The 2019 World Champions FunPlus Phonix has registered its first win at Worlds 2021 by taking down North America’s Cloud9 in peculiar fashion.
A quiet start to the game saw only a handful of kills in the opening stages before a skirmish at the Rift Herald gave the LCS side a small lead. This lingered into the mid-game as Cloud9 continued to pull off decisive roams to pick off FPX players on multiple occasions.
After FPX managed to stall and stop the bleeding, the team’s 27-minute baron attempt was quickly thwarted by Cloud9 as the LCS Mid-Season Showdown winners collapsed onto their opponents to wipe them off of the objective and grab the buff for themselves. From this moment the tides started to turn as Cloud9 mid-laner Luka “Perkz” Perković was repeatedly caught out while trying to split push the side lanes and gave up four consecutive, unanswered deaths.
Cloud9 off to a rough start in Worlds 2021
It was the game-ending play that was the most baffling aspect of Perkz’s sudden change in performance, seeing the Croatian veteran attempt a solo back door while FunPlus Phoenix stormed his own side’s base with baron-empowered minions.
Unsurprisingly, FPX won the base race with ease and dashed C9’s hopes of an upset victory. Cloud9’s early control of the game was actually so strong that it finished the game with a 2,000 gold lead despite being on the losing side.
The final result, as well as the manner of the defeat, was undoubtedly a crushing blow for Cloud9’s players at a time when the team needs to be in absolutely perfect form. The disastrous throw wasn’t necessarily a factor in Cloud9’s follow-up to this, a loss to Damwon Kia.
Now 2-0 to start its run in the group stage, Cloud9 is in a position where it needs to effectively win out in order to have a chance of advancing. The team was already likely to enter each of its games as a massive underdog, and the team has effectively justified that.