FunPlus Phoenix win big at the 2019 World Championship

FunPlus Phoenix swept G2 Esports in the 2019 World Championship Finals, winning the first three games of the best-of-five series to defend the title for China and create a sense of deja vu throughout the AccorHotels Arena from last year’s finals which saw China defeat Europe in a 3-0 sweep.

In what was one of the most stacked semifinal brackets in League of Legends World Championship history, containing the ‘elite four’ of Invictus Gaming, SK Telecom T1, G2 Esports and FunPlus Phoenix, there could only be one winner, FunPlus Phoenix.

The tone of the 2019 World Championship started with the release of Cailin Russo’s and Chrissy Costanza’s Worlds song, Phoenix, and in a poetic ending after a full month of competitive League of Legends, the phoenix has risen from the ashes as FPX claimed the Summoner’s Cup in their inaugural year on the international stage. 

The European home ground advantage sparked electricity and a sense of ‘EUphoria’ around the AccorHotels Arena, giving G2 a man advantage heading into the most important day of their 2019 career. FPX displayed their mental fortitude to the emphatic European crowd throughout the series, convincingly steamrolling G2, raising the trophy and denying G2 the opportunity to raise the trophy themselves in front of the home crowd in Paris.

Despite G2’s miracle run towards the Grand Slam, going 8-1 in best-of-five series’ throughout 2019 and coming closer than any other team to achieve the unthinkable, November 10 was not the day for the samurais but the day of the phoenix. 

Dissecting the action from today’s series, FPX’s convincing win in game one saw Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang take his signature pick of middle lane Nautilus versus Rasmus “Caps” Winther’s Pyke, also a signature champion for Caps and all of G2.

Pyke’s nerf to his wave clear capabilities in patches 9.13 and 9.14 enabled Doinb to permanently shove Caps under his tier one tower and freely roam the map. Despite Caps taking Predator as his primary rune choice, he would still be unable to have a large enough impact on the map in the early portions of game one as FPX netted first blood in a three-man tower dive at the top lane three minutes in.

In the most competitive game of the series, Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang’s team fighting prowess and late-game insurance on a six-item Sivir put them 1-0 up over G2, the dream start for FPX.

The second game of the series planted a serious seed of doubt into the minds of thousands of European fans around the world as FPX dominated G2 20 kills to 4, securing the second victory for China in just over 25 minutes.

FPX secured the fastest baron of the 2019 World Championship, killing the big purple worm just 15 seconds after it spawned onto the rift (20:15), using their 8k gold lead to continuously fight a scattered and careless G2 to close out game two.

Regardless of the one-sided victory, all the G2 members were laughing and joking with each other on the player cameras in an attempt to reset their mentality heading into the third and potentially last game of the year defining series.

G2 attempted to neutralize the early game in the third game of the series but smart macro play from FPX allowed Lwx to gain 10 turret plates only 11 minutes into the game, setting the record for the fastest first tower during the 2019 World Championship at 7 minutes and 46 seconds.

Crucial signs of life were displayed by G2, taking a favorable skirmish 14 minutes into the game, securing first blood onto the first blood king himself, Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski. Jankos would repay the kill to FPX in a tense team fight around the hotly contested infernal drake, but before falling would smite away the valuable objective away from Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang.

The final nail in G2’s coffin came from a last-ditch baron fight at the 29-minute mark, but the 5k gold lead for FPX and the ability to peel in and out of the baron pit to deny Jankos a baron steal was too much for G2. FPX would pick up three kills, leaving Perkz and Martin “Wunder” Nordahl Hansen to defend against the phoenix onslaught.

The last team fight of 2019 League of Legends esports cemented FunPlus Phoenix as the best team in the world and the indisputable fact that China is the best region of all.

League of Legends World Championship will be back in 2020, where the undisputed best region will defend their back-to-back championships on home soil in Shanghai. 

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