Top laner Lee "Duke" Ho-seong has left Invictus Gaming’s League of Legends roster, he announced today in a Weibo post. This development comes just a few days after Invictus were eliminated from the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. The team made it to the semi-finals, losing to FunPlus Phoenix last Saturday.
Lee "Duke" Ho-seong joined Invictus Gaming in 2016 after leaving SK Telecom T1 the month prior. He spent a year with SK Telecom T1, playing the top lane role during their 2016 World Championship victory. He left the LCK in December of that year, in favor of the LPL’s Invictus Gaming. His first year on iG didn’t grant him the same success as SKT, finishing in 7-8th place in the 2017 LPL Spring Split. The following Summer Split showed some progress as they finished in third place, though failed to qualify for the upcoming World Championship.
Invictus began to find their footing in 2018, topping their group of LPL Spring. They ended the post-season with a fourth place play-off finish. They again topped their group in the Summer season, narrowly missing out on a Grand Final victory as Royal Never Give Up took first place. Invictus moved on to the 2018 World Championship after gaining enough points throughout the season. iG cruised through their Worlds group stage, losing only to Fnatic. They took down LCK Summer champions KT Rolster in the quarter-finals before sweeping G2 Esports in the semis. Invictus won Worlds 2018 with another clean sweep over Fnatic in the Grand Final. Though he only played five total games at Worlds 2018, Duke is the only player to have won Worlds on two different teams coming from two separate regions.
Invictus started off 2019 well, winning the LPL Spring season. They only finished in 7-8th place in the Summer season, and had to qualify for Worlds 2019 through the Regional Finals. The squad advanced to the play-offs once again, defeating Team Liquid for the final spot. Invictus took down Griffin in the quarter-finals, to meet domestic rivals FunPlus Phoenix in the next match. FunPlus Phoenix secured their Grand Final appearance after four games, eliminating Invictus from Worlds contention.
Duke now reveals that he will be leaving Invictus Gaming, stating that, despite their achievements in 2018, “our performance this year was not quite ideal for both the team and me.” The 24-year-old expresses that, “The fact that [he] didn’t have a chance to play in the Worlds 2019 is also a pity for [him].” “As this season’s over, though I’m leaving IG, I’ve been very happy in IG and I will always remember the good times, the 3 years I’ve spent here,” Duke writes, “I hope you can keep supporting IG and me, no matter where I will be.”
There is currently no word on where Duke will play next, though many suspect he may return to the LCK or begin his military service.