LPL 2021 Spring Split madness is going crazy with the start of the playoffs. The regular season’s eight- and ninth-seeded teams played against each other on the first day of playoffs. In the battle between Invictus Gaming and Rare Atom, eighth-seeded RA won the first playoff matchup. IG’s regular-season struggles continued as the team couldn’t find a way to close out the games.
XUN dove too deep into Leyan’s jungle, but he paid the price with his life. He literally gifted first blood to Rare Atom and also caused Rookie’s death in the mid lane. FoFo grabbed both kills, but XUN made up for his mistake and grabbed four kills during the middle stage. IG had a 6k gold lead and tried to use it to secure the Baron buff and that cost it the game. Rare Atom played the fight perfectly and ended up with an ace on top of a Baron buff. From that point, it was impossible for the side of IG to get back into the game. Rare Atom won the first game of the series by punishing its opponent’s greedy call.
Leyan made an early visit to the top side of the map, which turned into a disaster. The Rare Atom duo wanted the kill so bad and tested its limits with an aggressive dive, but they forgot that the player they were trying to dive into was TheShy; The Korean superstar turned the situation in favor of him and secured the first blood by punishing Leyan’s over-aggressive play. However, Leyan got his revenge with another gank to get his top laner ahead. Surprisingly, Invictus Gaming made some great calls, unlike its regular season, and got ahead in gold. IG used this lead to win team fights, secure the dragons and eventually finalized it by destroying Rare Atom’s Nexus. It was still a close game in the end.
It is just too easy for TheShy:
XUN got ahead against Leyan but getting all the kills was not the scenario IG hoped for. Even though TheShy superiority was obvious against Cube, Rare Atom’s top laner tried his best to delay TheShy’s Renekton power spike so his Aatrox would be a lot more effective in the later stages. FoFo’s Zoe and especially iBoy’s Jinx got stronger minute by minute. Cube had magnificent team fights with the help of FoFo and iBoy. Rare Atom demolished IG’s Nexus in 27 minutes and headed to match point.
Invictus Gaming decided to go for a safer draft and players picked the champions that they are comfortable with. The Draven-Thresh bot lane was something we haven’t seen for a while. IG aimed for early fights and used Udyr’s aggression. After getting Draven ahead of Aphelios in the early stage, Invictus Gaming took control of the game. Rare Atom couldn’t answer its opponent’s map movements. I am confident saying that this was the Invictus Gaming we got used to in 2018: aggressive plays, confident map movements and all that. IG won the game in 24 minutes and forced the fifth game.
This time, Rare Atom answered IG’s picks with Renekton mid and Lucian top. It was really controversial, but Rare Atom players felt confident even though it was a win-or-go-home game. On the IG side, TheShy picked Quinn with an Ignite, but it is not as big of a deal since he is TheShy. Leyan ganked mid lane, and this time, he was successful. Invictus Gaming secured the lead, but Rare Atom got all the dragons. IG once again reformed back to its 2020 performance and made some controversial calls. Rare Atom players played smart and waited for mistakes. After an ace in the mid lane, RA took over the lead. iBoy played like a real monster and held his team in the game. Rare Atom didn’t make any mistakes and closed out the series with a strong team fight.
Even though Invictus Gaming managed to steal a game, it wasn’t enough in the Bo5. Rare Atom’s teamwork paid off today. Cube’s third-game performance was on point as the top laner fell behind but carried his team in late-game team fights. Rare Atom will face the raid boss, FunPlus Phoenix, in the next round. Unfortunately, sad news for the IG fans, we won’t be able to see TheShy and Rookie compete against bigger names in Bo5’s and most importantly in MSI.