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As reported by Kotaku, iG’s League of Legends mid laner Song “Rookie” Eui-jin will be taking a break from competitive play. The reason lies in family health issues connected with Rookie’s family. He has already flown back to South Korea and will certainly miss the next LPL match. Substitute Deng “Xin” Jie will be taking his place for at least the next LPL match. It is currently unclear whether Rookie will miss any more LPL matches, as the details aren’t known.
This comes at an unfortunate time for both Rookie and iG, as the split has just recently started. The LPL is currently in the middle of Week 3, with six series already played. Rookie still played on Monday in the team’s loss against Victory Five. Unlike the previous split, iG aren’t doing so good to start the summer off. They are currently tied for 9th in the standings, only winning a single series. What is more, they just barely managed to win the series against Dominus Esports and convincingly lost against LNG Esports in the same week. There’s still plenty of time to turn things around, but Rookie’s absence, although understandable, might be a worrying trend for the team.
Coming off a disappointing MSI, the team only made one change in the break leading up to the summer split. They promoted their academy team Invictus Gaming Young’s support Li-Tan “Lucas” Pan-Ao to the main roster. What’s more, Lucas has been starting for the team in all of their games in summer. Wang “Baolan” Liu-Yi, who was part of their League of Legends World Championship roster, has been moved to the substitute position. The reason for this move is still not certain. However, speculations suggest it might be due to his poor showing at this year’s MSI.
Invictus Gaming’s MSI
As a reminder, Invictus Gaming was seen as one of the favorites heading into this year’s MSI. Coming off a dominating victory in the 2018 Worlds finals, a win in the 2018 Demacia Cup Winter, and winning the LPL Spring Split playoffs, many expected the Chinese giant to win it all. However, they were upset in the semifinals by the North American Team Liquid and failed to make the finals entirely. The saying that the only thing that can defeat a Chinese team are expectations came true once again. For a detailed overview of Liquid’s series against iG, check out one of our previous articles.
We wish the best of luck to Rookie and his family while also hope that he returns as soon as possible.
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Vince Koyle is an esports writer, tech nerd and future CompSci student. He often likes to compare traditional sports to esports, showing his love for both kinds. Also tends to sometimes try too hard with explaining what esports is and how it isn’t any different than traditional sports. He mainly covers the League of Legends scene, with an emphasis on European and Asian leagues.
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