FunPlus Phoenix are the second team to advance to the semifinals of the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. The LPL first seed defeated Fnatic 3-1, showing dominant performance and promising a great match to come in the all-LPL semifinal against Invictus Gaming.
While FPX stood out as the much stronger team, Fnatic had their own moments. The Rengar pick in game 1 got the Madrid crowd excited, even if that game didn’t go Fnatic’s way. Then in game 3, Tim “Nemesis” Lipovsek played a masterclass Veigar, fed to the point of one-click-deleting most of FPX’s roster. By minute 17, Fnatic were able to push far into the FPX base, even threatening their nexus, and although the Chinese held off several siege waves, the EU squad eventually broke the Phoenix at the 26 minute mark.
Still, FPX remained on match point and with victory so close, they wouldn’t risk a fifth game. They drafted comfort picks, putting Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang on his signature Ryze and getting Varus for Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang — a pick that ran away with game 2 on a 11/0/6 KDA. Fnatic,. on the other hand, banked on the late-game power of Kayle and Cassiopea, but they were never given the chance to get there safely.
FPX is often described as a team that lives or dies by Doinb and in the final game, they soared high, carried by their captain. Doinb put on a clinic on Ryze, finishing 9/0/7, sprinting to a full build and level 18 in almost no time. Every lane went FPX’s way too, with Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau’s Kayle suffering the most, ending the game with eight deaths and no kill to his name. Nemesis’ Cassiopea also left kill-less, outclassed by the Ryze of Doinb.
This sets up an all-Chinese semifinal between FPX and iG, guaranteeing an LPL team in the finals of Worlds 2019. Invictus Gaming are looking strong, confidently demolishing Griffin in the first quarterfinal and if they can find a way to shut down Doinb, this could mean two Worlds finals in a row for the reigning world champions.