League of Legends’ 2019 World Championship began with a total of 24 teams fighting for the Summoner’s Cup. A month after, we’re hours away from crowning the new League of Legends World Champions.
This year’s Grand Finals is between the Summer Split champions from Europe and China, G2 Esports (G2) and FunPlux Phoenix (FPX), respectively. Yup, another Europe vs China matchup!
G2 Esports has been on a tear since the season began. Their success came after the team picked up mid-laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther and their franchise player, Luka “Perkz” Perković, transferred to the bottom lane from the mid. The team has established itself as the Kings of Europe but this year, they became the best of the world after winning the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational championship.
Similarly, FunPlus Phoenix added jungler Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang and veteran mid-laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang in preparation for the 2019 season. The additions improved the squad from a middle-of-the-pack team to the top team in the regular season for both the Spring and Summer. FPX settled for third in the Spring playoffs but claimed the championship in Summer after ripping Royal Never Give Up in the Finals.
G2 was drawn into Group A with Korean team Griffin, North American team Cloud9, and the team from the LMS (Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau region), Hong Kong Attitude. Despite being the favorites to top the group, G2 stumbled in the tiebreaker against Griffin. The loss meant that the Europeans had to go through at least one of the other two Korean teams or FPX in the Quarterfinals.
The Kings of Europe drew the third team from Korea, DAMWON Gaming, and took care of business in four games. In the Semifinals, G2 was set on a collision course with the legendary three-time champions, SK Telecom T1. The matchup was a runback of the MSI 2019 Semifinals. SK Telecom T1 may have wanted to exact revenge but G2 had their eyes set on the Summoner’s Cup. The Europeans secured their spot in the Grand Finals after four games.
FPX, on the other hand, was drawn into Group B alongside Europeans Splyce, LMS team J Team, and the Vietnamese squad GAM Esports. The Chinese team had a shaky start to the Main Event after a surprising loss to J Team. Despite the setback, the Chinese squad regained composure and racked up wins. They did fall one last time in the Group Stage though, in the hands of the Europeans on the final day, forcing a tiebreaker between the two. FPX showed their strength once again and demolished Splyce to claim the top spot in the Group.
The Chinese squad drew the European team Fnatic in the Quarterfinals. Many had expected to see Fnatic come out on top but FPX had other plans. The Chinese squad dropped only one game in the Quarterfinals and easily handled Fnatic.
The Semifinals for FPX saw them facing the defending World Champions, Invictus Gaming. Invictus Gaming held their ground in Group D and dispatched Griffin in the Quarterfinals in four games. But in the China vs. China Semifinals, it was the Chinese Champions, FPX that came out on top after four games of action. The series was a bloody affair that included a game with a combined 59 kills.
Both G2 Esports and FunPlus Phoenix were expected to be seen in the Finals after dominating their respective regions. Both teams have shown impeccable coordination and team fighting as well as on-point macro play. But only one will come out on top.
If G2 Esports win they will not only bring home the Summoner’s Cup but they also become Grand Slam champions. They will be the second western team to win the championship and the second team to win the Grand Slam. If FunPlus Phoenix wins, this will be the second time the Summoner’s Cup goes home to China and will without a doubt be the best region in the world.