League of Legends‘ Worlds quarterfinals are finally upon us, and with them comes the first battle between Europe and China. With this, pre-tournament favorites FunPlus Phoenix have redeemed themselves for their poor performance in groups. In four fairly one-sided games, FunPlus Phoenix booked themselves a ticket for the semifinals after convincingly beating Fnatic. With that being said, let’s see how the games played out.
Starting this Worlds series off, FunPlus Phoenix went for a standard composition with a marksman bottom lane and a mage mid lane. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for Fnatic – they once again opted for the Garen and Yuumi bottom lane. However, Fnatic did surprise everyone with the Rengar top lane pick. It seemed like it would pay off when Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau managed to secure first blood on the Rengar. Still, the early game was fairly even, with neither team gaining a significant advantage.
Come mid game, FunPlus Phoenix took over and won most of the fights. As Fnatic tried to stop FPX’s baron attempt, the LPL representatives swiftly turned on them. This led to them finally securing baron and eventually finishing their first game of Worlds quarterfinals.
Fnatic had to change something in the second game of Worlds quarters, since Garen clearly didn’t work in the first. With both sides opting for a standard composition, the action started very early with a Fnatic invade. Once again, Fnatic picked up the first blood, which gave them a small early lead. However, a botched dive in the bottom lane quickly negated this. FunPlus Phoenix put a lot of early focus on the bottom lane, which helped put Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang quite far ahead of his opponent.
By the time the game hit mid game, FunPlus already had a sizable lead that just kept snowballing. Fnatic tried hard to fight off their opponents’ onslaught, but to no avail. The game was entirely in FunPlus Phoenix’s hands, and they weren’t letting it go. Slowly but surely, the LPL’s first seed obliterated Fnatic’s base and ended the game in dominating fashion.
Coming into game 3, it looked as though FunPlus Phoenix would be able to clean sweep the series to qualify for Worlds semifinals. However, Fnatic still had some fuel left in their tanks. Once again opting for the champion that stopped the unkillable demon king, Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek was ready to make a statement. Unlike the past two games, FunPlus Phoenix secured first blood with a top lane gank. However, once again, most of the early action happened in the bottom lane. FunPlus Phoenix orchestrated a gank in the bottom lane, but Fnatic turned it in their favor by picking up three kills. This led to Fnatic rotating to the mid lane and securing the tier 1 tower. The Veigar pick surely paid off as Nemesis obliterated his enemies with it.
FunPlus Phoenix’s play felt very off-color, attempting a base race in a very early stage of the game. Even though unsuccessful, this play prolonged the game, as FunPlus just barely defended their base. After that, Fnatic secured the baron and pushed into the enemy base. FunPlus Phoenix was once again able to defend their nexus, delaying the game even more. Following a won fight in the middle lane, Fnatic finally finished off the nexus to force a game 4.
Game 4 started off similarly to game 3, with the first blood for FPX in the top lane. With not much early action, FunPlus managed to gain a small lead after winning a fight at dragon. The dive under Fnatic’s tier two tower showed just how powerful FPX really was. They took down tower after tower without an answer from Fnatic. Everything went FPX’s way, and Fnatic had no idea how to stop the phoenix.
It looked as though Fnatic could come back in the mid game after catching up in gold, but it was just an illusion. The game dragged on for quite a bit, but eventually, FunPlus Phoenix was able to finish them off and qualify for the Worlds semifinals. Fly, Phoenix, fly!
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