FunPlus Phoenix was first announced in December 2017. The roster competing in the League of Legends Pro League included top laner Kim “GimGoon” Han-saem, jungler Hu “Pepper” Zhi-Wei, mid laner Feng “bing” Jin-Wei, bot laner Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang, and support Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song. The Chinese team’s debut was at the Demacia Championship that same year, where they placed ninth after a loss to Team WE.
After that subpar performance, FunPlus Phoenix signed veteran Yu “Cool” Ji-Jun going into the 2018 LPL spring split. The team saw a slight improvement and ended the split with a 9-10 record, but fifth place was still not enough to qualify for the playoffs. The rookie team decided to replace Pepper, adding Chen “Alex” Yu-Ming as their jungler for the summer split. This season saw an even bigger improvement, resulting in a fourth-place finish that qualified them for the playoffs as one of the bottom seeds. They then saw a swift defeat when they were eliminated by JD Gaming in the first round.
FunPlus Phoenix decided to revamp their roster once again in preparation for the 2019 LPL spring split. The move paid off. The addition of Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang and mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang saw the underdogs finally claw their way to the top of the pack. They placed first in the regular season with an impressive 13-2 record, giving them an automatic bye to the semifinals. Unfortunately, JD Gaming thwarted them again when the team beat them in the semifinals.
It seemed that the third-place finish was enough of a statement for FunPlus to stick with their roster this time around. They went into the 2019 LPL summer split and saw themselves improve once again. The relatively new team dropped only a single series to Invictus Gaming and lost only four games in the entirety of the split. They finished in first place.
FunPlus Phoenix represented China at Rift Rivals 2019, where Korea ended up on top. But FunPlus still had the summer playoffs, where they had a bye. They first defeated their rivals Bilibili Gaming, then got a 3-1 victory over Royal Never Give Up. FunPlus had earned their first LPL championship and became China’s number one seed going into the 2019 World Championship.
FPX saw themselves up against Splyce, J Team, and GAM Esports in Group B. FunPlus Phoenix had a shaky performance in groups, losing once to both Splyce and J Team. They then fought their way through the knockout stage, ultimately defeating Fnatic and Invictus Gaming.
Thanks to their shaky performance earlier in the tournament, some analysts predicted that G2 would win the finals series over FPX. Back as the underdogs once again, FPX returned to form and swept the European team with ease.
FunPlus Phoenix were the champions, becoming the first team since Taipei Assassins in Season 2 to win a World Championship in their first Worlds appearance. They were also the first team since SKT in Season 3 to win Worlds with a roster full of players who had not previously competed at Worlds.