The title for the theme song of this year’s World Championship was ‘Phoenix’, a seeming foreshadowing of the fact that the Chinese team called FunPlus Phoenix would win it all.
The Grand Finals between the European champions, G2 Esports, and the Chinese champions, FunPlus Phoenix was expected to be a thrilling one. But what was hoped to be a close matchup, turned out to be a clean sweep. The result was far from what many had expected to see.
FPX opened the series by forcing G2 into a corner by picking up Lee Sin and banning out Olaf and Reksai. With Ryze and Varus already locked in, the Europeans needed a more reliable AD source. G2 locked in Pyke, a champion they’ve flexed before but this time, Pyke had lost his wave clear and made him a less effective solo laner.
The G2 mid-laner, Rasmus “Caps” Winther was given the Pyke to face against the iconic Nautilus of Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang. Both mid-laners are known to focus on their side waves through constant roams but in the first game, the midlaner from FPX had more success. The Chinese squad dominated the top side of the map early on with constant pressure from their midlaner and jungler Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang.
The early lead helped them snowball the match and despite the best efforts of the Europeans, the Chinese kept their composure and closed out the match in 41 minutes.
The draft woes continued in Game 2 with G2 giving up Kai’Sa for their more comfortable Yasuo – Gragas. Paired with the Galio, the Kai’Sa was a clear threat to the European bottom lane duo after the Chinese duo secured all four kills of the team’s total in 17 minutes. FPX had more control of the second game and closed it out to force match point in 26 minutes.
FPX continued to look strong in their draft banning most of the comfortable and key picks of G2. These included Syndra and Kai’Sa for the European AD carry, Luka “Perkz” Perković as well as Gragas, Olaf, and Rek’Sai. The Chinese squad completed the shut down of Perkz by taking Xayah as their first pick. G2 responded by taking Nautilus for themselves but FPX took Galio for Doinb.
The Chinese squad had the Summoner’s Cup in their sights and opened the game with two turrets down 11 minutes in. The Europeans looked firm with their backs against the wall after securing first blood and a few more kills after. At this point it seemed a little too late. The gold lead from objectives and the momentum from the first two games was enough to take the game, the series, and the championship in a game that lasted 30 minutes.
FunPlus Phoenix dominated with their own style of League of Legends in their region and now, the world. Their veteran mid-laner Doinb looked strong throughout the tournament but it was a clear team effort that got them to the very end.
Their AD Carry Lin “Lwx” Wei-xiang has left his mark in the history books by becoming the first player to have a deathless performance at a Grand Finals. His total KDA (Kill-Death-Assist) score was 21-0-14.