After over a month of frenetic action, the biggest international event of the year in League of Legends is finally coming to an end. Just like last year in 2018, the final will have one European team and one Chinese team fighting for the Summoner’s Cup. It’s the first time that FunPlus Phoenix attends the World Championship, and the first time G2 Esports had made it this far.
It’s almost impossible to predict which one of these squads will come out on top. Both teams have excellent macro play, individual talent, and good drafting. These are the three key elements to succeed at Worlds, based on the past five weeks of competition.
Both teams are coming to the final with a lot of momentum behind them. FunPlus took down defending world champion and fellow LPL representative Invictus Gaming in the semifinals. Now the young team must defend the honor of the Chinese region and try to keep the World Championship title within the domestic boundaries of the LPL.
G2 obliterated three-time World Champion SK Telecom T1 and is one victory away from completing the golden road after having won two LEC titles and the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational this year. The addition of mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther and the move of former mid laner Luka “Perkz” Perković to the bottom lane was critisized by some at the time, but now there can be no denying the success of these risky moves.
That roster move proved predictive of the new G2 roster’s style. This is a team that is willing to swing hard in team fights and will play far outside of the meta if and when appropriate.
Considering the stats and how similar these teams are, this series isn’t likely play like a typical final. It will be all about the surprise factor and who throws off the enemy team first. If there is a time to play an unexpected and explosive composition, it is in the grand final. The teams must play every card left in their respective decks, playing tricks and doing whatever it takes to win the series.
G2 Esports and FunPlus Phoenix are resilient teams that can get up again and again after hardship, no matter how many times they get knocked down. These are teams that can adapt in the middle of a tournament or even a series, and are quick to learn from their enemies.
If the teams opt to go for the safer route and draft standard compositions, the series may very well come down to the two star junglers.
It will be the clash between the internationally experienced Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski and the first-time Worlds entrant Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang. The series is in their hands, and we all know that better jungle always wins.
Jankos came into the tournament with significantly more hype behind him, but has struggled at times leading up to the final. Meanwhile, Chinese jungler Tian has looked like a star in the making for FPX, setting his team up for victory.
Can FunPlus keep the title in the LPL family behind Tian’s strength? Will G2 make history and complete the golden road? We’ll find out on Sunday when the two squads collide in the biggest League of Legends match of the year.