FunPlus Phoenix Win Worlds 2019
In the end, the highly anticipated World Championship finals concluded in as one-sided a fashion as possible. Once the dust settled, there wasn’t a doubt on anyone’s mind that FunPlus Phoenix is the best, most talented and capable team the world of competitive League has to offer. The incredible level of play FunPlus Phoenix demonstrated at Worlds 2019 was awe-inspiring.
They needed just three (relatively) quick games to get the job done and ultimately hoist the World Championship trophy. In doing so, they sent out a straightforward message: the best League of Legends comes from China, and that’s probably not going to change any time soon.
G2 Esports and Their Road to Success
To fully understand just how big of a win this was, one first must grasp the strength and prowess which G2 Esports possesses. They are, without a shadow of a doubt, the best team Europe ever fostered. It is a roster brimming with talent and veteran presence. These are all veterans of the game, and they’ve been playing at the highest levels for years. But it wasn’t until they assembled underneath the same banner that they truly peaked — both individually as well as a five-man unit.
They dominated any time they stepped foot on stage and defeated many titans of seemingly equal strength. No matter the opponent, G2 Esports always found a way to win. Their staggering flexibility and sheer creativity always gave them an edge, regardless of the meta. They almost got first place in their group, after which they bested both DAMWON Gaming as well as the perennial LCK titans SK Telecom T1. Their road towards the finals was a long and arduous one, and they deserve every bit of credit they can get.
And yet they couldn’t hold a candle to FunPlus Phoenix.
The first game was as even as possible. Both teams traded heavy blows, and the gold was even for almost 35 minutes of the game. But when push came to shove, it was FunPlus that made the better decisions macro-wise and capitalized on G2’s mistakes. Forty-one minutes later, the LPL champions got the game-winning push and therefore secured a lead in the series.
Game two was also similar, at least early on. But once again, FunPlus’ players were much faster on the map. They were far more proactive and were able to dictate the pace of the game with relative ease. Whenever G2 wanted to make something happen, they were outnumbered and outgunned as FunPlus read them like a book. Any strategy — no matter how outlandish — the LEC champions pulled out, FunPlus had a response. Twenty minutes in, the lead they had was simply insurmountable. By the end of the second game, FunPlus were styling on their opponents. It was obvious who had more momentum coming into game three.
A reverse sweep was technically possible, and it wouldn’t be the first time that G2 Esports pulled off such a feat, but it wasn’t meant to be. FunPlus Phoenix needed just 30 minutes to seal the deal and become the Worlds 2019 champions.
It was a masterclass. They made it look so easy, and yet we all know whom they were up against.
But perhaps it was their relaxed, stoic demeanor which was on full display even when they were tied neck and neck with the LEC champions. They knew they were the better team — the world just had to find out as well. There wasn’t any doubt on their minds as to who was going to lift the highly coveted Worlds trophy in Paris. This one Best of 5 was mostly a formality, a simple, rather negligible test they had to pass to prove their worth.
And pass it they did.
How FunPlus Phoenix Came Out with the Win at Worlds 2019
In the end, one player stood above the rest, and it was FunPlus’ Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang. The young prodigy shocked everyone in attendance with his slick Lee Sin play and has solidified his spot as one of the best junglers in the world, if not the best. The fact that he’s just eighteen is even more reason to follow his career as he’s bound to improve and grow even further.
Moves like this one highlight not just his talent but FunPlus’ team-wide cohesion as well:
As for Europe, it just wasn’t meant to be. This is the second year in a row when a European champion lost convincingly in the World Championship finals. And while this result might feel bittersweet, it’s important to note that what G2 Esports (and Fnatic before them) accomplished is nothing short of spectacular. Europe was always on the outside looking in, always the outlier, a region brimming with talent that couldn’t compete with the likes of Korea and China when it mattered the most.
And while there’s a lot of room to grow and improve, it’s fair to say that Europe belongs in the Top 2 of competitive League. That, in and of itself, is no small feat. Not in the slightest. We hope that G2 Esports doesn’t disband in any way and that they’ll continue to dominate throughout 2020. Europe has been improving at a commendable pace. The fact that all three LEC contenders got out of groups this year goes to show that the region is becoming more and more competitive as time goes on.
After months of theory crafting and anticipation, the World Championship is finally over. Players will go back home for a while, recuperate and eventually prepare for the 2020 Spring Split that’ll begin in January.
In the meantime, you can check out our League of Legends 2019 off-season tracker if you want to get the latest news regarding any roster changes.