In its first playoffs appearance, Victory Five achieved the seemingly impossible and knocked FunPlus Phoenix immediately out of playoffs. The best-of-five series finished after four games that looked one-sided for the most part.
V5 picked up games one and two without much difficulty. At match point, it was time for top laner Kim “GimGoon” Han-saem to pop off and secure one point for FPX. In game four, V5 sealed the deal with a dominating victory.
The loss for FPX is not as surprising as it might initially sound to fans abroad. In fact, it’s the expected result considering FPX’s shortcomings throughout the season.
Even world champions are still human. What are mere humans to a (pp) god?
— LPL (@lplenglish) August 13, 2020
Through 2019, FPX stood out as a unique team with a particular style. FPX was ahead of its time and played its own meta that seemingly only worked for FPX. Other teams attempted to imitated FPX, but to no avail. What FPX did was outrageous, innovative, but above all, effective.
The LPL is not a league where top teams are often able to reign for long. It happened to Invictus Gaming after its 2018 World Championship victory, and now it’s happening to FPX. When one team gets ahead of the league, the rest of the teams find a way to catch up over the following year. This trend is a testament to the adaptability of the teams competing in the LPL.
Tricks that worked in 2019 are no longer viable for FPX. The team has struggled to find its place in the LPL, which led to its early elimination in playoffs. The problems include both drafting issues and severe underperformances by the players. FPX makes mistake after mistake and cannot recover as quickly as they used to. In just one year’s time, the rest of the LPL got on FPX’s level and now, other teams have surpassed the defending world champions.
V5 advanced and is set to play Suning in the next round. As for FPX, the team still has enough championship points to take part in the regional qualifier. This year, the LPL is sending four teams to Worlds, so FPX has one more chance to qualify and defend its title.