League of Legends: World Championship

Recap the action from one of the biggest eSports tournaments of the year

FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) is a Chinese Esport Organization, and their line-up for Worlds was Top Laner Kim Han-saem (GimGoon), Jungler Gao Tian-Liang (Tian), Midlaner Kim Tae-Sang (Doinb), Bottom Laner Lin Wei-Xiang (Lwx), Support Liu Qing-Song (Crisp) and the substitution Chang Ping (Xinyl). 

FPX placed first in the LoL Pro League (LPL) 2019 Spring Season and during the playoff, came in third place, placed second in the Rift Rivals (Asian Leagues Only) 2019 and came in first during the LPL Summer season and playoff. During the World Championship bracket, they won against Fnatic (3-1) in the Quarterfinals and Invictus Gaming (3-1) in the Semifinals.

G2 Esports is an European Esport Organization, formerly called Gamers2. Their line up for World was Top Laner Martin Hansen (Wunder), Jungler Marcin Jankowski (Jankos), Midlaner Rasmus Winther (Caps), Bottom Laner Luka Perković (Perkz), Support Mihael Mehle (Mikyx) and substitution Hampus Abrahamsson (Promisq). 

During the 2019 season, they came first in the LoL European Championship (LEC) Spring and Summer season and playoff, Rift Rivals 2019 (NA and Euro Only) and 2019 Mid-Season Invitational. 

During the World Championship bracket, they won against DAMWON Gaming (3-1) in the Quarterfinals, and in their Semifinals, they won against SK Telecom 1 who were three time League of Legend World Champions (3-1).  The World Championship match is a Best of Five series game, and whichever team wins three games, wins the World Championships. 

In game one of the series, FPX was able to outplay G2 with teamfights. They gained Baron Buff, which empowers minions, and they got Dragon buffs, which gives different increases depending on what dragon they slayed. G2 was able to push the top lane into FPX’s base; however, FPX was able to push the waves and able to win the first game of the series.

In game two, FPX stomped G2 with a 20-3 kill record. FPX constantly outmaneuvered G2 with quick kills and helped Lwx snowball (one kill leading into another kill, which leads into another one) into the lead. G2’s line-up was strong, but FPX was able to take the lead. 

Lastly in game three, FPX and G2 had a solid line-up, with both teams not engaging each other and slowly farming (gaining experience points) the lanes and jungle. The two teams pulled back and forth, trading kills, buffs and towers to gain an advantage. As FPX secured two Barons buffs, G2 tried to retaliate. FPX was able to strike hard, however, denying them and pushing top lane into G2’s base to end the series 3-0. 

Funplus Phoenix won the League World Championship, taking home the trophy as well as a 37.5 percent cut from the $2,225,000 prize pool, not including in-game items made in support of the championships. G2 Esports was the favorite to win as they won Spring and Summer Seasons and MSI. Taking the World Championship would have been, what the community called, a Grand Slam; however, they were outmaneuvered by FPX’s coordinations and tactics.

Many had hope for a western victory as the only western team to win Worlds was during the first Worlds Champions back in 2011. The past eight seasons were won by either Korean or Chinese teams. 

With Worlds 2020 being in China, will FPX be able to defend their title, or will a western team finally end the Asian Dynasty?

~Felix Phommachanh, Staff Writer~

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