Road to Seattle: Invictus Gaming and iG Vitality

Invictus Gaming was founded in August 2011, with their main sponsor being the 10th richest man in China.

Over the past few years, Invictus Gaming, along with their sister team, iG.Vitality, has become a force to be reckoned with in the competitive Dota 2 scene. Although their glory days have to be back in 2012 when they defeated the legendary Natus Vincere and took home The International 2012 title.

Both team’s run in 2015 and 2016 left a lot to be desired, but they’ve managed to bounce back this year and have a chance to return to their former glory.

We hereby bring you a short introduction of 2 of the best teams in China – Invictus Gaming and iG.Vitality.

Invictus Gaming

Invictus Gaming

  • Xu ‘BurNIng’ Zhilei
  • Ou ‘Op’ Peng
  • Lin ‘Xxs’ Jing
  • Ye ‘BoBoKa’ Zhibiao
  • Fu ‘Q’ Bin

It is safe to say that Invictus Gaming in several previous LAN events hadn’t been at the top of their game. After sweeping OG at the Dota 2 Asia Championship finals, they haven’t exactly been in top form. Although they did go on a deep run at The Kiev Major before being knocked out by Virtus.Pro in the semifinals.

Then again, being a Chinese team, they may just be hard at work, practising quietly, preparing tactics and strategy to use for The International.

While each player of the team is certainly capable, two stand-out among them – BurNIng and BoBoKa.

If you’ve been following Dota 2 scene since recently, you probably cant grasp how good of a carry BurNIng is. At this year’s Kiev Major he set the record against mighty OG on his Antimage, doubling GPM of oponnent’s carries.

While he finds farm in every possible situation, when it comes to fighting he shines just as bright. Once he joins the fights, his positioning and execution are usually flawless. He is also probably the oldest pro player at the age of 29.

Not that it’s relevant, but he’s also one of the oldest Esports players at 29.

While we doubted that Monkey King could be useful in the pro-play, BoBoKa not only conviced us it is possible, but also brought a fresh set of nerfs to this hero.

He is currently one of the most talented players in China, and one of the reasons for iG‘s fresh aproach to the game.

You can see how well he perceives the game in the clip below.

iG Vitality

  • Zhang ‘Paparazi’ Chengjun
  • Xu ‘Sakata’ Zichen
  • Yang ‘InJuly’ Xiaodong
  • Su ‘super’ Peng
  • Gao ‘dogf1ghts’ Tianpeng

For a team that was founded just two years ago, qualifying for The International 7 is already a great success. Even in 2016, iG.Vitality proved that this team is anything but rejects from the main squad, winning 3 LAN tournaments, including World Cyber Arena 2016 where they took home $350,000.

They haven’t been as successful in 2017 but were able to qualify for a lot of LANs. Albeit, with middling success.

The team features one of mechanically strongest players – their mid laner Paparazi, 9K+ player. At DAC 2017 he won the solo mid tournament, beating almost all the best mid players in the world.

 

 

Also note that iG.Vitality managed to beat iG in several qualifier series, so we can conclude that this team is hungry for victories and aproval as one of the best teams in China.

TI7 will be a great chance for them to establish the reputation they want for themselves.

Expectations at The International 7

Invictus Gaming is definetely not in the form they were in when they won DAC 2017. They lost lots of games after that event, and also to teams from all regions. The meta shift to more aggressive playstyle leaves less room for BurNIng to free farm untill he is able to win the games by himself.

They still have experience on their side, however, and that should be enough to put them in striking distance of a top 8 finish. However, anything beyond that is highly unlikely.

Meanwhile, for their sister squad, iG.Vitality, they’re relative newbies to The International. Although they’ve proven themselves capable, it’s hard to see them reaching anywhere close to top 8, especially because of their middling performances so far throughout the year.

Be sure to follow us here at Esportsranks for the latest on your favourite Esports titles and for our next “Road to Seattle” feature, where we’ll talk about the remaining teams who will represent China at TI7.