. At the same time, despite iG securing two Barons, they threw the first one hard and were slaughtered by a flanking Flash Wolves offensive.

Between the first and second Baron, however, iG woke up and increased their gold advantage to a significant number. By the time the next Baron spawned, iG were 6K gold ahead, secured through a series of successful teamfights and a terror of a Renekton by Lee “Duke” Ho-seong. At minute 29, wen the game ended, iG led 28-17 kills.

Still, this was the sixth loss in a row for the combined forces of LMS and VCS, which guarantees the region will start in the semifinal round of the playoffs, as expected. LPL and LCK will continue to battle for the top spot, with Korea in the lead with 5-0 to LPL’s 3-2 scoreline.

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